“What the justices said: “Several conservative justices appeared skeptical of the administration’s authority to cancel millions of dollars in federally held loans as some liberal justices raised concerns about states hampering federal government operations.” CNN 2/28/23
As wielders of immense and unchecked power, we understand the financial reality in this country is bleak. But fear not, young(ish) Americans grappling with the crushing onslaught of student loan debt, fear not. We, the conservative governing party of this great nation, have a solution: student loan acceptance.
Sit with that for a minute. Think of us as a kind of Elon Musk hauling a sink into Twitter headquarters to fix all the company’s woes. We’ve got you. Unflinchingly, unfailingly.
While we know you were hoping for – and essentially promised – student loan forgiveness, it is high time for student loan acceptance. Quite frankly, we don’t have it in us to let 42 million of you guys have government assistance to cover even a portion of your loans. But you, sweet people, have it in you to accept this reality.
Allow us, your humble allies in this pursuit of equality, to present a couple steps, also known as the Five Stages of Grief, to help you navigate and ultimately accept the overwhelming heartache that comes with knowing 19% of all your paychecks will be forfeit to your student loans as long as you draw breath.
You’ve been in a state of ignorant bliss as Joe Biden’s paused and pushed back payments and deadlines like a careless child kicking a can down the road. Now think of the can gaining sentience, pulling out a knife and grabbing you by the collar and demanding $500 in monthly payments until your natural death.
We get it, there’s that initial sticker shock of: “How could this be my reality?! How could I possibly be $147,000 in debt for a degree that did little more than teach me how best to manipulate the standard meal plan to assure I wouldn’t become malnourished.”
And believe us, we’re with you. Well not *with you* with you, as we have no student debt to speak of and largely have everything paid for by generational wealth we did nothing to secure on our own — but damned if we aren’t sympathetic. Now, it’s time to find the password to your Navient account and face the quarter-of-a-million-dollars music.
Pissed off? Yeah, us too. We’re miffed, positively peeved about many things — the rise in inflation, voter registration and menstruation.
But you know what? We don’t make it everyone else’s problem. No, we deal. We bottle up that anger and siphon it off, redirecting it towards Greta Thunberg and sexually deviant M&M’s.
So take a chill pill. Marijuana’s legal, for now. Besides, you don’t have the health insurance necessary to deal with all that stress. Anger takes years off your life, and we’re going to need those years of payments. It’s such a hassle tracking down death certificates, it would be better for everyone if you paid your loans off before you shuck your mortal coil.
You’ll try to reason. If the ludicrously rich just paid an itty bitty bit more in taxes, a truly negligible amount more, then you could maybe for once have one nice thing — like a single meal at a restaurant, a desperately needed pair of new shoes, or a utility bill paid on time — without cowering to the swirling cloud of debt and doom above your head, the omnipresent threat of the thousands in predatory loans you took out before you were old enough to legally buy a beer.
To that we say: no take-backsies. You don’t get to haggle with the banker when you’ve already said “Deal.” Because that would mean questioning those in positions of power, beseeching them to examine their stance and act. But we all know that’s a fruitless endeavor, right? You guys understand this, right?! Resistance is futile.
You’re depressed, it’s depressing. Turn that frown upside down, partner! Try to alleviate some of the sadness and constant stress migraines by investing in — oh wait, sorry — by treating yourself to — argh, not that either, no money and all that… Try to alleviate some of that stress by sitting quietly, inhaling through your nose and out through your mouth. Luckily no one’s figured out how to charge for air, yet. Though our nation’s gated communities naturally benefit from better air – all of the oxygen, and none of the pollution from controlled fire plumes of toxic chemicals.
Here you are at last, ready to accept your student loans and the reality that you have to pay them until you are dead. You will long for a better world, a fairer world; a world where money isn’t simultaneously real and fake, oppressive and liberating. But this is the world we’re ensuring we live in. Student loan acceptance is achieved much like coping with the death of a grandparent: you take the necessary steps to come to terms with the loss, self medicate, and hope to God there’s some kind of windfall that helps with your loans.
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Madeline is a writer based in New York with her collie, Oskar.