Narrated by Maddy Clifford, Deputy Press Secretary of the Debt Collective
Have you heard about the corporate-backed, right-wing network trying to sabotage your student debt relief at the Supreme Court?
I didn’t think so.
The media has been all over President Biden’s plan to eliminate up to $20,000 in student debt, but there’s one critical piece they’ve left out of this coverage—who’s funding the lawsuit against it.
Pull back the curtain and you’ll see what’s really going on here.
The Supreme Court is hearing two cases that will decide the current fate of Biden’s proposed student debt relief plan. One of those cases, Department of Education v. Brown, was ostensibly brought by a woman named Myra Brown from Texas. She argues that she is harmed by this debt relief plan because her privately-funded student loans are not eligible to be eliminated.
Ironically, she’s already a beneficiary of debt cancellation. The government forgave her $48,000 Paycheck Protection Program business loan during the pandemic.
But Myra Brown is just a patsy.
The case was actually brought and funded by an extreme right-wing donor network deceptively named the “Job Creators Network.”
The group argues Biden’s student loan cancellation plan should be struck down on the grounds that such relief represents government overreach and reckless government spending.
Funny enough, that network is comprised of the same Trump-loving billionaires and corporations that were happy to be showered with the GOP’s $1.9 trillion tax cut for the rich – and countless corporate subsidies.
The Job Creators Network even had their own debt canceled! Their $135,000 Paycheck Protection Program loan in 2020 was forgiven.
The Jobs Creators Network passes itself off as just a bunch of “entrepreneurs” who care about small businesses.
But let’s take a look at who funds the group that is hell bent on keeping you loaded with student debt, shall we?
Let’s start with Bernie Marcus, who organized the Job Creators Network in 2010, and just so happens to also be the co-founder and former CEO of everyone’s favorite “small business,” Home Depot.
Marcus has no shame in using his billions to try to buy elections for conservative and far-right politicians who serve corporate power. He’s spent $64 million backing the likes of Mitch McConnell, Ron DeSantis, and Donald Trump among others.
And Home Depot has happily accepted over $94 million in government subsidies.
Apparently he’s pro-government spending when it comes to corporate subsidies. But canceling student debt for millions of borrowers across the country? That’s a bridge too far.
He recently said that nobody wants to work because they’re all too lazy, too fat, and too stupid.
Meet everyone’s favorite hedge-fund family of white nationalists… the Mercers.
Perhaps you’ve heard of the Mercer family. The Mercers are mega-donors who were probably more responsible than anyone for making Steve Bannon a household name and getting Donald Trump elected in 2016. They’re also part owners of Breitbart News, which it seems never met a white nationalist it didn’t like.
Who else is part of this hodgepodge of government-hating billionaires who love government handouts?
None other than the Koch brothers, the OG billionaire backers of the right. The Job Creators Network “partners” include the likes of FreedomWorks and the American Legislative Exchange Council (or “ALEC”), groups that the Koch donor network and its dark money empire has used in their ongoing corporate takeover of the US government.
And that’s not all…
Clip of Turning Point USA: If you can identify as any gender, why can’t you identify as another species?
But it’s not just individual far-right billionaires that are bankrolling the Job Creators Network. It’s also big corporations themselves.
The Retail Industry Leaders Association have given $4.6 million since 2012 and the National Restaurant Association threw in another $100,000. RILA and the NRA – yes, there’s another NRA – are industry groups funded by corporations like Walmart, Home Depot, Dollar General, Starbucks, Olive Garden, Applebees, and Disney. They’ve splurged millions upon millions of dollars lobbying to crush efforts to raise the minimum wage and expand union rights.
They say they’re against government spending. But what they’re really against is government spending for working people.
Take it from Melissa Byrne, who has been on the frontlines fighting for student debt relief for years:
“98% of the people who apply for debt relief come from zip codes making under $75,000 a year. Two thirds come from zip codes making under $40,000 a year. So these are people who are struggling. these are people who, if the loans turn back on, won’t be able to make payments, won’t be able to make rent, do other things like buy groceries, pay for health insurance. So debt relief, among other things, really makes families whole.”
The billionaire funders of the Job Creators Network also have friends on the very same Supreme Court that will be ruling on the group’s lawsuit.
Talk about overreach.
Then there’s the Federalist Society, which has overseen the corporate takeover of our federal courts, including the Supreme Court. The Koch Brothers and “small business entrepreneur” Bernie Marcus are among the Federalist Society’s top donors.
Supreme Court justices like Samuel Alito, Clarence Thomas, and Brett Kavanaugh are openly chummy with the Federalist Society and have earned major applause for speeches at its events. And now they’ll be deciding on the Job Creators Network student loan lawsuit, brought to them by the same big donors that give to their pals at the Federalist Society.
And finally – just stay in the matrix with me for one more second – a slew of billionaires, industry groups and think tanks that are all part of the same corporate ecosystem that supports the mission of the Jobs Creators Network, from the Cato Institute and the Manhattan Institute to Betsy DeVos and the US Chamber of Commerce, are also stepping in to back the group’s lawsuit aiming to crush student debt relief. They’re submitting statements of support for the lawsuit to the Supreme Court – and the Cato Institute even has its own lawsuit against student debt relief!
So let’s do a little recap:
The same billionaires and corporations that don’t want you to have higher wages, that want to bust your unions, that don’t want you to have decent and free medical care, that want to dictate what you to do with your body, that want more tax cuts for the super-rich. They’re the ones that also want you to stay neck deep in student debt so that THEY continue to profit and so that YOUR life remains so precarious that you have no choice but to just shut up and accept the crumbs they give you.
That’s who is backing this lawsuit. Not a small business group. A right-wing political behemoth who opposes anything that helps Americans stay afloat.