COLUMN: It was fun while it lasted


Trent Jonas

Trent Jonas is a graduate student studying English and can be reached at 217-581-2812.

Trent Jonas, Columnist

On Friday, the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals—which includes the progressive, forward-thinking states of Arkansas, Iowa, Nebraska, Missouri, and both Dakotas—granted a stay that put a halt to the Biden administration’s loan forgiveness program.

I don’t know about any of you, but I’d already filled out my form to get my forgiveness, and if there’s any way of spending time that I find particularly distasteful, it’s filling out online government forms, specifically online federal government forms, of which, I find Department of Education online forms to be particularly soul crushing.

So, yeah, I did that, and apparently for nothing. That’s, like, 15 minutes of my life that I will never get back, all because some dipstick state attorneys general (from Nebraska, Iowa, Missouri, and Arkansas, if you’re keeping score at home, as well as South Carolina and Kansas, which aren’t even in the Eighth Circuit!) decided that they didn’t like the idea of forgiving student loans.

The loan forgiveness plan may still survive. The stay is temporary and came in response to the state AGs getting their undies in a bunch after a lower court in Missouri basically threw them out, finding that they lacked standing—i.e., they had no skin in the game, and, thus, had no reason to be there.

The AGs appealed to the Eighth Circuit, which said, essentially, “Wait a minute! Nobody does anything until we decide whether we’re going to let this case keep moving through the court system.”

Even if the appellate court decides that the AGs have no business messing with the loan forgiveness program, there are plenty of other litigants waiting in the wings to take up the cause against forgiveness.

Not to mention, should Republicans regain control of Congress in November, the whole thing is likely a goner. Or, if they manage to keep it tied up with litigation until another president is in the White House and then kill it, the program will be a non-starter.

As they say: After all, it is the thought that counts. In this case, I guess, I never really got my hopes up too high. Especially with the amount of time it took Biden to get around to doing something about the promises he had made during his campaign.

Then he came up with his lame $10k/$20k program, which covers maybe half a year of school at a few public universities. But, I thought, okay, something is better than nothing.

Well, now I’ll be surprised if we ever see it happen. The thought was nice, and it was fun while it lasted, anyway.

Trent Jonas is an English graduate student. He can be reached at [email protected] or 217-581-2812.