Lies You Believe About Being Poor: Poor People Get the Majority of Government Handouts

Lucinda Gunnin
3 min readAug 24, 2022

President Joe Biden announced a plan to forgive up to $20,000 in student loans for the poorest borrowers, extend a mortorium on payments throught the end of 2022 and potentially make it easier for the poorest borrowers to make payments on those old loans.

And the right wing world is going crazy at the thought. They are once again perpetuating the lie that liberals give poor people handouts and that’s what keeps them from being motivated to change their circumstances.

For example, according to the Seattle Times, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell said, ““President Biden’s inflation is crushing working families, and his answer is to give away even more government money to elites with higher salaries. Democrats are literally using working Americans’ money to try to buy themselves some enthusiasm from their political base.”

That, of course, is the same kind of hogwash as the idea that the poor don’t want to work. McConnell clearly is pushing the hype that education somehow makes people “elite.” And, he is ignoring the limitation the president placed on the loan relief. While $125,000 is a good salary, McConnell’s effort to claim the loan foregiveness is targetting this group is ridiculous. Unless those borrowers began college as poor enough to qualify for a Pell Grant, the loan forgiveness is limited to just $10,000.

The Twitterverse is having a lot of fun calling out people who are opposed to student loan forgiveness, but have already had their own round of government handouts:

But this type of Republican hypocrisy isn’t reserved for student loan forgiveness. The rhetoric gets repeated every time Democrats want to help out poor and working class Americans.

So just for funsies, let’s look at the people who really benefit from government handouts. Big hint for those who aren’t paying attention, it’s not the working poor.

While McConnell and his cronies are whining about a maximum of $20,000 per borrower to help those who paid too much for their college educations and then got stuck with predatory interest rates, the average American farmer can quality for up to $250,000 in subsidies from the federal government.

Lucinda Gunnin

Lucinda Gunnin is a commercial property manager and author in the suburbs of Philadelphia. She’s a news junky, sushi addict, and geek extraordinaire.