President Biden's student debt relief will benefit up to 43 million lower and middle-class borrowers. Billionaires oppose the plan. - Popular Info
Why would a bunch of billionaires fight to deny federal relief to students and keep them struggling with debt? "It's not personal. It's strictly business with billionaires." as Godfather might say. Students might get an education and learn to see how they are being exploited. Students might vote in their own best interest and ask billionaires to pay their fair share of taxes. Never! Billionaires would rather keep students struggling with poverty and distracted from voting.
How do the wealthy get a tax deduction for denying other Americans a federal benefit? How do billionaires hide their tracks to make it harder for others to understand their evil schemes? Who are the front men paid to do billionaires handiwork?
How can you follow the money and expose the scheme others? Do what Carrie Mathieson, who plays a CIA agent in HomeLand does. Use a Network Map. See how to create a network map with the free Kumu app.
Follow the money behind billionaires' attacks on student debt relief
Why are billionaires doing this? What's the angle?
The answer is usually about money and preventing those being exploited from voting to fix the rigged system. But billionaires do not want to be publicly associated with a scheme that would hurt struggling students. That's where front men and dark money comes in.
Frank Garrison, Pacific Legal Fund
"Frank Garrison, the man who is apparently being immediately and concretely harmed by Indiana’s tax on forgiven loans, lived in Washington, DC, up until very recently. In fact, he moved out of the state where he would pay no tax on the forgiven loans (Washington DC) to Indiana, where he would pay the tax on the exact day that Pacific Legal Foundation filed the lawsuit.
Even stranger is the assertion that Biden’s plan forces Garrison to pay or do anything at all. No part of the policy requires any person anywhere to file for student debt loan forgiveness. This completely negates Garrison’s entire standing because it means that if a person decided they would rather maintain $20,000 of student loan debt than pay $1,000 in state taxes, they could. - NYC TasteMakers
Dark money attacks student debt relief
Among the Pacific Legal Foundation's major donors are entities controlled by right-wing billionaire Charles Koch, CEO of Koch Industries. A Popular Information review of tax filings from 2019 and 2020, the latest available, found that the Charles Koch Foundation and the Charles Koch Institute donated $2,331,550 to PLF in those two years. "Pacific Legal Fund (PLF) also receives significant support from other foundations that share Koch's right-wing ideology. Popular Info reports that in 2019 and 2020, PLF received:
- $525,000 from the Sarah Scaife Foundation
- $150,000 from the Harry Bradley Foundation.
- PLF also reportedly receives major funding from Richard Uihlein, the right-wing billionaire that owns the office supply company Uline.
What is a Network Map?
A Network Map is a collage of media from different sources stuck to a wall and interconnected to show connections. Create your own Network Map with the free Kumu app to follow the money.
- Collect the facts. As a true detective can’t find a murderer without traces, you can’t spot trends without signals. So before we can start creating an Evidence Wall we have to spot these. Collect everything that stands out to you.
- Select the input. Put down everything you spotted. Make a rough selection of the most relevant signals, Sherlock Holmes would do the same.
- Organize. Collect all the selected signals on a wall on which the evidence can be left hanging for a while and where members of the team can also add their thoughts or any new signals.
- Analyze. Look at that visual overview you’ve just created. Connect the dots and look for patterns. - Hat Rabbits
How to create a Network Map with Kumu
- Launch the free Kumu app
- Give your project a name and choose the template you'd like to use
- Start adding characters. In this example I've added Charles Koch and Frank Garrison
- Add details about the individuals. For Charles Koch, I've added a quote from Popular Information by Judd Legum
- For Frank Garrision, I added a cartoon from Political Cartoons
- You can add connections between individuals as well.
- Share the map with others as a link or embed it in a website with a single line of code like this: < iframe src="https://embed.kumu.io/5ae111de9a8f0823f99a8099ee1d840f" width="940" height="600" frameborder="0"></iframe>
- The map is online so you can add more details at any time
- Did I mention the Kumu app is free?
- Apply for pro bono help with Kumus for projects related to social justice and voting rights here
Make your point with cartoons
Add cartoons to your message. They get attention and make the point better than words. Plus they work across language and age groups. My favorite source of cartoons is Political Cartoons. Find out how you can choose from thousands of their cartoons for pennies here.
TakeAway: Use Network Maps to expose how billionaires have rigged the system.
Image credit: HomeLand
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