(UPDATE: An earlier version of this post mistakenly asserted that Daily Wire creator Ben Shapiro was the Ben Shapiro who had a PPP loan forgiven in 2021. We deeply regret the error on our part and have amended the text of this post, and its headline, in an effort to correct any and all inaccuracies.)
Right-wing commentator Ben Shapiro appears to have little sympathy for student loan debtors. Following one of his tweets (on the eve of Biden announcing his relief plan) on the subject, he got called out, even if the ammunition used by one of his critics wasn’t accurate.
Let’s back up for a moment. Earlier this week, reports (which turned out to be accurate) circulated about President Biden canceling $10,000 in debt for most student loan borrowers (who fall under a certain income threshold). Biden made provisions for more forgiveness for some borrowers, and that includes Pell Grant recipients, and Shapiro had made it known in advance that he’s not here for this plan.
“I have a controversial idea about paying off student loan debt,” the Daily Wire creator tweeted. “[D]on’t take out debt you will likely be unable to pay off, and don’t ask others to pay off your debts.”
I have a controversial idea about paying off student loan debt: don't take out debt you will likely be unable to pay off, and don't ask others to pay off your debts.
— Ben Shapiro (@benshapiro) August 23, 2022
Given the heated subject matter, emotions began to fly. People began to appear in Shapiro’s replies to accuse him of having federal loan forgiveness in own pocket. The alleged incident sounded stunning for someone who seems to be doing pretty well for himself financially, and a Twitter user dropped a “this you?” into the conversation with a screencap of a Ben Shapiro (not the Ben Shapiro of the Daily Wire) who had received over $20,000 in the form of a forgiven Paycheck Protection Program loan.
This other Ben Shapiro turned out to be a real estate agent in California, who had received a greater amount of federal forgiveness than most student debtors (there will be a $10,000 drop in the balance of most borrowers of federal student loans, and up to $20,000 for Pell Grant recipients). And because of Shapiro’s stance on public loans, a lot of people (yours truly included) erroneously assumed that he was the same Ben Shapiro.
So you’re a millionaire who couldn’t afford to payback his loans… do we need to take a look at your budget and maybe cut back on the Starbucks? pic.twitter.com/wbOufzkYaD
— Show Me Your Mask 🐉 (@showmeyourmask) August 24, 2022
🎯 BINGO👇🏽 @benshapiro and MANY TN GOP legislators like @JasonZacharyTN & @JeremyFaison4TN are shaming people for supporting student loan forgiveness… yet got HUGE PPP loans forgiven👇🏽 https://t.co/Ca72mWvnG8
— The Tennessee Holler (@TheTNHoller) August 24, 2022
But Ben you had your loan forgiven. Why didn’t you pay that off yourself? pic.twitter.com/LkEgFI73UF
— jane (@JanWilkens7) August 24, 2022
My business didn’t get a PPP loan bail out during the pandemic, but you did Bad Faith Ben pic.twitter.com/E5YX7Fjd4A
— The Seer (@Apostate1123) August 23, 2022
Ben Shapiro is rich and got his ppp loan forgiven. He also supported Trump tax cuts for rich people. And he’s over here complaining about limited student loan relief for people making less then 125k. https://t.co/2HaCaMr7Jj
— Elvio De la Cruz (@LVO_DLC) August 24, 2022
Didn’t you and your company just got a federal loan that was forgiven? pic.twitter.com/y1LOiQHDqt
— E.L.L.A (@ELLA25322670) August 24, 2022
— The Radical Proletariat 💙 (@TheRadicalProle) August 24, 2022
Ben Shapiro never had to worry about student loans, because his rich parents paid for him to go to UCLA (where he majored in political science of all things) and Harvard Law. And what a waste of money, because he obviously didn’t learn a damn thing. pic.twitter.com/IjHIK43vjN
— 😱 Scary Larry 😱 🇺🇦✊🏻🇺🇸🗽 (@aintscarylarry) August 23, 2022
As noted above, Ben Shapiro of the Daily Wire is not the Ben Shapiro who had a PPP loan forgiven.