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Illinois’ Student Loan Bribe - Key Messages & Talking Points

Illinois’ Student Loan Bribe

What Is It?

In 2019 Illinois passed a $45 Billion Capital spending plan. Unbeknownst to nearly everyone, the plan included $25 million to pay off up to $40,000 of other people's student loans if they purchase a home in Illinois. And give them an additional $5000 for a down payment. It is called the SmartBuy Program.

The state allocated up to $25 million to the program in Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s 2019 Rebuild Illinois capital plan.

To date, the agency has paid off an average of $24,100 in student loan debt. The nature of government is to expand, not reform or contract. So, expect this program to grow exponentially over the next few years unless there is significant push back on state lawmakers from Illinois voters.

Key Messages

  • You’re footing the bill. The money to pay off these loans is BORROWED money…Backed up by 20 new taxes and fees supposedly for infrastructure. Every time you fill up your car now, remember that the higher gas tax you pay at the pump is paying off someone else’s student loan.

  • It should be uncontroversial to insist that American citizens 18 or older are adults who are responsible for what they bought when they signed their loan agreements. Taking out a loan you didn’t understand is not fraud, and there is no compelling reason for not requiring people to pay back this debt.

  • Illinois’ Ruling Class politicians and bureaucrats consider this a solution to the Mass exodus of taxpayers and families from Illinois. They made it legal for the government to bribe young families to locate in Illinois.

Talking Points

  • Program is fundamentally unfair to the students who worked through college, earned scholarships, went into the military, went to a less expensive school or whose parents scrimped and saved to send them.

  • Furthermore, there are many people who opted not to go to college, perhaps because of the cost or to seek other opportunities. Why is it fair for them to repay other people’s student loans?

  • Illinois voters / taxpayers had no voice in this decision. There was no debate about this in the state legislature - and zero media coverage of the measure before it had passed in the legislature and was signed into law by JB Pritzker. Illinois legislators hid this from taxpayers in a massive budget bill that was rammed through the state legislature in a matter of hours, with a grossly inadequate time for bill review.

  • This is the beginning of a massive wealth transfer from the private sector to the public sector. College is too expensive for many reasons, but simply obliterating student loan debt is simply a way to hand state government more control of Illinoisans’ money, property and lives.

  • The measure creates social antagonism and undermines the basic virtue of paying one’s debts and keeping one’s promises.

Advocates Should Immediately:

  • Call or write their state legislators and the Office of the Governor. Request that they step in NOW to stop the unfair SMARTBUY Program.

  • Write Letters to the Editor for your local media to inform your neighbors that this program has passed. Media outlets like Daily Herald and Northwest Herald will not cover it on their own.

  • Demand that when your local media outlets cover this program, they include the impact of the SmartBuy Program on taxpayers in their reporting.

Download these talking points here:

Illinois’ Student Loan Bribe - Key Messa
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