I’ll make this short and sweet. There’s a fellow over in Mandan named Gary Berube who’s a stockbroker and a slumlord and a frequent right-wing contributor to the state’s newspaper editorial pages. If you read North Dakota’s newspapers, you’ve seen his rants. His most frequent one appeared in Tuesday’s online edition of The Forum. It read:
Democrats Are Trying To Buy Votes
“The Democratic Party’s plan to get votes is to give away free candy and ice cream to students by forgiving their student loans with your money. Yes, that’s right, your money.
“The federal government does not have a pile of money. It gets its money from “we the people” through taxation. This coupled with the 4.9 million illegal immigrants in the last 18 months receiving free housing, room and board and free health care results in a lot of bought and paid for votes.
“All that effort to get votes and for what? All the credit and all the blame only goes to one person, President Biden!”
Y’know, people who only use the right side of their doors to go in and out of their glass houses probably shouldn’t throw stones.
I’m getting to be a bit of an expert on the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), which was designed by President Trump and Congress, and continued under President Biden, to help small businesses get through the COVID crisis. I’ve looked up a lot of pretty interesting stuff on it. Businesses went to their bank, borrowed money to pay their employees, and the government repaid the loans. It’s a good program. But it’s been abused. I’ve reported on it a few times here, with loans forgiven by the government to people like Rick Becker and Gov. Doug Burgum’s Kilbourne Group and Congressman Kelly Armstrong’s dad, and a whole bunch of other really rich people—not the kind of people the program was intended for.
So I’ve done some snooping on the websites that track the program. According to the website SBA.com, “Gary Berube is in the Securities Brokerage industry, has a $20,488 PPP loan from Choice Financial Group, and has potentially retained 1 jobs. This information is published by the U.S. Treasury . . .”
Uh huh. The one job he retained is his own, and we all know who repays those PPP loans. The government, with “your money. Yes, that’s right, your money.”
I’ll bet that $20,000 bought Mr. Berube a lot of ice cream and candy.
If you want to check on any of your “friends” who might also be hypocrites, just go to this website. You can find them all, among the 11,468,410 people who took advantage of this program, including 51,726 North Dakotans. You might be surprised to find out who’s getting the “candy and ice cream” paid for by “your money” Mr. Berube is talking about.
Further irony. I mentioned that Mr. Berube is a slumlord. I’m not completely clear on that. At one time he owned an old apartment building over in downtown Mandan, mostly small one bedroom and studio apartments, but I think he sold it to the Morton County Commission a few years ago for a million dollars. I’m not clear on the details, but I know it was, and I think still is, one of those deals where the government helps low income tenants with the rent (ahem), some of them college students (The Bismarck Tribune reported on it one time, and said it generates about $200,000 in income a year). I’ll bet some of that comes from student loan money. If those dang students aren’t using it all to buy candy and ice cream.