Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Romney Versus Obama on Student Loans

July 1, 2012, seven and half million Americans will have their education loan rate doubled from 3.4% to 6.8%. With a struggling economy many of these students will have a hard time making payments on their loans. Many families will simply not be able to send their children to college or universities if we double the interest rate.  Raising student loan rates will also hurt our struggling economy, by removing what little optional spending money these Americans have.
Large banks like Wells Fargo and Bank of America receive money from the federal reserve at practically 0% interest rates, we give the oil industries 40 billion dollars in tax subsidies a year and we let large corporations like GE get by without paying any federal income taxes.  Republicans love and insist on those policies for banks, oil companies and welfare corporations like GE, but they complain about giving our young people loans at 3.4%?  Virginia Foxx (R-NC) who chairs the House subcommitte on higher education said:
"I went through school, I worked my way through, it took me seven years, I never borrowed a dime of money. He borrowed a little bit because we both were totally on our own when we went to college, totally. [...] I have very little tolerance for people who tell me that they graduate with $200,000 of debt or even $80,000 of debt because there’s no reason for that. We live in an opportunity society and people are forgetting that."
 I also never took out a student loan for college,  I rented a room at the close to the UW for $35 dollars a month, tuition was a fraction of what it is now and during the summer worked as a UNION meter reader which paid excellently.  The republican chair of the House subcommittee on higher education is 40 years out of touch, and Americans have very little tolerance for uninformed representatives demagoguing and belittling our youth. 
Something is terribly wrong when republicans give yearly tax subsidies to the most profitable companies on the planet (oil companies), but families who make under 40,000 dollars a year receiving a loan for their children's college education at 3.4%, we can't afford that?

President Obama's Speech at CU 4/23 Full transcript here
We paid more for our student loans than we paid for our mortgage each month when we first bought our small condo in Chicago.  And we were lucky to land good jobs with a steady income, but we only finished paying off our student loans about eight years ago.  Think about that.  I'm the President of the United States and -- (laughter and applause) -- so here I am, and we were writing those checks every month.  And that wasn't easy, especially when we had Malia and Sasha, because at that point, we're supposed to be saving for their college educations, and we're still paying off on our college educations.  So I've been in your shoes.  I know what I am talking about here.  This is not something that I just read about.  

So we've got to make college more affordable for you.  (Applause.)  We cannot price the middle class out of a college education.  When most new jobs in America require more than a high school diploma, higher education -- whether at a four-year college, at a two-year program -- it can't be a luxury. It's an economic imperative for every family in America.  And every family in America should be able to afford it.  

As long as those young people are willing to put in the work, as long as you're willing to study hard and take advantage of this opportunity, then we've got to make sure it's there for you...
Credo Petition Urge Senator Reid to fight to keep college education affordable and not let the interest rate double on federal student loans.

Video: President Obama on student loans

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