Video: Romney sides with Obama in supporting extension of low student-loan rates

posted at 4:41 pm on April 23, 2012 by Allahpundit

Remember that NYT piece last week wondering about friction between Romney and the House GOP as as he tacks towards the center for the general election while they try to hold the line on the right?

Here’s the first wisp of smoke.

“I fully support the effort to extend the low interest rate on student loans,” Romney said at a joint news conference with Florida Senator Marco Rubio. “There was some concern that that would expire halfway through the year, and I support extending the temporary relief on interest rates for students as a result of student loans, obviously, in part because of the extraordinarily poor conditions in the job market.”

In publicly breaking with his own party, Romney is taking away a potential wedge issue for President Obama’s campaign — and giving hope to Democrats that they may find new momentum for the legislation [to extend the rates]. The deadline for the current, low interest rates to expire is July 1…

Republicans oppose the bill in part on the grounds that it isn’t paid for…

Asked whether House Republican leadership would get behind Courtney’s bill, given Romney’s comments, a spokesman for Speaker John Boehner was non-committal.

GOP Rep. Jeff Landry told the Times last week vis-a-vis Romney, “We’re not a cheerleading squad. We’re the conductor. We’re supposed to drive the train.” We’ll find out soon how true that is, but in the meantime read this Daily Caller piece from Friday explaining succinctly what a clever trap this was for Democrats to set. It’s not just that the extension isn’t paid for that bothers Republicans, it’s that lower rates keep the higher-education bubble inflated and keep the Democrats’ pals in academia flush with cash. But with the lower rates set to expire automatically in July, Romney was in a bind. If he sided with Obama, there’d be instant agita within the GOP that our “Massachusetts moderate” nominee is already going wobbly on spending. If he sided with House Republicans, Obama would spend the next week bashing him for hating kids and education and the middle class and all things good and true. In fact, The One actually organized a multistate trip and an appearance on Jimmy Fallon’s show expressly for that purpose.

Romney chose door number one because he thinks he has a shot at winning young voters, or at least at enough young voters to make Obama’s lift that much heavier in November. One out of every two new college grads is unemployed or underemployed; among 18-to-24 year olds, fewer than 50 percent say they’d like to see a second term for O. Romney’s not going to hand Obama an excuse to get an otherwise ambivalent core constituency excited, especially when the cost of extending the lower rate is “only” $5.6 billion this year. He can agree with him on this and then bash him on bigger spending items (I think/hope). Besides, Romney’s probably looking for a high-profile issue on which to distinguish himself from House Republicans. He’s already praised Ryan’s budget so he’s checked the “fiscal conservative” box; now he’s going to do something for centrists and independents by daring Boehner to undercut him. He likely figures that, with the primary set to unofficially end tomorrow night in Pennsylvania and the general election to start in earnest, the House GOP will be reluctant to kneecap him on a relatively small-ticket item. And if they do, that’s fine: Centrists will feel reassured that he won’t necessarily be led by the right and conservatives will turn out to vote for him against O in November anyway.

Exit question one: Romney will definitely man up and have that “serious conversation” with America about entitlement reform when the time comes, right? Exit question two: Does this mean, contra David Plouffe, that he really isn’t the, er, most conservative nominee since Goldwater?


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Have you moved into a “write-in vote” mindset, or are you going to vote for Mittens, however reluctantly?

Buckshot Bill on April 23, 2012 at 11:35 PM

I’m watching. If this continues I’ll vote on the local items and let the rest be. Last week Mitt said/did a lot of tough things and I saw some hope. This week, not so much. Worst of all are his blind ‘lovers’.

Schadenfreude on April 23, 2012 at 11:40 PM

I’m pretty sure Student Loan Interest levels are roughly #592 on the voter priority scale.

And the difference between Obama and Romney also resides in the same decision.

Obama is consistently pandering for votes – its his brand. He has never made a sound financial decision while in office. Romney is doing it for business reasons – its his brand. By offering lower interest rates – sure it “may get the young vote” – and it also increases he chance of more people getting educated in some form to better themselves and the economy.

Now I know 2 groups are reading the last paragraph and saying “but its not paid for” and “education doesnt mean a real job , look at liberal dopes” Which has nothing to do with anything to a 2012 voting populous, hence my importance ranking.

The myopia of “if he agrees with X he automatically upsets Y” is silly. And I really hope the next 5 1/2 months wont be bird dogging outrage via Allah.

Odie1941 on April 23, 2012 at 11:43 PM

We were told social issues don’t matter, just fiscal conservatism.

Now we’re told that Romney can’t support fiscal conservatism all the time. You have to pick your battles.

By the time the election rolls around, there’s no telling how far people will go to excuse the progressive with the R after his name.

Obamney will be Obamney. Anyone who is surprised is an idiot.

There Goes The Neighborhood on April 23, 2012 at 11:49 PM

Romney has taken a weapon that Obama meant to use against the GOP and Romney out of the political arena. Obama wanted to use this student loan interest rate issue to secure the votes of the younger portion of the electorate, not just for the Presidential election, but for the Democrats running to preserve their Senate seats as well. It was an issue that the Democrats wished to use to alienate younger voters from the GOP by forcing the GOP to raise those rates ahead of the election.

By embracing the extension of those rates, Romney has rendered it a non-issue. Now we’re back to forcing Obama to discuss his own miserable record, both in terms of domestic policy and foreign policy, when the two candidates meet in the debates.

thatsafactjack on April 23, 2012 at 6:26 PM

Romney’s so brilliant! By the time he’s done, Obama won’t have a wedge issue left! Because Romney will have the same position on everything!!!

There Goes The Neighborhood on April 23, 2012 at 11:59 PM

I would be much more upset if Romney picked an issue like this to fall on his sword.

Obama would have been jumping up and down if Romney came out in favor of significantly raising interest rates on student loans.

Politics is a game of chess, you sometimes have to give up your pawns in order to put your opponent in a Checkmate.

BradTank on April 24, 2012 at 12:03 AM

Why should the interest rates on these loans be kept high when mortgage loans are so low? I really don’t understand the arguments for taking these rates back up. Fight to get the government out of the loan business, but don’t fight to force higher interest rates.

Rose on April 23, 2012 at 10:02 PM

It’s in everybody’s interest for the govt to wrap up the student loan program asap. Keeping interest rates low gets the govt out of the business faster. Make them zero interest if conditions are met for repayment. Close all past and present student loans with the govt asap.

Harbingeing on April 24, 2012 at 12:06 AM

BradTank on April 24, 2012 at 12:03 AM

Romney isn’t starting with a full board; he’s down to a King, Queen, a knight, and half a rook. He needs to just avoid issues like this, if his only response is to try and out-liberal Obama.

Buckshot Bill on April 24, 2012 at 12:08 AM

There Goes The Neighborhood on April 23, 2012 at 11:59 PM

hê eis to adunaton apagôgê : Aristotle

galtani on April 24, 2012 at 12:13 AM

Harbingeing; you do realize that ALL student loans are now from the govt, right? Not just past and present ones, but future ones? Keeping interest rates low doesn’t get govt out of the college loan business faster; it makes new loans even more attractive, therefore INCREASING the rate at which those loans will be made.

Midas on April 24, 2012 at 12:17 AM

Buckshot Bill, I think it’s more likely that he’s down to a handful of pawns; the GOP have pre-emptively sacrificed all of the powerful pieces simply by making him the nominee.

Midas on April 24, 2012 at 12:20 AM

Schadenfreude on April 23, 2012 at 11:24 PM

What a nasty little creature you are. It isn’t necessary to use such venom, but I guess class is lacking in a number of posters here.

Rose on April 24, 2012 at 12:28 AM

Loudness of argument is often confused with soundness.

galtani on April 24, 2012 at 12:33 AM

Rose on April 24, 2012 at 12:28 AM

Truth hurts, doesn’t it?

LegendHasIt on April 24, 2012 at 12:37 AM

LegendHasIt on April 24, 2012 at 12:37 AM

The truth that he is a nasty little creature? Yeah, I’m sure it does hurt him. It certainly hurts his arguments.

Rose on April 24, 2012 at 12:39 AM

Rose on April 24, 2012 at 12:28 AM

Discernment is indignant.

I expect the righties to think and the lefties to emote.

Schadenfreude on April 24, 2012 at 12:39 AM

Romney totally understands the free market. You know, that place where rules and regulations understood by no one at all but totally abused by law degree holders for their own best interest is? Yeah, that free market.

Now, this is the guy that all you people pushing Romney is. The same kind of man that will do to the GOP exactly what George W Bush did to it, which is made it an endangered species in the House, the Senate and the White House. John Boehner, well, consider him Hastert. Mitch McConnell, push that progressive nonsense like Bill Frist.

Gonna be a great 2017-2019, Democrats will be partying like it is 2009! Nothing says “Democrats, you are forgiven” quite as much good old progressive Republican leadership!

astonerii on April 24, 2012 at 12:39 AM

Rose on April 24, 2012 at 12:39 AM

My nom doesn’t give a da*n about anything positive or negative. If you’d utilize your tiny brain you’d know this by now.

Schadenfreude on April 24, 2012 at 12:42 AM

Schadenfreude on April 24, 2012 at 12:39 AM

You are straining at gnats. You are wasting a lot of emotion on this issue. They are not cancelling the debt. They are lowering interest rates which are being lowered in the private sector also. Like I said, fight to get the government out of the loan business, but in the meantime don’t fight to raise interest rates.

Rose on April 24, 2012 at 12:43 AM

Schadenfreude on April 24, 2012 at 12:42 AM

Bottom of the barrel time for you. You just sink deeper and deeper into the slime.

Rose on April 24, 2012 at 12:44 AM

Rose on April 24, 2012 at 12:39 AM

You are wrong on so many levels that you really should be on the 0bama campaign staff.

But I guess the Romney campaign staff is almost as appropriate for you.

LegendHasIt on April 24, 2012 at 12:45 AM

You are straining at gnats.
Rose on April 24, 2012 at 12:43 AM

Once again, I must congratulate you for your honesty.

LegendHasIt on April 24, 2012 at 12:47 AM

You are straining at gnats. You are wasting a lot of emotion on this issue. They are not cancelling the debt. They are lowering interest rates which are being lowered in the private sector also. Like I said, fight to get the government out of the loan business, but in the meantime don’t fight to raise interest rates.

Rose on April 24, 2012 at 12:43 AM

If Romney can’t even manage to fight on a minor issue like this, why in the world would anyone expect him to fight for serious spending cuts or entitlement reform?

Buckshot Bill on April 24, 2012 at 12:47 AM

Rose on April 24, 2012 at 12:44 AM

Ignorance on your part is total bliss.

Schadenfreude on April 24, 2012 at 12:47 AM

Ya know what. Im pretty damned conservative and 5.6 billion is still a lot of money. This student loan issue is not a political divide in the sense that it favors liberals and Im drawing the line here with some of the hard right. I have a 22 year old who has a student loan at 6%, and there is no reason on this earth that loan rate needs to go up when corporations, banks and homeowners are borrowing at 1-4% for a myriad of things. Sorry, this is a non winner for conservatives and we need to get out of the mindset that we have to oppose every freaking thing that comes up. Its not paid for. Ya know what? A lot of things are not paid for. But the money was borrowed and is being paid back with interest so what is the problem? These kids are living in a hellish world compared to two decades ago, so lets give them a break, or they’ll all becom occupiers. Dont be idiots. I dont even like Romney but this is a smart decision on his part and the rest of us should just back the f**k off on this. We dont need a “war on students and it’s Obamas deficit, not Boehners.

NobleLogic on April 24, 2012 at 12:48 AM

LegendHasIt on April 24, 2012 at 12:45 AM

You must be young. You argue like a student. But being a social conservative I could never support a Democrat. And just because I’m against raising interest rates doesn’t make me a liberal, it just makes me practical. Save the fights for major issues, this is minor.

Rose on April 24, 2012 at 12:48 AM

And, I’ve been against Romney from the beginning. I wanted Newt. I’ve settled for Romney because Obama is so much worst.

Rose on April 24, 2012 at 12:50 AM

Rose, I pay for everything which is mine. You don’t determine a da*n thing about me. It’s a great position to be in.

You belong to the Obama moochers and looters. It’s a better fit for you. I will always be independent because I fought very hard for this privilege.

Schadenfreude on April 24, 2012 at 12:50 AM

Rose on April 24, 2012 at 12:48 AM

No, it merely makes you selfish.

and a fool.

LegendHasIt on April 24, 2012 at 12:51 AM

NobleLogic on April 24, 2012 at 12:48 AM

At least there are a couple of other people looking at this situation more maturely. Thank you.

Rose on April 24, 2012 at 12:53 AM

“If you stand for nothing, you’ll fall for anything”.

2012 repeats 2008, incredibly.

Schadenfreude on April 24, 2012 at 12:54 AM

Schadenfreude on April 24, 2012 at 12:50 AM

And my husband and I have also paid for all we have. You don’t have to be a “moocher” to support lower interest rates. But you, as a person, are extremely unpleasant.

Rose on April 24, 2012 at 12:57 AM

As expected, Romney can’t manage to stay out of RINO territory for even a couple of weeks. Goodbye GOP. It’s the budget stupid.

Over50 on April 24, 2012 at 12:58 AM

Rose on April 24, 2012 at 12:57 AM

I already told you that my nom doesn’t care about anything said on the net, positive or negative.

Keep compromising. It’s going to be a long summer.

Good night Rose.

Schadenfreude on April 24, 2012 at 1:02 AM

… You don’t have to be a “moocher” to support lower interest rates….
Rose on April 24, 2012 at 12:57 AM

Let me take off my snarker hat for just a moment……

That would be true…

IF THE TAXPAYERS weren’t ultimately responsible for defaults.

If the government hadn’t usurped the private sector in this respect, I’d be on your side.

But when you make the taxpayer the resource of ultimate resort, you are indeed a moocher… If not a looter.

LegendHasIt on April 24, 2012 at 1:03 AM

Schadenfreude on April 24, 2012 at 1:02 AM

If you don’t care about anything said on the net, why do you react to what’s said in such a venomous manner? You can make your point without being so vile. Good night.

Rose on April 24, 2012 at 1:04 AM

Rose on April 24, 2012 at 1:04 AM

You misunderstood. I don’t care what is said about/against my nom. I care deeply, deeper than I could ever describe, about the state of the land. It determines the state of the world too.

To your latter point, I have to live up, or down, to my nom. Nite Rose.

Schadenfreude on April 24, 2012 at 1:07 AM

LegendHasIt on April 24, 2012 at 1:03 AM

I’m sure the students taking out the loans would rather not deal with the government. I sure wouldn’t want to. I guess you want everyone to drop out, even those who are close to graduating. Fight this issue another way, this isn’t a good battle to take on when these students have no place left to go. And I certainly agree that getting the government out of higher education would be a big positive, but it’s going to take more than this one issue. Give students another choice. Even state colleges cost money, and not everyone has the resources to pay. Tech colleges are even more expensive. So getting rid of worthless degrees would be great, but any training is going to cost money.

Rose on April 24, 2012 at 1:12 AM

….Give students another choice. …..
Rose on April 24, 2012 at 1:12 AM

They already have another choice.

Go to school PART TIME. (Or to hell with going to college at all.)

I have 5 degrees. All earned mostly part-time. All while I ran my own businesses (and occasionally working for others).

And just a little hint: I learned a hell of a lot more useful stuff WORKING than I did from 90% of the ‘perfessers’.

LegendHasIt on April 24, 2012 at 1:23 AM

My parents paid for my college. But not everyone has that advantage. And here in California it costs so much to even rent an apartment with friends that it is hard for young people to make enough for living expenses and still pay for college. Community college helps, but the state colleges still require more income. Tech schools would be a good choice, but some cost 20,000 a year. It’s easy to say do it my way, but not so easy to do so. Even the most practical choices require income that just isn’t there unless you have access to a loan.

Rose on April 24, 2012 at 1:28 AM

. And here in California it costs so much to even rent an apartment with friends that it is hard for young people to make enough for living expenses and still pay for college

You do know that there are other places that people can go to school? Even GOOD schools?

And just a little clue for you:

Easily available college loans and grants are the primary reason that ‘non-ivy-league’ schools are so expensive to attend.

Take the the loans and grants out of the equation, and education once again will become priced somewhat reasonably.

LegendHasIt on April 24, 2012 at 1:38 AM

I agree. When I went to a private Christian college in the 70′s it cost $4000 a year. My parents wrote a check each semester. My daughter is now attending the same school. She has a $15,000 scholarship (presidential scholar) and with that and other resources was still 4000 a year short. But it was either take out the loan for the difference or go to a state college where she would be spoon fed socialism. She chose the loans. But the dramatic difference in cost over the last 3 and half decades is astounding.

You said you have five degrees. If you thought college was so frivolous why do you have them?

We need solutions but students today shouldn’t have to put their education on hold. Jobs are hard enough to find without some kind of degree.

Rose on April 24, 2012 at 1:49 AM

You said you have five degrees. If you thought college was so frivolous why do you have them?

My engineering degree and my MBA were somewhat worthwhile… I actually learned a few things, that I likely wouldn’t have learned in the private sector, in the pursuit of those pieces of paper.

But mostly to keep my father from nagging me.

Were I as worldly and emotionally independent as I am now, I’d have apprenticed as a plumber or a mechanic when I finished high school.

LegendHasIt on April 24, 2012 at 2:02 AM

I think trades are a very good choice. Can those skill be acquired without any kind of costly training? My dad did not attend college, he was in the SeeBees in WWII. There wasn’t anything he couldn’t do. He made a good living as an electrician.

Rose on April 24, 2012 at 2:08 AM

Continued:

The only reason that I consider my MBA worth a dang is that I lucked into a great economics teacher, and my other favorite professor hired me out of his class (due to what I knew from starting and running my own businesses) to help him with a project to turn a esoteric product from a National Lab into a thriving, practical, commercial business.

LegendHasIt on April 24, 2012 at 2:11 AM

You can tell by the way he’s speaking and his mannerisms in the video that he doesn’t believe in what he’s saying. We can do better than this as the nominee, folks.

The Nerve on April 24, 2012 at 2:13 AM

I think trades are a very good choice. Can those skill be acquired without any kind of costly training?

Yep. Go to the right job market and they not only don’t cost, they pay. I had a plumber in my little town ..oh, 8 years ago… offer me $75.00 an hour, for as many hours as I wanted to work a week, as his ‘apprentice’… I helped him with a medium sized project in my own house. He, not knowing I had already essentially retired and ‘gone Galt’ decided that I would be more reliable and capable than the steady stream of ‘apprentices’ that he had to deal with…

And every time I run into him nowadays, he still asks me if I’d please go to work for him, at least part time, for even more money per hour. (now that I have designed and installed my own plumbing systems out at the ‘gulch’.

(Which just reinforces my idea that even a GOOD tradesman makes a heckuva lot more than the job is worth.)

LegendHasIt on April 24, 2012 at 2:22 AM

If we get rid of the government guarantee, I won’t care what interest rate banks charge.

Ronnie on April 24, 2012 at 2:28 AM

I have an idea – let’s just re-elect Obama. Since Romney is so horrible and everything.

All the True Conserservatives (TM) nitpicked all the credible conservatives and drove them out of the race until we were left with an unelectable idiot in a sweater vest and a cranky leftover from the 90s as the only alternatives to Romney, then they act outraged because Romney wins the nomination. Now they’re acting outraged because Romney is being Romney.

Hey, maybe we can nominate a True Conservative (TM) in 2016 and then proceed to find fault anywhere we can find it until we elect Joe Biden to replace Obama, who will be coming off his second term.

It’s time to get serious. I never liked Romney, but getting rid of Obama is all important…because we will not have a country left if we don’t. I’m voting for Mitt, and I won’t even have to hold my nose to do it – because I’ll crawl over broken glass and swim through a pool of rubbing alcohol filled with double-edged razor blades to vote against Obama.

DRayRaven on April 24, 2012 at 5:03 AM

I’m voting for Mitt, and I won’t even have to hold my nose to do it – because I’ll crawl over broken glass and swim through a pool of rubbing alcohol filled with double-edged razor blades to vote against Obama.

DRayRaven on April 24, 2012 at 5:03 AM

the elites have you where they want you.

renalin on April 24, 2012 at 5:18 AM

obama lite or obama clone?

nathor on April 24, 2012 at 5:43 AM

I’m voting for Mitt, and I won’t even have to hold my nose to do it – because I’ll crawl over broken glass and swim through a pool of rubbing alcohol filled with double-edged razor blades to vote against Obama.

DRayRaven on April 24, 2012 at 5:03 AM

the elites have you where they want you.

renalin on April 24, 2012 at 5:18 AM

it is true, it seems that in practice we dont have a decision to make in the general. whatever the result, the policies will be the same.

nathor on April 24, 2012 at 5:45 AM

O/T: Any natural remedies for a head cold and sore throat? I am taking prescription medications and don’t want to be either a zombie or bedridden.

I know two: Oregano tea, and a tablespoon of honey with lemon.

Any other ideas?

ProudPalinFan on April 24, 2012 at 6:29 AM

My take: Remember when we had a short stage where we wondered if Obama was doing all the stuff he’s done on purpose or intentionally? I am there already!

ProudPalinFan on April 24, 2012 at 6:31 AM

Buy Danish I owe the students nothing. Obama owes them an economic environment in which to find jobs. We don’t owe them a penny beyond that. All other is socialist clap-trap. Every constituency wants the handout, from the left to the right. Like I said to Rose, the land deserves fully to go under. It’s self infliced by the whores from both sides, who are the voters. We blame the politicians but the harlots are US. This thread has proven it again, beyond a shred of a doubt.

As to your argument on “oh, but Mitt needs to get the votes”. See Reagan. He didn’t flinch. He stood for something and people from the left to the right voted for him, and against Carter. You are all pathetic and this season has exposed you like it did Obama in the last 3 1/2 years. I’m sick and schadenfreudig. May the destruction occur. The sooner, the better. No better is deserved.

Schadenfreude on April 23, 2012 at 11:24 PM

This is an unhinged response. We’re talking about raising interest rates. That’s it. No one (other than O with his Silver Spoon comment) is suggesting that all students should get “freeeeee” loans (or default on their loans with impunity). You make this sound as if maintaining these interest rates are the death of our democracy. There are so many more wasteful and destructive examples of government meddling than this. The loan (and free taxpayer funded tuition) system needs to be reformed forcing accountability by the universities themselves, but again, this is not the fault of students who are unable to find jobs. This has to be approached the way we need to approach tax reform – not just nibble away at the edges but fix the entire system and start from scratch. The only way we do that is by getting the Marxist out of the White House.

As for Reagan, please, all politicians, Reagan included, have to make choices which may compromise a principle. Reagan brought us amnesty for chrissakes. He was human like everyone else, far greater than most but still not a God. And nothing gets reformed from the campaign trail – it happens in office. It’s irrational to recommend Romney fall on his sword on this issue and lose the war to O in the process.

Buy Danish on April 24, 2012 at 7:29 AM

Lowering interest rates is not a bailout, it is lowering interest rates. Similar to an adjustable interest rate. No wonder Republicans are seen as having no heart, they can’t even be flexible on something as sensible as this.

Rose on April 23, 2012 at 9:00 PM

Jesus, you really have no idea about student loans work, do you?

These are not revolving lines (credit cards would be example of those) where the entity loans borrower up to the credit line new month and the borrower repays. These are installment loans. The installment loans were made at a specific interest rate or specific floating interest rate ( where the rate is determined by MAX((floor + float),ceiling) ) This means there is a contract and cash-flow which is an asset on entity’s book. One cannot legally make an entity drop the rate – it simply says “No”. This means that the government would need to BUY the loan and interest from the entity. Maybe the entity says “Pay it now and i offer early pay discount” but the odds are it won’t. Student loans can also be consolidated only so many times (twice if i recall) which means that there are only so many times a student loan can be refinanced. In either way, in order for the government to “lower” the rates on student loans it would need to buy off the high rate loans and eat the difference.

EvilCapitalist on April 24, 2012 at 7:34 AM

This crap always happens when moderates fake their conservatism in the primaries…

SSDD

insidiator on April 24, 2012 at 7:37 AM

Calling people idiots doesn’t win arguments. But I don’t expect better from most of you.

We are talking about loans that have already been made. People are trying to pay them back. Some of these people need a little help. This isn’t welfare where nothing is ever given back, these are loans.

Rose on April 23, 2012 at 9:14 PM

Let me fix it for you:

“Calling people idiots doesn’t win arguments. But I don’t expect better from most of you.

We are talking about mortgages that have already been made. People are trying to pay them back and stay in their houses. Some of these people need a little help. This isn’t welfare where nothing is ever given back, these are mortgages on people’s houses.”

EvilCapitalist on April 24, 2012 at 7:38 AM

the elites have you where they want you.

renalin on April 24, 2012 at 5:18 AM

Yeah, because Romney is clearly a left-wing ideologue and a socialist just like Obama.

/facepalm

BTW – there must be millions of elites who showed up to vote and give Romney the nomination. But I guess if there are that many of them, they can’t really be “elites,” can they?

Face it, conservatives formed a circular firing squad and took out all the credible not-Romneys in the name of ideological purity…so now you’re stuck with him. And if you really want to maintain that stance, you’re gonna get the worst of all worlds, which is another four years of Obama. Maybe you’re ready to live with that, but don’t impose it on the rest of us.

DRayRaven on April 24, 2012 at 7:40 AM

How long until the election? At this rate are the Romney supporters going to be able to point to issues where the difference between Romney & Obama is critical enough to forget all the areas Romney is a disappointment in?

By the time we vote we will have compromised ourselves so much that any pretense of being a small govt, social as well as fiscal conservative will be history. Isn’t that why people were unhappy with McCain – that the GOP had made us compromise and we still lost? But no matter – maybe Romney will have shifted to the center so much he’ll win and then have to decide who he disappoints the most – the moderate voters he sucked up to in order to win or the base he took for granted.

katiejane on April 24, 2012 at 7:44 AM

If Romney actually wants to win, he had better start distinguishing himself from obama.

Pork-Chop on April 24, 2012 at 7:46 AM

Monkeytoe on April 23, 2012 at 5:24 PM

Not sure you understand how Obama changed the student loan infrastructure.

besser tot als rot on April 23, 2012 at 5:31 PM

Explain to me then. Because I’m pretty confident I am correct and the U.S. still is not directly lending the money.

Monkeytoe on April 24, 2012 at 7:52 AM

In either way, in order for the government to “lower” the rates on student loans it would need to buy off the high rate loans and eat the difference.

EvilCapitalist on April 24, 2012 at 7:34 AM

Are you certain about this – I assumed that there is something in the Stafford loan contract (i.e., the guaranty by the Gov’t) the lending institution signs with the gov’t allowing the gov’t to set the interest rates.

Monkeytoe on April 24, 2012 at 7:54 AM

If Romney actually wants to win, he had better start distinguishing himself from obama.

Pork-Chop on April 24, 2012 at 7:46 AM

Not only that, but he’ll have to come up with better ideas. It’s not enough just to be different. If we have one person saying “two plus two is a hundred bazillion” and another saying “two plus two is five”, one person is a lot closer but they’re still both wrong.

MelonCollie on April 24, 2012 at 7:57 AM

It’s in everybody’s interest for the govt to wrap up the student loan program asap. Keeping interest rates low gets the govt out of the business faster. Make them zero interest if conditions are met for repayment. Close all past and present student loans with the govt asap.

Harbingeing on April 24, 2012 at 12:06 AM

Incorrect. The lower the interest rates the more desirable are the loans for the borrowers. This means that the lower interest rates the longer the program would exist. Want to kill off the program? Make the interest rates LIBOR + 15%, with the collections being done via IRS “with holdings”.

EvilCapitalist on April 24, 2012 at 7:59 AM

EvilCapitalist on April 24, 2012 at 7:59 AM

Don’t even do that. Just have the gov’t stop guarantying any loans. then the rates will be set at the market rate and lenders will be looking at risk factors like – what is the student’s major, what school are they going to, etc. the lenders would be less willing to lend to high-risk students and huge amounts, so schools will have to lower their tuition charges.

So, just get gov’t out all together. Don’t have the gov’t set the rate, or anything else.

Monkeytoe on April 24, 2012 at 8:03 AM

Are you certain about this – I assumed that there is something in the Stafford loan contract (i.e., the guaranty by the Gov’t) the lending institution signs with the gov’t allowing the gov’t to set the interest rates.

Monkeytoe on April 24, 2012 at 7:54 AM

These are installment loans. Government can set the rate at funding.

The moment the loan is funded, the contract is executed. A contract cannot be unilaterally changed without a default being triggered. The default in all government guaranteed loans is the equivalent of a PUT option that allows the lender to sell the loan to the government, which means the government rather than the borrower makes the lender whole.

EvilCapitalist on April 24, 2012 at 8:04 AM

So, just get gov’t out all together. Don’t have the gov’t set the rate, or anything else.

Monkeytoe on April 24, 2012 at 8:03 AM

America does not have a problem with not enough kids going to college. We have a problem with way to many kids going to college, but not enough kids going into particular majors.

So, policy-wise, there is absolutely no need for the gov’t to be involved in helping kids go to college.

Monkeytoe on April 24, 2012 at 8:04 AM

The moment the loan is funded, the contract is executed. A contract cannot be unilaterally changed without a default being triggered. The default in all government guaranteed loans is the equivalent of a PUT option that allows the lender to sell the loan to the government, which means the government rather than the borrower makes the lender whole.

EvilCapitalist on April 24, 2012 at 8:04 AM

OK, that makes sense. I’m with you now.

Monkeytoe on April 24, 2012 at 8:05 AM

Monkeytoe on April 24, 2012 at 8:03 AM

I was addressing how to cut off the gravy train without telling having to use words “cut off the gravy train”

EvilCapitalist on April 24, 2012 at 8:05 AM

It’s the ideology, stupid.

kingsjester on April 24, 2012 at 8:06 AM

Of all the issues facing America, the damage caused by subsidized student loans ranks up there with the unwashed masses suffering from tennis elbow.

The optics of opposing student loans are terrible, the benefits of doing so negligible. It would be stupid of Romney NOT to support low student loan rates.

Conservatives need to learn the lesson of what happened when it stupidly opposed the payroll tax cuts: In return for horrible poltical optics, the GOP actually skipped the opportunity to be for lower taxes AND to defund Social Security, which when you think about it is what its principled position should have been all along.

Indeed, that should have been the official Republican position back then: Enthusiastically vote for the payroll cuts, AND run ads congratulating Obama on “his initiative to defund the disfunctional Social Security system.”

CoolCzech on April 24, 2012 at 8:20 AM

CoolCzech on April 24, 2012 at 8:20 AM

I do agree that politically, it is probably wise for Romney to be for this. It’s not that much $ in the big picture and the media would spend weeks talking about how Romney hates education.

The problem for Romney is so many of us don’t trust him to begin with, that all of these moves to the “center” so immediately after locking up the primary are disturbing. If it was someone we trusted, it would be easier to swallow. But, we are afraid that this is his real persona, and that it will only get worse from here.

Monkeytoe on April 24, 2012 at 8:24 AM

Face it, conservatives formed a circular firing squad and took out all the credible not-Romneys in the name of ideological purity…so now you’re stuck with him. And if you really want to maintain that stance, you’re gonna get the worst of all worlds, which is another four years of Obama. Maybe you’re ready to live with that, but don’t impose it on the rest of us.

DRayRaven on April 24, 2012 at 7:40 AM

You keep saying that, that the conservatives took out all the other candidates, but I think Romney, his PAC’s, and his rabid supporters probably had a lot to do with it.

The other thing I want to say is that everyone is so impressed with the Romney campaign’s comebacks lately, on working/non working mothers, dogs, etc. Has anyone noticed that on these nothing issues they are pretty snappy with the comebacks, but on policy issues he tends to lurch to the left? This, minimum wage, etc.? His comebacks are not so snappy, nor so conservative.

Night Owl on April 24, 2012 at 8:27 AM

We were told social issues don’t matter, just fiscal conservatism.

Now we’re told that Romney can’t support fiscal conservatism all the time. You have to pick your battles.

By the time the election rolls around, there’s no telling how far people will go to excuse the progressive with the R after his name.

Obamney will be Obamney. Anyone who is surprised is an idiot.

There Goes The Neighborhood on April 23, 2012 at 11:49 PM

Romney has taken a weapon that Obama meant to use against the GOP and Romney out of the political arena. Obama wanted to use this student loan interest rate issue to secure the votes of the younger portion of the electorate, not just for the Presidential election, but for the Democrats running to preserve their Senate seats as well. It was an issue that the Democrats wished to use to alienate younger voters from the GOP by forcing the GOP to raise those rates ahead of the election.

By embracing the extension of those rates, Romney has rendered it a non-issue. Now we’re back to forcing Obama to discuss his own miserable record, both in terms of domestic policy and foreign policy, when the two candidates meet in the debates.

thatsafactjack on April 23, 2012 at 6:26 PM

Romney’s so brilliant! By the time he’s done, Obama won’t have a wedge issue left! Because Romney will have the same position on everything!!!

There Goes The Neighborhood on April 23, 2012 at 11:59 PM

It amazes me that Mitt’s supporters are now down to saying that their candidate needs to be depriving the opposition of issues to use against him by … capitulating to the opposition. You know, because this battle is the wrong one to pick. The current battle is ALWAYS the wrong one to pick.

Which just tells me what I already know: Romney and the GOP won’t do a damn thing about runaway government spending, any more than Obama and the Democrats will. We’re stuck with a choice between Tweedledum and Tweedledee, and we’re expected to be horrified at the thought of inadvertently helping Tweedledum by failing to cast a vote for Tweedledee. I’m sick of this game. We’ve been playing this game for a couple of decades and accomplished nothing. Why even vote against the Democrat if we’re going to get Democratic policies anyway?

Aitch748 on April 24, 2012 at 8:31 AM

Allahpundit has become the Debbie Downer of the Republican Party. His glass is ALWAYS half empty. He takes the worst of the far left biased MSM polling and uses that as his premise that we are going to get slaughtered in November.

Someone please explain to me how attacking our presumptive nominee at this point does anything but help Obama?

mitchellvii on April 24, 2012 at 8:35 AM

Ya know what. Im pretty damned conservative and 5.6 billion is still a lot of money. This student loan issue is not a political divide in the sense that it favors liberals and Im drawing the line here with some of the hard right. I have a 22 year old who has a student loan at 6%, and there is no reason on this earth that loan rate needs to go up when corporations, banks and homeowners are borrowing at 1-4% for a myriad of things. Sorry, this is a non winner for conservatives and we need to get out of the mindset that we have to oppose every freaking thing that comes up. Its not paid for. Ya know what? A lot of things are not paid for. But the money was borrowed and is being paid back with interest so what is the problem? These kids are living in a hellish world compared to two decades ago, so lets give them a break, or they’ll all becom occupiers. Dont be idiots. I dont even like Romney but this is a smart decision on his part and the rest of us should just back the f**k off on this. We dont need a “war on students and it’s Obamas deficit, not Boehners.

NobleLogic on April 24, 2012 at 12:48 AM

Any possible spending cut can be painted as a “war” on somebody. Every possible proposal for stopping the government from paying for or subsidizing something can be painted as a “war” on somebody. If the issue of things like student loans are suddenly political landmines, then runaway government spending will continue until the country is bankrupt, and voting for this guy or that guy won’t stop it from happening.

Aitch748 on April 24, 2012 at 8:39 AM

Romney is a milquetoast disaster…the gop is officially a joke…but i and america are not laughing. and by the way, rubio will NOT save mitt or the gop.

Pragmatic on April 24, 2012 at 8:48 AM

Exit question one: Romney will definitely man up and have that “serious conversation” with America about entitlement reform when the time comes, right?

You’re watch is broken. That time has come and gone. We aren’t going to ever have that “serious conversation”, we’ve chosen to descend into chaos.

DFCtomm on April 24, 2012 at 8:53 AM

romney is truly obama w/o a tan:

dogs polygamy religion government-run healthcare

what’s the difference? oh, i know…romney’s not COOL! what an embarrassing disaster this is….gary johnson is looking better and better(since the mittbots have ruled that a brokered convention is verbotten…may as well go 3rd party).

Pragmatic on April 24, 2012 at 8:53 AM

Politics is a game of chess, you sometimes have to give up your pawns in order to put your opponent in a Checkmate.

BradTank on April 24, 2012 at 12:03 AM

Not a highly ranked chess player, are you? Only amateurs that play with other amateurs give up pawns unless sacking the pawns forces a win.

EvilCapitalist on April 24, 2012 at 9:12 AM

Ya know what. Im pretty damned conservative and 5.6 billion is still a lot of money. This student loan issue is not a political divide in the sense that it favors liberals and Im drawing the line here with some of the hard right. I have a 22 year old who has a student loan at 6%, and there is no reason on this earth that loan rate needs to go up when corporations, banks and homeowners are borrowing at 1-4% for a myriad of things. [skip]

NobleLogic on April 24, 2012 at 12:48 AM

That’s easy. Those banks and corporations are lower risk than you.

Is he a protege astrophysicist with a consulting contract worth $1MM USD at 16 that will be accessible at the age of 30? No? Does he have a revenue of say, 10MM a month with the current expenses of 9,999,999? No? Did he get Chase’ life of balance 0% credit card based on his credit profile? If not then loaning money to him at 6% is a fantastic rate – my CCs start at 8%

EvilCapitalist on April 24, 2012 at 9:20 AM

I’m sure the students taking out the loans would rather not deal with the government.
[skip]

Rose on April 24, 2012 at 1:12 AM

Your premise is wrong.

EvilCapitalist on April 24, 2012 at 9:23 AM

Why even vote against the Democrat if we’re going to get Democratic policies anyway?

Aitch748 on April 24, 2012 at 8:31 AM

But, but, “our” guy will be the one shafting us. /s I guess hope springs eternal that there may be one issue, one instance where Romney as POTUS produces better results than Obama.

katiejane on April 24, 2012 at 9:54 AM

Why even vote against the Democrat if we’re going to get Democratic policies anyway?

Aitch748 on April 24, 2012 at 8:31 AM

Big D and the banks wanted the entire trillion in debt “forgiven”.
Left is grumbling about this crappy little “sellout”.

Bankers wanted the trillion forgiven because the kids can’t afford credit (debt to them).

So, rather than another trillion in bailouts,
we drop a planned 3.4% increase in the rate?
Win.

This was a calculated move to get Romney to say no,
something to push the “out of touch” shtick.
Fail.

PaleoRider on April 24, 2012 at 10:56 AM

I’m sure the students taking out the loans would rather not deal with the government.
[skip]

Rose on April 24, 2012 at 1:12 AM

Your premise is wrong.

EvilCapitalist on April 24, 2012 at 9:23 AM

Unfortunately the students don’t really have a choice anymore. The government has taken over most student loans.

Dasher on April 24, 2012 at 12:22 PM

If Romney actually wants to win, he had better start distinguishing himself from obama.

There are plenty of ways to distinguish from Obama. The easy one is that Romney is not hte race baiting class war mongering activist dictator that Obama clearly is. Obama is a racist. On economic issues, Obamas “record” is that he has in 36 months indebted the country more than Bush did in 8 years, and has the highest average unemployment rate since the great depression and the highest gas prices and inflation. Romney has plenty to run on, and it would be absolutely stupid to “oppose” keeping student loan rates where they are. Absoltuely brain dead as what Obama needs is exactly for republicans to oppose that. Obama and the media effectively create a “WAR ON _______” every time a certain group of people are singled out. We have to recognize that for one, and since these students and their parents are probably a cross section of society it is a non partisan issue so lets not make it one just because we hare everything Obama proposes. If it has to be paid for, let Obama figure it out, and the way you do that is by putting the onus back on him. You hard right freaks need to bend a little but more importantly, you need to get a clue that without flexibility for the next 6 months a a few things Obama and the Media will destroy any chance by successfully dividing and conquering. This loan rate thing is a big and easy loser if you oppose it. We get the economic principal of why you would, but reality says if you do, you lose the youth vote in a big way because its to easy to exploit in this environment. Wake up guys.

NobleLogic on April 24, 2012 at 1:11 PM

Unfortunately the students don’t really have a choice anymore. The government has taken over most student loans.

Dasher on April 24, 2012 at 12:22 PM

Absolutely no one forces anyone to use government backed student loans. A student ( or students family ) can go into any bank and get personal loans in the same amounts underwritten based on real interest rates and real risk.

Students *love* government because without the government’s kind “help” the students and students’ parents would have to confront the peculiar notion that the world does not think the little darlings are special.

EvilCapitalist on April 24, 2012 at 1:52 PM

Got a little advice for both Mitt and Barack. You want to do something about student loans? Create a business friendly environment of prosperity in the United States. Nothing will clear those loans faster than a strong American economy where people can get jobs and PAY OFF THOSE F**KING LOANS

PorchDawg on April 24, 2012 at 2:31 PM

Unfortunately the students don’t really have a choice anymore. The government has taken over most student loans.

Dasher on April 24, 2012 at 12:22 PM

Absolutely no one forces anyone to use government backed student loans. A student ( or students family ) can go into any bank and get personal loans in the same amounts underwritten based on real interest rates and real risk.

Students *love* government because without the government’s kind “help” the students and students’ parents would have to confront the peculiar notion that the world does not think the little darlings are special.

My daughter had 2 student loans from a local bank, the bank sold them to the government.

Dasher on April 24, 2012 at 2:33 PM

A student ( or students family ) can go into any bank and get personal loans in the same amounts underwritten based on real interest rates and real risk.

Students *love* government because without the government’s kind “help” the students and students’ parents would have to confront the peculiar notion that the world does not think the little darlings are special.

EvilCapitalist on April 24, 2012 at 1:52 PM

Please stop with the “little darlings” nonsense. Why are you blaming the students? They aren’t responsible for the depression/recession, nor is it their fault tuition rates are through the roof.

Anyhoo, here’s more bad news in the student loan department, as loans switch from the Dept of Ed to not-for-profits. What a surprise – it’s a bureaucratic nightmare, students are getting delinquency notices and so on….

Buy Danish on April 24, 2012 at 2:54 PM

Please stop with the “little darlings” nonsense. Why are you blaming the students? They aren’t responsible for the depression/recession, nor is it their fault tuition rates are through the roof.

Buy Danish on April 24, 2012 at 2:54 PM

Uh, yeah, it is. Well, them and the bad advice or guidance their parents gave them. The average unemployment rate among college graduates with technical degrees is about 4% which is, statistically, full employment. Get a degree that is in demand…and it isn’t difficult to know which these are…and you will have no trouble finding a job. Find a job, you pay off that loan. The problem is with those who are committed to ‘women’s studies’ or ‘comparative religions’ and are shocked to find themselves working at the photomat with loans out the a$$. ‘Women’s studies’ is a hobby, not a vocation. That is NOT the government’s fault or the fault of the banking system. That’s the fault of the ‘little darlings’ and the really bad guidance they received from their parents.

PorchDawg on April 24, 2012 at 3:05 PM

Dear Hot Air,

Please stop the petty nit-picking. Otherwise, if you want 4 more years of Obama, all because Romney supports a bill that Bush and a bi-partisan congress originally signed, then be my guest.

Sincerely,

Concerned Citizen

scotash on April 24, 2012 at 4:05 PM

PorchDawg on April 24, 2012 at 3:05 PM

Believe me, I am not a proponent of useless (and poisonous) fields like “women’s studies”.

Buy Danish on April 24, 2012 at 4:21 PM

My daughter had 2 student loans from a local bank, the bank sold them to the government.

Dasher on April 24, 2012 at 2:33 PM

Not correct – if your daughter got two loans underwritten by the bank , there’s absolutely no way the bank would have sold them – they would have been too profitable for the bank to hold ( the rates would have been higher than the unsecured revolving lines known common to credit cards at the time of funding ).

What your daughter had were the two loans that met government parameters which allowed a bank NOT to underwrite the loans, fund them, attach a PUT option on the government to them and sell them to a -servicing company- such as AES, which for .25% to 1.00% serviced the loans.

EvilCapitalist on April 24, 2012 at 4:27 PM

Obama. Romney. Politically, they are the same.

they lie on April 24, 2012 at 4:44 PM

Please stop with the “little darlings” nonsense. Why are you blaming the students? They aren’t responsible for the depression/recession, nor is it their fault tuition rates are through the roof.

I am blaming the students and parents because that’s where the blame it is.

Absolutely no one forced any of the students to take $40k a year loan ( i.e $160k for 4 year program typically needed to graduate ). They did it so they could study literature ( aka “I just want to spend 4 years kind of reading books” ), psychology (aka “I dont really want to, but even this school is making me to declare a major” ) or other fluff etc. Since banks did not have to underwrite the loans getting those loans required only singing on the dotted line.

As long as loans are readily available and abundant, schools will continue to increase the costs. Want to see college tuition go up 25-30% next year? Start offering loans at 0.01% to everyone with a pulse. It is basic economics.

EvilCapitalist on April 24, 2012 at 4:44 PM

EvilCapitalist on April 24, 2012 at 4:44 PM

Why are you assuming they took out $40,000 a year loans? State colleges with in-state tuition don’t cost anywhere near that much.

Buy Danish on April 24, 2012 at 5:29 PM

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