The unserious nature of Washington, Exhibit A: The student loan debate

posted at 9:36 pm on April 27, 2012 by Dustin Siggins

Over the last week, President Obama made a series of speeches at colleges around the country in which he decried the coming rise of student loan interest rates on July 1. Obama, joined by Mitt RomneySenate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY)  and House Republicans, has said he refuses to let rates rise from 3.4% to 6.8%. Following his lead, as Morgen Richmond noted yesterday, Democrats immediately jumped on the chance to raise taxes on upper earners. Republicans, meanwhile, pushed a bill through the House today that takes $5.9 billion from what Speaker Boehner called an “ObamaCare slush fund” to pay for the extension.

Unwittingly, this student loan debate highlights the debacle that is politics in Washington. To wit:

1. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) said the House legislation was part of the “war on women” because it took from a women’s health program. I must say, she’s good at staying on message. Good at solving the nation’s problems, or leading her caucus to do so? Not so much.

2. Pelosi also denounced “robbing from Paula to pay Peter.” This from the same women who wants to tax the wealthy because they are wealthy. And while I actually agree with her that we should get rid of oil subsidies, tax credits, etc., a) I support eliminating all such subsidies and credits, not just for companies I personally or professionally dislike, and b) Pelosi is being intellectually dishonest in pretending many of the oil industry’s “subsidies” are specifically targeted to them. Jazz Shaw nicely pointed this out last year.

3. Much like they did with the payroll tax holiday extension, Republicans let themselves get suckered into a media game. The fact is that federal subsidies to higher education institutions and/or students increase the tuition students pay, and helps increase the size of the college bubble that is likely to come crashing down soon. Republicans would better serve the public in highlighting this fact instead of playing to the voters’ lack of economic knowledge.

4. The Republican National Committee has stepped up to challenge Obama’s travels to various states under the auspices of “official events,” despite the obvious campaign style and intention of the tour. (For the record, I am aware that President Bush did the same thing. That was just as wrong.) However, the fact that it took ABC News’ Jake Tapper to really bring this issue to the public’s attention says a lot about the willingness of Congress to do its duty and challenge the President on this and other issues of the public trust and corruption, since the RNC’s challenge has no actual legislative power or authority.

5. How many more “temporary” patches to subsidies, tax breaks, pay cuts and like can the federal government afford? The Alternative Minimum Tax, the Bush tax policies, the Doc Fix, the payroll tax holiday, etc. have all been temporarily patched to prevent angering this constituency or that demographic. Once again, elections take priority over effective policy on taxes, spending and other critical issues.

As the two parties head into formal election mode – Romney is about to be the GOP nominee for President, and President Obama just announced his first “official” campaign rally will be May 5 – the voters should note the unserious nature of Washington and give a bipartisan reminder in November that we want real solutions. After all, there are 1.2 million abortions annually in this country. We have the federal government violating the First Amendment with various mandates. Debt is skyrocketing, the economy stinks, Social Security and Medicare are going bankrupt fast, we refuse to solve our immigration problems, major tax hikes are on the horizon and we’re still sacrificing troops for Karzai despite no discernible national interest…and the primary focus of Washington is on student loans.

Of course, the people may not want real solutions. In that case, I’d say it’s time to start packing; America’s decline may soon be steepening.

Dustin Siggins is an associate producer with The Laura Ingraham Show and co-author with William Beach of The Heritage Foundation on a forthcoming book about the national debt. The opinions expressed are his own.

This post was promoted from GreenRoom to HotAir.com.
To see the comments on the original post, look here.


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“…and the primary focus of Washington is on student loans.”

Now why is that…?

… Don’t we have a “Free and Independent Press”?

Seven Percent Solution on April 27, 2012 at 9:41 PM

That’s a good read.

Tim Zank on April 27, 2012 at 9:45 PM

The fact is that federal subsidies to higher education institutions and/or students increase the tuition students pay, and helps increase the size of the college bubble that is likely to come crashing down soon. Republicans would better serve the public in highlighting this fact instead of playing to the voters’ lack of economic knowledge.

I made this same point to my Congressman in a tele-townhall the other night.

msmveritas on April 27, 2012 at 9:46 PM

Yes, a good read. And I’m packing.

Metanis on April 27, 2012 at 9:49 PM

I’m really sick of the inept Republican Party. Here’s the Democrat controlled Senate, that hasn’t passed a budget in over 1050 days, and they keep on letting them slide.

If I were Boehner, I would do what he did today and say that, “If the Senate disagrees and has a better proposal, let them put it in their budget, so we can move on to a conference committee and resolve our differences, and get this legislation passed. We don’t want loan rates to go up. The Democrats purposely set them to go up at this time, let them deal with it, in the framework of a budget so we can do this thing right.

I would say this day in and day out and push the fact that the reason we have continuing resolutions and debt ceiling increases, etc. are because the Democrats refuse to budget and live within that budget.

bflat879 on April 27, 2012 at 9:53 PM

. Much like they did with the payroll tax holiday extension, Republicans let themselves get suckered into a media game. The fact is that federal subsidies to higher education institutions and/or students increase the tuition students pay, and helps increase the size of the college bubble that is likely to come crashing down soon. Republicans would better serve the public in highlighting this fact instead of playing to the voters’ lack of economic knowledge

…and we are replaying the mortgage fiasco situation in slow motion… again.

KOOLAID2 on April 27, 2012 at 9:56 PM

I would say this day in and day out and push the fact that the reason we have continuing resolutions and debt ceiling increases, etc. are because the Democrats refuse to budget and live within that budget.

bflat879 on April 27, 2012 at 9:53 PM

If I were Boehner I would turn the air blue with a stream of profanities to illustrate just how frustrating it is to try and work with these conniving communists. The only crying would be from tears of joy from my party members who would realize they finally had a leader with a spine and full package.

arnold ziffel on April 27, 2012 at 10:01 PM

KOOLAID2 on April 27, 2012 at 9:56 PM

Me starting to think republicans ain’t too quick on the uptake. How many years they been getting bent over or rolling over?

arnold ziffel on April 27, 2012 at 10:04 PM

1. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) said the House legislation was part of the “war on women” because it took from a women’s health program. I must say, she’s good at staying on message. Good at solving the nation’s problems, or leading her caucus to do so? Not so much.
==============================

Just dug this up,and remember Boehner said that Team O,put those
interest rates in (a few years ago)to rise in July!!!!

Leader Pelosi on GOP Student Loan Bill
***************************************

Published on Apr 27, 2012 by NancyPelosi

Leader Pelosi urging House Republicans to act to prevent student loan interest rates from doubling by ending subsidies to Big Oil rather than furthering their assault on women’s health.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NSAQ6ELzLoI&feature=g-logo

canopfor on April 27, 2012 at 9:31 PM
————————————-

TRANSCRIPT!

Pelosi Floor Speech on Republican Proposal to Target Women’s Health in Order to Protect Big Oil
April 26, 2012
****************

And so, we have a challenge before us, because the clock is ticking on a July deadline.

At that time, left to the budget of the Republicans, the Ryan Republican Tea Party Budget, there would have been a doubling of interest rates from 3.4 percent to 6.8 percent

We’ve been having this debate for a while, on how we could stop that doubling from happening. Republicans told us they were tired of hearing about the interest rate debate. Until now.(More…)
===============================================================

http://www.democraticleader.gov/news/press?id=2586

canopfor on April 27, 2012 at 9:47 PM

canopfor on April 27, 2012 at 10:06 PM

It’s becoming a regular Looney Toons show. Sadly, the Republicans are all too often left looking like Wile E. Coyote.

4Grace on April 27, 2012 at 10:09 PM

Team O Election Strategy…….the Chicago Way!!

Ahem,F*****S!
(sarc)

canopfor on April 27, 2012 at 10:10 PM

Pelosi is lying on the interest rates,that they put in place!

Talk about juicy Red Meat handed to Team Right……….

…..HELLO!!!

canopfor on April 27, 2012 at 10:13 PM

Team O Election Strategy…….the Chicago Way!!

canopfor on April 27, 2012 at 10:10 PM

It’s their election strategy, their domestic strategy, their foreign policy strategy, their public relations strategy…

4Grace on April 27, 2012 at 10:13 PM

BTW,the 22nd US Bank has Failed!!

Just go to the FDIC site!

…….HELLO GOP,Oh Brother Where Art thou!!
(snark)

canopfor on April 27, 2012 at 10:14 PM

It looks like Erika Johnsen’s damage to Hot Air is spilling into other new posters…

… Oh, well.

(crickets)

Get used to them…

Seven Percent Solution on April 27, 2012 at 10:15 PM

It’s becoming a regular Looney Toons show. Sadly, the Republicans are all too often left looking like Wile E. Coyote.

4Grace on April 27, 2012 at 10:09 PM

Or battered wife. “Please don’t beat me, I’m sorry I made you mad.” Or Stockholm syndrome, or freakin pansies. Take your pick. :)

arnold ziffel on April 27, 2012 at 10:15 PM

canopfor on April 27, 2012 at 10:10 PM
—————————————
It’s their election strategy, their domestic strategy, their foreign policy strategy, their public relations strategy…

4Grace on April 27, 2012 at 10:13 PM

4Grace:Amen on that,and at the Alter of Liberalism….ugh!:)

canopfor on April 27, 2012 at 10:18 PM

I’m really sick of the inept Republican Party. Here’s the Democrat controlled Senate, that hasn’t passed a budget in over 1050 days, and they keep on letting them slide.

bflat879 on April 27, 2012 at 9:53 PM

Ain’t it so?

davidk on April 27, 2012 at 10:21 PM

Over the last week, President Obama made a series of speeches at colleges around the country in which he decried the coming rise of student loan interest rates on July 1.
=====================================

From Team Lefty!!

Q: Why is the interest rate on subsidized Stafford loans expected to double?

A: Acting on a Democratic campaign promise in 2006, Democrats in 2007 crafted the law to progressively lower the interest rate from 6.8 percent to the 3.4 percent rate – where it is this school year – and then return to the original 6.8 percent in 2012. Republican President George W. Bush signed the deal into law after it was approved by bipartisan but Democratic-heavy majorities in both chambers. Congress wrote the law this way for one simple reason, says Jason Delisle, director of the federal education budget project at the New America Foundation: cost. It would cost an additional $6 billion annually to keep the interest rate at 3.4 percent.

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.php?az=view_all&address=439×2483078
===============================

Apr 24, 8:11 PM EDT

A guide to student loans
AP Education Writer
*******************

http://customwire.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/US_STUDENT_LOANS_QA?SITE=VANOV&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT&CTIME=2012-04-24-20-11-32

canopfor on April 27, 2012 at 10:29 PM

If I were Boehner I would turn the air blue with a stream of profanities…
arnold ziffel on April 27, 2012 at 10:01 PM

Remember how they used Joe Wilson to pass their Pansy Rules?
That kind of talk is forbidden in our House of Lord It Over Them.

txhsmom on April 27, 2012 at 11:16 PM

If they treated the education industry like the healthcare industry we would see terms more like:

- affordable education with a need for price controls
- greedy universities with overcompensated management
- access to education regardless of pre-existing educational deficiencies

ray on April 27, 2012 at 11:43 PM

So, what happens if Obamacare, and the student loan that were part of that fiasco, are totally repealed?

Seems like the prudent thing to do here would be to delay any issues relating to Obamacare (and it’s peripherals) ought to be held off until the Court decides it’s legality — including either spending or redirecting spending from Obamacare.

drfredc on April 28, 2012 at 2:29 AM

If they treated the education industry like the healthcare industry we would see terms more like:

- affordable education with a need for price controls
- greedy universities with overcompensated management
- access to education regardless of pre-existing educational deficiencies

ray on April 27, 2012 at 11:43 PM

We have that last one. All you need is to claim some ancestor was Native American or some other minority, lie Elisabeth Warren.

God knows she has the per-existing intelligence of a rutabaga.

Random Numbers (Brian Epps) on April 28, 2012 at 2:41 AM

Danged auto-correct! I just got this plug-in and it’s screwing up! Turning the buggy POS off!

lie=like
per-existing=pre-existing

Any other screw-ups are my own.
I kneed a beter speel-cheker reel baad!

Random Numbers (Brian Epps) on April 28, 2012 at 2:46 AM

The hypocrisy is mind-numbing on the student loan scam!!Pelosi, Obama, and the communist Dimocrats took over the loan business and wrote rules that make the loans collectible even in bankruptcy!! Student loan debt cannot be discharged in bankruptcy like most other debt!!Getting a toxic student loan under Obama is like getting an incurable cancer!! Where is the outrage on the stump of the phony Kenyan president about this “unfairness”??

Marco on April 28, 2012 at 5:54 AM

5. How many more “temporary” patches to subsidies, tax breaks, pay cuts and like can the federal government afford? The Alternative Minimum Tax, the Bush tax policies, the Doc Fix, the payroll tax holiday, etc. have all been temporarily patched to prevent angering this constituency or that demographic. Once again, elections take priority over effective policy on taxes, spending and other critical issues.

This is simply a prelude to a complete collapse, in what is starting to become the not-so-distant future.

moo on April 28, 2012 at 6:49 AM