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Obama Gets His Student Loan Campaign Issue

by Keith Koffler on May 8, 2012, 4:35 pm

Senate Republicans killed a bill that would have prevented rates from rising on certain types of federally subsidized student loans.

President Obama has been campaigning for a couple of weeks in support of the legislation, which which failed by a 52-47 Party line vote to get the needed 60 votes in the Senate.

The argument was over how the $6 billion bill would be paid for, with Republicans wanting to take money out of a preventative health fund while Democrats sought to eliminate a tax break for small corporations.

But many Republicans don’t particularly want to extend the subsidy in the first place, feeling it is costly and incentivizes colleges to raise tuition rates.

Mitt Romney says he supports its extension, but Obama is likely to make it a key portion of his plank anyway, charging that Republicans care more about nasty, greedy corporations than poor defenseless students.

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{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

Just2old May 8, 2012 at 4:48 pm

Another distraction issue. Ask recent grads whether they would rather have low student loan rates or a J O B?

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JBH May 8, 2012 at 4:53 pm

One of my sons and I are starting a companys as a “S corp” and as I read the details of the extension, much to my chagrin, they want to pay for the subsidized rates by taxing the type of corporation we are just starting. It’s nice to know we are already a target of the welfare state.

Two of my kids have graduated college already. Both worked to earn scholarships, worked during college and borrowed a little (unsub). Both are paying their loans off. No help from Pops along the way. They had plenty fun and both graduated high in their class. I have little sympathy for the OWS’ers and other irresponsible college graduates that can’t manage their finances. Time to step down from the soapbox.

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WMP May 8, 2012 at 5:23 pm

Here here…..The people who’s vote is going to be affected were already going to vote for Mr. Obama. My kids did the same – we required them to take out the maximum stafford loans for undergraduate degree so they had skin in the game. It was less than $20,000 (certainly less than a new car). They are both paying their student loans. My husband and I did opt for parent plus loans – and we are paying those as well. Our choice – no one twisted our arms. We required they go to in state colleges and if they wanted spending money – they had to get jobsl. Both lived at college but both also had jobs during the school year and summer months! I’m not up to speed on the interest increase – is it new loans taken out after July 1, 2012 or can it be retroactive to loans taken prior to July 1, 2012. One can argue that if they were guaranteed a lower rate before July 1, 2012 – that should be honored, but if we are talking about new money – I see no gray area. By election day – this will not be an issue.

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JBH May 8, 2012 at 5:45 pm

My understanding is it is not retroactive.

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Susan May 8, 2012 at 5:49 pm

This is only for new loans. Existing loans will not be affected. The senile senate is just playing politics with this issue. Reid knew the Republicans would block the bill. Besides, bills for raising revenue shall originate in the House (Art I. Sec 7.), not in the Senate.

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ArnoldLayne May 8, 2012 at 7:52 pm

On the R side, couldn’t they have found a better place to get the funding? Preventative health care? Great campaign slogan. Not $6 billion anywhere else?

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Robin H May 8, 2012 at 8:44 pm

These are loans that are not paid back until after graduation if they get a job. I’m sure they all run out and get a new car when they get their first job, what is so hard about paying back a loan that you agreed to? Maybe if the rates are higher they’ll think twice about their degrees in (insert cause here) Studies.

Look over there, something shiny!

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Beam Me Up May 9, 2012 at 1:09 am

Owebama can only count on voters who don’t know anything about jobs and plan to live in debt for the foreseeable future.

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Mari May 9, 2012 at 8:44 am

I have yet to figure out how a lower-interest rate loan makes college more “affordable” when tuition is increasing at 10% a year, books are out of sight, fees are added on ad nauseum, etc. $60 to $80K MINIMUM for an in-state school, including room and board, before the “aid” adjustments are made is ridiculous. You can’t pay that working a part-time job during school and full-time during the summer. It’s time for these schools to stop building fancy palaces and concentrate on actual education. Case in point: The University of Maryland in College Park demolished the old president’s house because it just wasn’t working out and are replacing it with a mansion with a $7.2 MILLION home. It’s being paid for by private donors, but that money could be used for other, more pressing items, such as lowering tuition or fees.

My daughter starts college in 2013. She will not take out loans, even if it means dropping out for a year, getting a full-time job, living at home, and our entire family scrimping and saving to get her through debt-free.

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