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GOP Blocks Senate Debate On Dem Student Loan Bill

Soulskill posted more than 2 years ago | from the can't-even-agree-to-disagree dept.

Education 834

TheGift73 writes with this quote from an AP report: "Senate Republicans blocked a Democratic bill Tuesday to preserve low interest rates for millions of college students' loans, as the two parties engaged in election-year choreography aimed at showing each is the better protector of families in today's rugged economy. The 52-45 vote to begin debating the legislation fell eight votes short of the 60 needed to proceed and stalled work on an effort both parties expect will ultimately produce a compromise, probably soon. For now, each side is happy to use the stalemate to snipe at the other with campaign-ready talking points while they are gridlocked over how to cover the $6 billion cost."

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Obama knows how to play politics if anything. (5, Insightful)

GoodNewsJimDotCom (2244874) | more than 2 years ago | (#39939051)

It is funny how many bills he tries to bluff through Congress. This and the millionaires tax are something the republicans are going to torpedo, but in the process, they make republicans look like they hate the small guy. Both parties are against the small guy, but public portrayal of Democrats helping the poor is the old school image that could help them in today's economy too.

Re:Obama knows how to play politics if anything. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39939097)

What's even more funny is that Republicans are running ads against Obama for how much total student loan debt there is out there. There actions here would either (a) increase debts, assuming the higher interest rates don't keep people from going to college, or (b) keep people from going to college.

Yep. they are showing themselves to be *sooo* much better.

Re:Obama knows how to play politics if anything. (3, Interesting)

Theophany (2519296) | more than 2 years ago | (#39939305)

It's about smart bets. GOP sees this as something that will win them more votes (a) because there are a lot more non-students in the USA that won't be affected by rising interest rates and (b) because those who will be most affected by the change are either too young or too disillusioned to vote. In politics there is little value in investing in future electoral support as people forget, leaders move on and laws change.

Re:Obama knows how to play politics if anything. (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39939443)

My grad loans are at 8.5%. These interest rate cuts don't help me one bit. But I have to pay for them with my taxes, in addition to paying off my own loans.

So, just to keep score:

I have to pay to subsidize benefits for younger people that I didn't get.
AND
I have to pay to subsidize social security and medicare, neither of which I will ever see, because they are both projected to go broke before I ever collect a cent, and fixing them is a political third rail.

Re:Obama knows how to play politics if anything. (2, Insightful)

zidium (2550286) | more than 2 years ago | (#39939479)

Thus why you should vote Constitutional Party -> Libertarian -> Independent -> Republican -> Abstain in that order for every politician.

Re:Obama knows how to play politics if anything. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39939561)

"My grad loans are at 8.5%. These interest rate cuts don't help me one bit. But I have to pay for them with my taxes, in addition to paying off my own loans."
 
Don't worry, the government has a plan to help you out. They're in a similar situation, they have debt they can't afford. So, very soon now, they will start printing money to pay off debt with inflation, yours included.

Re:Obama knows how to play politics if anything. (3, Insightful)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 2 years ago | (#39939615)

Wah? that is the part of civilized society. your taxes go to pay for things to other people. If you really want to go back to serfdom, there are a lot of countries out there that let you do that.

It really grinds me the number of supposedly educated people that bitch about public funded education. How did you idiots get your education? did you go to private schools? I'm betting not.

Re:Obama knows how to play politics if anything. (2, Informative)

ArcherB (796902) | more than 2 years ago | (#39939435)

What's even more funny is that Republicans are running ads against Obama for how much total student loan debt there is out there. There actions here would either (a) increase debts, assuming the higher interest rates don't keep people from going to college, or (b) keep people from going to college.

Yep. they are showing themselves to be *sooo* much better.

Do you not know that Democrats blocked a Republican bill to lower student loan interest rates just last month? The fact that you hammer Republicans for this either shows blatant bias or extreme ignorance on your part as well as whoever submitted this article.

HERE [mcclatchydc.com] is an article explaining it.

Re:Obama knows how to play politics if anything. (4, Insightful)

jmac_the_man (1612215) | more than 2 years ago | (#39939495)

Also of note: The bill to RAISE these rates was passed in 2007 (to take effect this year.) Who controlled the House and Senate in 2007?

Republicans have been opposed to this since before Obama took office.

Re:Obama knows how to play politics if anything. (5, Insightful)

DJRumpy (1345787) | more than 2 years ago | (#39939511)

Of the two I prefer the dem bill.

From the House passed Republican bill:

Rates on popular student loans would be barred from doubling as scheduled on July 1 under Republican-authored legislation that the House of Representatives passed Friday – but the change would be funded by slashing money from a fund for disease prevention and public health.

From the Democrat bill:

Republicans oppose the Democratic plan to pay for the bill by forcing high-earning stockholders in some privately owned corporations and professional practices to pay additional Social Security and Medicare payroll taxes. Even if it passed the Senate, it would have no chance of emerging from the Republican-controlled House.

What I see here are those who have already reaped the benefits of an education, and who can certainly afford a minimal increase in their taxes assist those trying to better themselves.

Every GOP sponsored bill has been slash and burn to 'spare' the wealthy from shouldering a burden in this recession, when they are the ones most able to afford it. While poor families are trying to figure out how to eat for the week, the rich would have to decide whether to buy the Rolls, or the Mercedes. It's a fair comparison. The wealth gap between the poor and rich has never been more pronounced. The rich do not need coddling. They need to pay their dues. I'm moderately well off and pay far more than any typical millionaire in taxes, but I understand the need. Without a health lower and middle class, the economy sucks. Jobs are not created in a vacuum. You need customers and those customers are supplied by the low and middle class, not the rich.. You also need an educated workforce to compete in a global industry. If only those able to afford an education could actually get one, we will plummet even further in the global market as there are simply not enough 'rich' folk to make the workforce competitive on a global scale let alone a national scale.

Re:Obama knows how to play politics if anything. (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39939665)

That is an unfair argument (and shows GOP bias on your part). The current bill was only being voted on to start the debate, and the Republicans opposed it because "the Democratic plan to pay for the bill by forcing high-earning stockholders in some privately owned corporations and professional practices to pay additional Social Security and Medicare payroll taxes."

So the GOP blocked the bill because high-earners will get increased taxes, whereas the Dems blocked the first bill you cited because the GOP wanted to pay for it by cutting Health Care to middle-income families. Frankly, the GOP choice is no choice at all.

Re:Obama knows how to play politics if anything. (4, Insightful)

Chrisq (894406) | more than 2 years ago | (#39939099)

Both parties are against the small guy

True, but sad considering that both parties rely mainly on small guys to vote them in to power.

Re:Obama knows how to play politics if anything. (5, Interesting)

gtall (79522) | more than 2 years ago | (#39939281)

I don't think it is true that both parties do not value the small guy, rather the small guy doesn't have a lobby and if he did, what would it lobby for? The crazy-quilt of American politics looks that way because Americans look that way.

I have a suggestion. Since the U.S. should value education for its citizens to compete in the world, and since the Republicans believe in free enterprise, and since the Democrats dislike the oil companies for whatever reasons, let's take the $6 Billion the federal government gives in tax breaks/subsidies to the oil companies and use it to cover the student loan rates. What Republican could be against a government directed industrial policy, what Democrat could be against screwing the oil companies out of a few bucks? Everyone wins.

I like it! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39939401)

Here's the 'but' to your plan: lobbyists - oil company and the student loan industry (Banks).

We peons are just going to have to suck it.

Re:Obama knows how to play politics if anything. (1, Flamebait)

khallow (566160) | more than 2 years ago | (#39939633)

let's take the $6 Billion the federal government gives in tax breaks/subsidies to the oil companies and use it to cover the student loan rates.

So who's going to hire the students when they're "educated"? Big oil is one of the places that is currently hiring. If we start torpedoing unpopular industries with discriminatory tax policies (after all, the majority of these tax breaks/subsidies are available to all industries, not just the fossil fuel industry), then we're going to see less hiring of workers.

Second, there's already a ready group to cover student loan rates, former students with debt. No need to fund student loans when that's already covered.

Re:Obama knows how to play politics if anything. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39939313)

Nowhere is it that the Democrats set the student loan issue to come up in a election year. They were the ones who set it to expire when they controlled both houses. If they cares so much what did they add a sunset provision?

Re:Obama knows how to play politics if anything. (5, Insightful)

jellie (949898) | more than 2 years ago | (#39939389)

Your logic is retarded. This was a provision that would remove tax loopholes on the wealthy to pay for the funding of the federal Stafford loans program (who was, incidentally, a Republican). These are tax loopholes that even the Republicans opposed! How does this make the Democrats "hate the small guy"?

I don't know if Slashdot loves repeating the "both parties are the same, both parties are stupid" mantra, but really, at least make a coherent argument when doing so. You're just like Mitt Romney, trying to rewrite history [yahoo.com] .

Re:Obama knows how to play politics if anything. (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39939597)

I read an interesting piece on Us politics a few days ago from a Belgian reporter living in the US. (I'm from Belgium btw) It goes something like this:

Both parties are actively trying to get the other side to block their proposals, they do this so that their supporters get aroused and angry at that other party. When your supporters are pissed off and angry at the other guy, they will vote for you, even when your a dumbfuck that screws up a lot. They're to busy being angry at the other guy to notice.

There was some more to do with it but that's what it came down to.
When I read 'political' debate on slashdot, that's exactly what I'm seeing.

This political behavior to actively try and get blocked by the other party obviously works best in a two-party system. So your hope for real change comes with a third party, not with the republocrats/demicans.

Uh oh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39939603)

Here comes the RepubloChristian Astroturfing Association of America

Once again (5, Insightful)

Cornwallis (1188489) | more than 2 years ago | (#39939065)

The Repubs look like the losers for putting it to the little guys. The Dems look like losers for continuing to support increased spending.

And of course we are the losers because were' stuck with both of them.

Re:Once again (1)

ByOhTek (1181381) | more than 2 years ago | (#39939107)

I haven't seen a mod point in months, which is really depressing, because your post deserves a few insightful votes.

What I'd give to get out of this two party quagmire. Sadly, the only thing I can give is my vote (to third parties), and some money (to third parties), but it is not enough...

Re:Once again (5, Insightful)

siddesu (698447) | more than 2 years ago | (#39939109)

I'll admit am not very knowledgeable about the intricacies of this particular law, but helping people get education is not so much "spending" as investing into the future. Not only this, we know investment in education and knowledge is one place where the gubmint has legitimate role, as the market tends to fail to allocate enough for education.

Re:Once again (4, Insightful)

Shadow of Eternity (795165) | more than 2 years ago | (#39939147)

And preventing education is an investment in the future of the republican party. A combination of poverty and ignorance is the best environment for their ideology to grow and spread in.

Re:Once again (2, Insightful)

ByOhTek (1181381) | more than 2 years ago | (#39939181)

Not to mention a cheap and desperate labor force, which is great for profit.

Re:Once again (2, Insightful)

cbope (130292) | more than 2 years ago | (#39939211)

Dammit, where are my mod points when I need them?!?

Ignorance and lack of higher education is the way forward for the Republican party.

Re:Once again (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39939241)

This is actually well documented. Education is only for those who can afford it.

Dems vs Reps (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39939271)

Many moons ago, someone posted something like this here on Slashdot:

Dems - want a European type of capitalist/socialist type of economy with plenty of entitlement programs with the taxation to go with it.

Reps - want to turn the US into a Third World Shithole where you have 99% poor slobs with a 1% super wealthy fat cats with all the power.

It's pretty obvious who's winning contrary to what the Talk Radio and Fox News people say.

Does it have to be one or the other? I don't know. But if it does, I'll take the European model any day because I just don't have the connections to become a 1%'er.

And if one is naive enough to believe that all they need to do is work hard and they'll be a 1%'er; well, good luck with that.

Re:Once again (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39939403)

Based on your comment this must be based on your own personnal experience.

Re:Once again (0)

daem0n1x (748565) | more than 2 years ago | (#39939513)

If you're going to call others ignorant, at the very least use proper spelling.

Re:Once again (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39939221)

Please. This won't help education one bit. All it does is prevent a cut in administrative spending, which has skyrocketed in the past 20 years. Tuition has been going through the roof. Where has the money gone? It hasn't gone to professors. However, the number of new administrators has skyrocketed. The salaries of administrators have skyrocketed.

Now, they just tell kids "don't worry about the rising tuition. See, interest rates are low."

It's a scam. It's a bubble. The sooner we burst it, the better.

Re:Once again (5, Insightful)

White Flame (1074973) | more than 2 years ago | (#39939353)

What appears to be happening is that costs are inflating in accordance to the availability of and expectation of student loans, because hey, the kids'll have it so might as well take it. The quality of education is not increasing with all this additional tuition money being leached into the schools.

The system needs an overhaul and costs need to be reined in. Arguing about loan interest rates on this burgeoning, inflated debt is just shuffling deck chairs on the Titanic.

Re:Once again (5, Insightful)

capteutrino (2261584) | more than 2 years ago | (#39939365)

Actually, it is the government intervention that makes college expensive.If the government stops subsidizing student loans the colleges would have to cut the prices to attract students.

Re:Once again (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39939387)

And the flipside of those wonderful government "investments" in education is the skyrocketing cost of tuition and student debt quickly becoming THE largest financial issue for young people in our country.

But hey, if you say you *meant* to support education that means it's all ok. You can't run a country on good intentions.

Re:Once again (2, Insightful)

physicsphairy (720718) | more than 2 years ago | (#39939449)

The interest rate does not have much to do with whether people "get education." The interest, and paying back the loan, does not even kick-in until you stop attending college. (Heck, maybe you want to *raise* interest rates on government loans and use the money to pay for more loans/educational investments!)

Now there is something to be said for not saddling people with overly-burdensome debt that is going to impair their future livelihoods. But it's kind of a different issue, and, frankly, has a lot more to due with the absurd base-cost of going to certain colleges these days.

Re:Once again (5, Insightful)

DarkOx (621550) | more than 2 years ago | (#39939519)

helping people get education is not so much "spending" as investing into the future.

I am sorry but you wrong on this point as are both parties at least in the context of the way they are going about it right now. The problem with going to college for most students is not obtaining credit, nor is it the interest rate on the credit even if rates were go up to a whopping 4.5% OMG. The problem is COST.

The cost of college has risen in great excess compared to the general rate of inflation. The cause is to much credit to available and to cheap due to government loan grantee and or direct lending programs. This is exactly the same issue which resulted in the housing bubble. It is a bubble the cost is objectively to high today, outside STEM fields, many, many students will never recoup the time value adjusted cost of getting that education, in better salary or career opportunities. The only way tuition will ever go down is if students stop enrolling because they can't pay.

If you want to fix the problem, you STOP offering loan grantees today. You have Sallie Mai start cutting the number of loans and the amounts it offers each year over a 5-7 year period so students can adjust and find other lenders. You eliminate the special bankruptcy protections student loans enjoy so families who borrow to much have a remedy. This will mean students will have to find cosigners or otherwise collateralize the debt. This will make them cost conscience again. It will no longer be a race between schools to see who can offer the fanciest athletic facility and the best food in the dining hall but who can offer the strongest academic credential at the lowest price, as it should be.

Re:Once again (4, Insightful)

khallow (566160) | more than 2 years ago | (#39939575)

but helping people get education is not so much "spending" as investing into the future

In which case you should be supporting the end of subsidized student loans. There's two things to remember about current student loans in the US. Because the interest rate is subsidized and the loan guaranteed, there is no difference for loan rates between someone who is likely to be able to repay their loan and someone who isn't. That means such loans help college students get debt not get an education, which they might get as a result or they might not. The loan isn't doing anything to make that more likely since it is near completely blind to such things as the ability to repay.

Second, such loans increase demand for educational products and produce a hefty amount of tuition inflation. In other words, people who actually go to college for an education have to pay more, probably a lot more, because the US's subsidized loans encourage a lot of people who otherwise would be gainfully employed, to flail around in college for a while and collect debt not education. It makes the investment in education more expensive and hence, is harming the US's ability to "invest in the future" in this particular area.

I see this as a typical "the cure is worse than the disease" situation which will continue for a while since most of the participants can't be bothered to understand the structural problems in the approach.

Not only this, we know investment in education and knowledge is one place where the gubmint has legitimate role, as the market tends to fail to allocate enough for education.

We know no such thing. To the contrary, the US demonstrates a remarkable diversity of colleges due precisely to the market for education over the past 150 years. Why do people say things about the "market" when they don't have any clue what they're speaking of?

Nor is there a "legitimate role" for this particular level of government. It's not just that the approach actively harms us (which in itself should be a no-go for government involvement), but there's no mandate for such activity. One has to resort to the extraordinarily vague "general welfare" excuse, which can rationalize anything, including stuff that is against rather than for the general welfare as subsidized student loans are.

In summary, subsidized loans have driven up the cost of education by increasing demand and have encouraged people to make poor and expensive education choices. Doubling down on the mess isn't going to make it better. Instead, you'll see more expensive education, more people with debt they can't repay, and greatly increased consumption of public funds. It's a mystery to me how one can view this as an "investment".

Re:Once again (2, Insightful)

argStyopa (232550) | more than 2 years ago | (#39939605)

Except this isn't an "investment in education". This is political payola.

The effort to subsidize student loans (and student loans altogether) are nothing but a naked effort to pay off 2 (really 3) voter blocks that vote HEAVILY democratic:
- teachers (and this one's long-term value has proven to be a wise investment)
- the young
- college grads (surveys in the US show that the undereducated and overeducated both tend to vote left - those that don't know anything, and those that think they know everything).

The heavy effort subsidizing college educations since the 1970s has resulted in the cost of college educations rising in excess of inflation, simultaneously glutting the entry-job market with people having pointless college degrees.

Lest I be accused of trolling, let me point out that the Republicans' effort has NOTHING to do with fiscal discipline, as much as it is an effort to defund those groups listed above. That Republicans would save these $billion$ means NOTHING; they would cheerfully dump them into some boondoggle defense project (run by THEIR friends) to fight a contrived threat.
This is NOT an effort to save money by any means, they're BOTH whores - they're just fighting over this particular John.

Re:Once again (1)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | more than 2 years ago | (#39939481)

And of course we get the shafting we deserve because we're too preoccupied watching The Voice to learn about any other candidate.

FTFY.

You get the government you elect. There are alternatives to Republican / Democrat. Get your collective asses off of the sofa, away from the propaganda networks, and be a good patriot by creating a better government.

Republicans know there constituency... (1)

tommasorepetti (2485820) | more than 2 years ago | (#39939067)

and they young and the educated aren't it.

Re:Republicans know there constituency... (4, Insightful)

SJHillman (1966756) | more than 2 years ago | (#39939333)

You'd be surprised how many people quickly turn from Dem to Rep once they're out of college and into the real world and have to pay taxes for all of the idealistic things they supported while in college.

Re:Republicans know there constituency... (2)

daem0n1x (748565) | more than 2 years ago | (#39939573)

I'm European. We used to have free college. A lot of my former colleagues are against free education.

They don't like to spend the money they make, on their nice jobs, that they got because they have a degree, that they got because of free education.

But now they have kids and the financial crisis is eating away on their salaries. They like free education again. But it's too late. Education has become a business, and a very, very lucrative one. It's gonna be hard to turn this back again.

Funny how politicians and corporations can manipulate people's lowest sentiments, like greed, so easily to turn them against their own interests. People are so fucking stupid.

Great Idea! (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39939069)

Lets keep artificially inflating the cost of university education by subsidizing more gender studies majors!

Re:Great Idea! (3, Funny)

Chrisq (894406) | more than 2 years ago | (#39939119)

Lets keep artificially inflating the cost of university education by subsidizing more gender studies majors!

Personally I am quite happy to halve the expense and just study one gender,

Where are the parents? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39939071)

Why don't these students just ask their parents for money?

--M.R.

Re:Where are the parents? (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39939111)

Good idea. People with poor parents shouldn't be getting an education anyway, the worthless peasants. Anybody who isn't rich should be grateful for a job mopping floors, not going around trying to improve their life.

Re:Where are the parents? (1)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | more than 2 years ago | (#39939599)

Anybody who isn't rich should be grateful for a job mopping floors ...

No, they should get a higher education first . . . then they can mop floors, drive taxis, wait tables, be outsourced, etc.

Re:Where are the parents? (2)

Chrisq (894406) | more than 2 years ago | (#39939125)

Why don't these students just ask their parents for money?

--M.R.

Because their parents are still struggling to pay for their own tuition.

Re:Where are the parents? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39939177)

*woooossssssshhhhhhhhh*

That was sarcasm by the GP. The 'M.R.' was supposed to be either "Mr. Republican" or "Mitt Romney". He was pretty much insinuating what you just said.

Re:Where are the parents? (1)

Chrisq (894406) | more than 2 years ago | (#39939183)

*woooossssssshhhhhhhhh*

That was sarcasm by the GP. The 'M.R.' was supposed to be either "Mr. Republican" or "Mitt Romney". He was pretty much insinuating what you just said.

Ah - got it now!

For those who don't get it (1)

bug_hunter (32923) | more than 2 years ago | (#39939165)

Look at the OP's initials.

Grammar fail (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39939073)

Should read "GOP Blocks Senate Debate on dem Student Loan Bills"

Student loans led to the education bubble (5, Insightful)

Kergan (780543) | more than 2 years ago | (#39939077)

If either side really wanted to offer better protection for families, they'd kill student loans altogether. This would make education prohibitively expensive at going rates, and immediately pop the education cost bubble.

You can get better education, free or nearly free, in most of Europe, and yet the US youth just sits there, saddling itself with gazillions in student loan debt -- all of which it cannot default on, because it belongs to uncle Sam himself. Shudder...

Re:Student loans led to the education bubble (3, Insightful)

azalin (67640) | more than 2 years ago | (#39939193)

That is because all those socialist tendencies in Europe, which are hard to sell in the US. Another thing hard to sell would be European income tax and v.a.t. levels needed to pay for all the (mostly) free education. That said, I'm convinced that a society as a whole greatly profits by providing as much education to as many members as possible. Education is investment not spending.

Re:Student loans led to the education bubble (1, Insightful)

meburke (736645) | more than 2 years ago | (#39939269)

Well, all those taxes paying for "free" education kind of torpedo the notion of free, don't they? If you were forced to pay for your neighbor's kid's education at gunpoint, would you still think it was free? What is your fair share for educating your neighbors dropouts?

And I have seen a lot of Europeans with "free" degrees employed in America or in American-owned companies because they can actually make good salaries.

Re:Student loans led to the education bubble (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39939309)

If they're dropouts, then we're not paying for them.

Re:Student loans led to the education bubble (0)

SJHillman (1966756) | more than 2 years ago | (#39939345)

Wanna bet? One of the biggest reasons college costs so much is because dropouts also tend to default on their loans so the ones who go on to graduate and actually pay the loans also end up paying the cost of all of the dropouts too.

Re:Student loans led to the education bubble (5, Insightful)

Orne (144925) | more than 2 years ago | (#39939411)

Didn't we just cover this a couple of days ago? Colleges don't face a risk of default; the loans are provided by banks and are underwritten by the federal government. Because 90% of the risk is mitigated by the gov, the colleges can raise tuition and the banks don't balk. A small % of students get in over their heads and default but that is baked into the interest rate, which used to be variable until congress messed with it in 2005. Like housing, the scheme breaks down when normal graduates can't pay the bills... Because there's no jobs.

Re:Student loans led to the education bubble (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39939571)

Banks do not want to make loans out to students that do not pay or cannot pay off their debts. School with a large back log of unpayed debt scares away investors like me.

Re:Student loans led to the education bubble (1)

azalin (67640) | more than 2 years ago | (#39939335)

As I mentioned it's a socialist thing, spreading wealth and risks to the benefit of the whole society. Hard to sell in the US.
Baring the minority of people who leave the country the state does get some of the money back . Either directly (higher education->higher salary->more income tax) or indirectly (more qualified professionals->more economic potential->more taxes by paid by thriving companies).

Re:Student loans led to the education bubble (1)

daem0n1x (748565) | more than 2 years ago | (#39939591)

If you think Education is free, try ignorance. Which is what you will get if individuals can't pay for their own education and society defected on that.

Re:Student loans led to the education bubble (2)

BrianRoach (614397) | more than 2 years ago | (#39939601)

How do you think K-12 gets funded? ::Looks at property tax bill:: ::Looks around and notices a distinct lack of progeny::

I pay for for my neighbor's kids. That's how it works. Because it's *better for our country and society* that they get an education.

Re:Student loans led to the education bubble (1)

DarkOx (621550) | more than 2 years ago | (#39939557)

Education is investment not spending

You can't use "investment" and "spending" they way you are. You are mixing meanings and that is exactly what the corrupt politicians want you to do, confuse yourself.

There are revenues, assets, liabilities, and expenses. Spending just means surrendering some assets for something else. You "spend" one asset even if you are investing in another. Investing in Education IS SPENDING, what it may not be is investing.

I'm convinced that a society as a whole greatly profits by providing as much education to as many members as possible.

Well you have to prove that education is asset to society. Can show that we are generating more nominal output with less input as result of our society being more educated ( % of population with a degree is a valid measure of that ) then ever?

You have no control so good luck.

Re:Student loans led to the education bubble (2)

furytrader (1512517) | more than 2 years ago | (#39939357)

"... You can get better education, free or nearly free, in most of Europe ..." Really? Because the last time I looked, in any listing of the best universities and colleges in the world, the US beat every other country hands down.

Re:Student loans led to the education bubble (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39939429)

News at 10 - US survey says US colleges are best!

They've got to justify the price some how!

Re:Student loans led to the education bubble (1)

Kergan (780543) | more than 2 years ago | (#39939431)

The methodology to come up with these listings invariably involves asking former US university alumni what they think the best universities are. You aren't seriously expecting them to mention institutions that offer education in German or French, are you?

Re:Student loans led to the education bubble (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39939529)

Oxford, Cambridge, Heidelberg, Sorbonne....

There are plenty of top colleges outside the US. In my opinion, not a single US college would break the top 10 for undergrad education. Research, sure, they are the best in the world, but teaching? They are nowhere near what several hours per week of 2-1 or 1-1 tutorials can do for a student.

Re:Student loans led to the education bubble (1)

silentcoder (1241496) | more than 2 years ago | (#39939541)

Then you should look somewhere else.

The greatest medical schools in the world for example are in Switzerland. The best art schools are in France. The best drama schools are in Britain. The best engineering schools are in Germany and Japan.

Actually... while you do have some wonderful universities that have done a great deal of good work, I struggle to think of a single field where yours are generally accepted as "the best in the world".
Well... unless you count the McDonalds trainee program, when it comes to dehumanizing people, destroying their self-worth and teaching them to make really horrible hamburgers - America is definitely the best in the world.

Re:Student loans led to the education bubble (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 2 years ago | (#39939563)

Really? I got this list [usnews.com] as the top hit for a search for the best universities in the world. In the top 10, we have UK universities in spots 1, 5, 6, and 7. So somehow a country with cheap education and a population 20% that of the USA manages to have 40% of the top 10 spots. The cost of getting a degree at any of the UK universities in the top 10 is less than the cost of one year of tuition at any of the US universities in the top 10.

Looking at the methodology, it's somewhat flawed. 50% of the score is based on people's perception of the university (highly subjective and more based on how good their PR department is than their teaching), 20% is based on citations (so irrelevant for ranking universities in terms of teaching). Oh, and the citations score is not normalised by department size, so US universities do significantly better on this metric even when they have fewer good publications per researcher simply because they are considerably larger than most universities in the rest of the world.

Funding source? (1)

bdabautcb (1040566) | more than 2 years ago | (#39939079)

Or the US could order 10.9 fewer 'new' long range bombers; I don't think it would drastically hurt our defense capabilities. I don't think the guys fighting for the DoD contract would be too happy, though. http://news.slashdot.org/story/12/05/07/238250/americas-next-bomber-unmanned-unlimited-range-aimed-at-china [slashdot.org]

nicely nonpartisan headline (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39939083)

the democrats block the republican bill to keep low interest rates
the republicans block the democrat bill to keep low interest rates
the rates are set to rise because of a democrat passed law when they had majorities in both houses

Re:nicely nonpartisan headline (1)

ByOhTek (1181381) | more than 2 years ago | (#39939195)

Of course, if is better that rates go up, than to let the other guy get credit for being beneficial. It's not what's good for the country, it's what's good for the party.

Editorials That Matter... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39939131)

Seriously, even if this were remotely relevant to Slashdot, does the summary really need to be this editorialized?

Doesn't anyone care about the country? (5, Insightful)

Grayhand (2610049) | more than 2 years ago | (#39939175)

Republicans seem to vote against anything that Democrats propose. I'm 50 and I've never seen this in my entire life. Republicans either get every single thing they want or they hold their breath until they get their way. Without compromise there is no government only gridlock. If compromise is dead how are we different from every other banana republic out there? We used to rule from the middle but now we get our choice of extremes. Either the extreme right wing get their way or they threaten to bring the country to it's knees. They only amount to at the most a third of the citizens so since when do a third of the people call themselves a majority and demand we all obey them???? I don't like the Democrats but the right wing Republicans scare the hell out of me. The right wing and rich stole half the country during Bush 42's rule and now they are demanding the rest. If the rich get their way you better get used to a system that resembles feudal England. We'll all end up working for our rich masters. Don't believe me then in 50 years I dare you to tell me I'm wrong. In the last 10 years the rich got a LOT richer and the rest of us are struggling. The Republicans call it trickle down economics but I call it pissing down my neck and calling it rain!

Re:Doesn't anyone care about the country? (1)

bmo (77928) | more than 2 years ago | (#39939209)

"Tinkle Down Economics" - Archie Bunker
--
BMO

Re:Doesn't anyone care about the country? (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39939233)

Yes, let's blame Republicans. After all, it was the Republicans fault last year when President Obama invited them to the White House and called them UnAmerican on national TV.

Yes, that happened. Yes, I puke a little every time someone blames Republicans for the lack of bipartisanship.

Obama is the most caustic President we have had, perhaps ever.

Re:Doesn't anyone care about the country? (2)

isorox (205688) | more than 2 years ago | (#39939471)

Yes, let's blame Republicans. After all, it was the Republicans fault last year when President Obama invited them to the White House and called them UnAmerican on national TV.

Yes, that happened. Yes, I puke a little every time someone blames Republicans for the lack of bipartisanship.

Obama is the most caustic President we have had, perhaps ever.

FFS, you haven't read the OP.

Sure, the democrats are bad. That's why the majority of people don't vote for them.
Sure, the republcans are bad. That's why the majority of people don't vote for them.

Get some compromise, your "team" isn't going to get it's own way all the time in politics. Deal with it, and take one bill at a time. Vote on it's merits, don't use it as a tool to attack the other minority party.

This sort of politics is pathetic. Politics is not a football game.

Re:Doesn't anyone care about the country? (1, Funny)

Chrisq (894406) | more than 2 years ago | (#39939255)

Don't believe me then in 50 years I dare you to tell me I'm wrong.

You were wrong comrade Grayhand, ultimately the people wouldn't take it and rose up. Fortunately our beloved chairman took control and benevolently saw that the country is run on behalf of the people - with none of these "elections" to allow the nasty capitalists back in.

Re:Doesn't anyone care about the country? (0)

jmac_the_man (1612215) | more than 2 years ago | (#39939515)

Republicans seem to vote against anything that Democrats propose. I'm 50 and I've never seen this in my entire life.

When you were 45 (in 2007), Democrats proposed raising the student loan interest rate in 2012. The Republicans were against it, but Democrats wouldn't compromise and did it anyway.

Look how that turned out.

Re:Doesn't anyone care about the country? (1)

Overzeetop (214511) | more than 2 years ago | (#39939663)

So now, just to spite them, the Republicans are going to let it go up? I have a 9 year old, it this sounds a lot like the schoolyard stuff that went on when she was 7. I was under the impression that you had to be an adult to run for Congress. Clearly I was incorrect.

Re:Doesn't anyone care about the country? (1)

cbope (130292) | more than 2 years ago | (#39939625)

The root problem in the US is the two party system. As the two party system has evolved, it becomes simply voting AGAINST what the other party does. Voting along party lines, towing the party line, whatever you want to call it. The one thing that seems to be violating this party rule, is big business. Even the Dems are towing that party line these days. They should just go ahead and call themselves the Republi-crats or Demo-licans and be done with it.

It's no wonder the whole country is so fucked up. Until the two party system is put to bed, and the idea that there can actually be more than two parties is accepted by the population, things are NOT going to improve. It's quite obvious that both major parties are in it for big business, regardless of what they say publicly.

And please don't bring up the tea-baggers... that is not a party, it's a lap-dog of the Republican party that's just a little too wacky to gain support from intelligent human beings.

The Dems are playing games (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39939215)

When crafting the original bill that is expiring soon, the Democrats purposely had the bill expire during a presidential election year so that they could play the blame-game and claim that Republicans hate students and only care about the rich. The Dems have no intentions of extending the original law.

It just causes tuition inflation. (2, Interesting)

Karmashock (2415832) | more than 2 years ago | (#39939257)

Why did the price of housing go up and up? Sub prime loans. you can blame wall street for making it worse but the prices were ticking up for years before wall street got involved. The prices started going up with the cheap government loans.

What we can see from the universities that they're responding in the same way. The more you increase the loans the more the tuition goes up. The only way to bring tuition prices down is to reduce the amount of money that can be spent on education.

It's not like the universities are not going to fill seats. They have class rooms and teachers that cost them money regardless of how many students they have... so if you reduce what can be spent on education rather then causing kids not to get educations it will probably cause prices to come down.

Furthermore, the US is giving national tuition rates to foreign students. That's US tax dollars paying for someone's education that isn't even a citizen and isn't likely to stay. So what exactly is the point?

I don't know... I have a lot of problems with the current way we finance tuition. They're the only loans you can't escape by declaring bankruptcy and that strikes me as wrong. There is no legal obligation that you shouldn't be able to escape by declaring bankruptcy. Everything from child support to a student loan. And I know what people are saying, lowlifes will just ditch their obligations. Yes they will. Which is why you don't loan lowlifes money in the first place. As to single mothers getting screwed out of alimony... well, it's a reason to make your separations demands reasonable. If the alimony is so high that it becomes in his interest to declare bankruptcy then you're asking for too much. Pointblank.

Just a little house cleaning and a lot of these problems will go away.

How about the Dems pass a BUDGET first? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39939267)

We haven't had a BUDGET for the federal government since Obama took office.

Imagine that - TRILLIONS in runaway deficit spending, and the DEMOCRATS, who for two years controlled EVERY branch of the government, WON'T PASS A BUDGET.

No difference. (3, Interesting)

roman_mir (125474) | more than 2 years ago | (#39939311)

This will not make any difference to those, who are getting the student loans, not at all.

In fact with the latest developments that the student loans are forgiven in 15 to 20 years and that the monthly payments cannot exceed 10% of so called 'discretionary spending', which starts at the yearly amount exceeding 2 minimum 'poverty levels' ($16,000 per person or abou 35K for a family of 4), it means that a person making 50K a year will have to pay maximum of 10% of (50K-32K) per year, or $150/month for 15 to 20 years. If the person makes 100K/year, this goes up to maximum of $567/month.

If the person gets a loan of 100K, just to pay the principal for a person earning 50K /year, it would take 666 month or 55 YEARS, and that's only principal, at that point the interest rates absolutely does not matter, because he'll stop paying after 15-20 years, so he'd pay less than half of just principle out in that time, the interest rate does not matter.

This is political nonsense, not reality, what is happening in gov't, the reality would include realisation that gov't shouldn't be in business providing any loans to anybody in the first place, so that with the decreased fake demand, the number of students would drop off and prices would go down dramatically.

Why is it a good thing for the number of students to drop off? Because how many students take these loans, adding to the national debt, while not working, adding to the national deficit, requiring this money to be printed or borrowed (and the real interest rates WILL go up eventually, and there is already over $1T of unpaid student debt out there). The huge numbers of students are only going to the colleges to get worthless sociology and literature degrees, or go into law, etc.

They shouldn't be paid to do that in the first place, who in their right mind would give a loan to a USA student going to major in sociology? WOULD YOU?

If you wouldn't personally, why would you want the entire system to do that?

Besides, rather than creating this false demand and forcing debt on the people, creating all this debt and worsening deficit, it would better for those very students to enter the workforce much sooner and without debt they'd be better off anyway.

Of-course the political elite on the left want to create this 'popular issue', which really only makes the situation for the students worse, and simultaneously this artificially decreases the work participation rate and thus artificially decreases the unemployment rate, so these student loans are handed out for political propaganda. OTOH the colleges and universities etc., are getting a sweet deal - huge numbers of gov't backed students, who don't actually CARE about the cost of education, as long as they get whatever loans is given to them, and those who can do basic math realise that it's in their best interest to go to the most expensive school.

In fact schools need to start including things in their curriculum that are as expensive as possible - how about trips all over the world as part of 'classes'? How about buying every student a house and an expensive car and all the furniture, electronics and clothing they want? Why not? If the system is on the hook for it and the students are capped at how much they will have to pay back anyway, it only makes sense, right?

Nobody sees this for what it is.

Re:No difference. (1)

capteutrino (2261584) | more than 2 years ago | (#39939439)

As the saying goes, "The trouble with socialism is that eventually you run out of other people's money." .

Re:No difference. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39939447)

Finally, someone on /. with common sense knowledge of economics. For a place that's supposedly filled with the brightest technical minds, the inability to recognize real world scenarios and perform simple math is astonishing.

Loan forgiveness (1)

SirGarlon (845873) | more than 2 years ago | (#39939451)

You know, it never hit me what a big deal this idea of "forgiving" loans is, maybe because I paid mine off and assumed others would do the same. Only a stooge would pay more than the absolute minimum toward a debt that will magically disappear in 20 years. Are we really OK with all those defaults (excuse me, "forgiveness") getting dumped on the taxpayers?

Wrong (1, Informative)

damn_registrars (1103043) | more than 2 years ago | (#39939645)

This will not make any difference to those, who are getting the student loans, not at all.
In fact with the latest developments that the student loans are forgiven in 15 to 20 years and that the monthly payments cannot exceed 10% of so called 'discretionary spending', which starts at the yearly amount exceeding 2 minimum 'poverty levels' ($16,000 per person or abou 35K for a family of 4), it means that a person making 50K a year will have to pay maximum of 10% of (50K-32K) per year, or $150/month for 15 to 20 years. If the person makes 100K/year, this goes up to maximum of $567/month.

If you actually knew someone with student loan debt, you would know where your error is in your assumption.

First of all, the loan forgiveness only applies to federal student loans. Most students have a mix of federal, state, and bank-supplied loan money. Hence even if the federal loans are eventually forgiven, the others are still accruing interest.

Second, the bank-supplied loans in particular are notorious for being cruel to those who took out the money. Interest rates are free to change at a moment's notice and some people have seen double-digit interest rate increases in single years.

They shouldn't be paid to do that in the first place, who in their right mind would give a loan to a USA student going to major in sociology? WOULD YOU?
Yes, I would. And I would wager that in reality, you would as well. You don't believe what you present to slashdot, as we have already seen. Would the real roman_mir please stand up?

The GOP is doing them a favor (5, Informative)

MikeRT (947531) | more than 2 years ago | (#39939337)

Let's consider what college now means for many millennials:

1) Get a degree with minimal job applicability.
2) Go tens of thousands in dollars into debt to get it.
3) Get a job that requires no more skills than the degree imparted (and that pays ~$10/hour or less)
4) Find out that the federal government and private lenders put in all sorts of riders ranging from rising costs of holding the debt, to "we can arrest you if you are delinquent on your federal loan."

Anyone advocating making it easier to fall into the student loan trap is morally analogous to a drug dealer.

Re:The GOP is doing them a favor (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39939637)

Bingo. You nailed it. Student loans, combined with some corporate stupidity during the Vietnam draft, have destroyed our universities. Who the hell would want to teach undergrads when most of them are there for 4 more years of high school drinking. I don't want everyone to go to college. I want everyone to have an option to chose to learn, and only those who want to learn go to college. However, given the option of a) partying for 5 years or b) working your ass off to survive, which one are you going to chose.

Rightwing extremists (3, Insightful)

benjfowler (239527) | more than 2 years ago | (#39939361)

That's what you get for losing perspective on what is politically extreme and what isn't in the US.

A bunch of right wing extremists, who are spectacularly successful, because they've succeeded in making themselves look far more moderate and acceptable than they really are.

Re:Rightwing extremists (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39939433)

That's what you get for losing perspective on what is politically extreme and what isn't in the US.

A bunch of right wing extremists, who are spectacularly successful, because they've succeeded in making themselves look far more moderate and acceptable than they really are.

And how would you describe the Republicans?

Re:Rightwing extremists (3, Interesting)

jkflying (2190798) | more than 2 years ago | (#39939483)

Fascists.

Re:Rightwing extremists (1)

jmac_the_man (1612215) | more than 2 years ago | (#39939535)

You're crazy. The DEMOCRATS passed the original bill in 2007. The DEMOCRATS set it to expire this year so they could accuse Republicans of being evil, and hoped that nobody would notice the fact that the Democrats passed the bill in the first place.

Congratulations, benjfowler. You didn't notice.

You make gridlock sound like its a bad thing... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39939377)

The dotcom bubble in the late 90s under the Clinton administration was a gridlocked House and Senate.
The economy prospers when there is gridlock.

Sadly, they didn't gridlock on more important issues like SOPA, PIPA, NDAA, and the healthcare bill.

Inevitably when they do agree on things they ramrod them through that cost more government largess, lives, and liberties, let alone spreading the suffering to all.

A deeply divided country (4, Insightful)

isorox (205688) | more than 2 years ago | (#39939393)

The U.S is deeply divided into two opposing camps, and the media encourage this by playing the two parties off like football teams.

Your party is not always right. The other party is not always wrong. Politics should not be a "my team's better than yours" shouting match.

Re:A deeply divided country (1)

vlm (69642) | more than 2 years ago | (#39939595)

Your party is not always right. The other party is not always wrong. Politics should not be a "my team's better than yours" shouting match.

If the strategy is divide and conquer, that's going to go against the grain of the entire sociopolitical system.

There is only one party, the rich guys party. There are two totally different PR campaigns with wildly different strategies, but once one or the other works (doesn't matter which) then its back to one party rule.

It's why there is no social mobility in US (1)

blind biker (1066130) | more than 2 years ago | (#39939543)

Education is the most important factor in improving one's position in society. Unless one is saddled with onerous loans, that is.

In most of Europe, higher education is free, which is a tremendous factor in improving quality of life and social mobility.

Wrong question? (1)

andy1307 (656570) | more than 2 years ago | (#39939581)

Perhaps they need to ask why the cost of higher ed is increasing disproportionate to income levels and inflation?

Terminate Patents of Nobility (1, Interesting)

Baldrson (78598) | more than 2 years ago | (#39939651)

The most powerful thing the US Congress could do to bring down the cost of education and make it more accessible to the entire populace would be to enforce the Constitution's ban on patents of nobility. Specifically, the government recognizes higher education degrees as the functional equivalent of life titles. Certifications differ in that they must be renewed based on standardized testing, so relying on them is _not_ the equivalent of honoring patents of nobility.
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