Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Obama signs student loan overhaul

Posted By on Tue, Mar 30, 2010 at 12:42 PM

I take back what I said during the health care debates about Pres. Obama not being politically savvy enough in his dealings with Congress. I’m not just referring to Obama’s success in pushing health reform through Congress (after everyone but he and Pelosi had given up on it), although that was impressive, not to mention fun to watch. No, what I’m talking about is the way the health care reform bill also included another of Obama’s priorities, which slipped in under the radar: the biggest rewrite of college assistance programs in about 40 years. It was a legislative move nearly worthy of Lyndon Johnson, the ol' Master of the Senate.

The President is in Virginia today to sign the measure, which will make the government the primary lender to students and will take that power away from banks. It’s a pretty far-reaching law that should benefit students and, let’s face it, their parents. Under the new law, banks will no longer get fees for being middlemen in federal student loans, a move that will save an estimated $6 billion to $7 billion per year.

That money, says the Prez, will be used to boost the number of Pell Grants made to students; lower some borrowers’ interest rates; and make it easier for some workers to repay their student loans. When the law takes effect in 2014 (what is it about 2014 that has Congress under its spell?), student loan repayment will be capped at 10 percent of a graduate's income. Throughout his presidential campaign, Obama said one of his goals was for America to return to the days when we had the highest per capita proportion of college grads in the world. I don’t know if this one law would carry that heavy a load, but it’s nonetheless great news for college students and, yes, their parental units.

Some Tea Party leaders say the President is being unfair in his efforts to make it easier to go to college. Anse Hatfield of the West Virginia Tea Guzzlers stated, "Everbody and thur cute little cousin knows that the more college ye git, the more likely y'are to vote Demurcrat. This is just one more sneaky, underhanded move by our Kenyan overlord to drag us down into a socialist hell." OK that last part didn't really happen. But the student loan stuff is, fortunately, for real.

Um, thank ya. Thank ya ver' much. I'm glad you like the robe.
  • Um, thank ya. Thank ya ver' much. I'm glad you like the robe.

West Virginia Tea Guzzler leader Anse Hatfield
  • West Virginia Tea Guzzler leader Anse Hatfield

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