Battle Over Student Loan Rates Once Again Shows Republicans Only Fight For the Rich

studentdebtHow can anyone doubt who Republicans care about anymore?

With each turn, Republicans show time and time again that the only people they’re willing to stand up and fight for are the rich, big business, large defense companies and big oil.

In 2011, with Obama pushing for a return to the Clinton-era tax rates for the top 2% during the debt ceiling hostage taking by the GOP, Republicans pushed our country to the edge of default on the money we owe just to keep tax rates for the rich lower.  In fact, their antics did manage to have our credit rating downgraded—for the first time in history.

All just so people making $250,000 per year ($20,833–per month) or more wouldn’t pay a tax rate which many wealthy Americans thrived under during the 1990’s.

See, to Republicans, those Americans paying more would devastate our economy.

Unfortunately, they don’t feel the same way about students.

You see, for the second year in a row, Republicans are trying to raise student loan interest rates.

Of course they claim they’re not doing that.  In fact, they say their plan will avoid the rate doubling come July 1.  And you know, that’s true.  What their plan does do, however, is allow for variable interest rates on student loans that the non-partisan CBO projects would rise to 5% in 2014 and 7.7% in 2023.  They would install a cap of 8.5% for government subsidized loans and 10.5% for private loans.

They claim this would reduce our deficit by $3.7 billion over 10 years.

Yes, you’ve read that correctly—they’re attempting to raise interest rates on individuals borrowing money to get an education as a means at which to reduce our deficits.  The very same people who nearly sent this country into default, just to save the rich from paying 4% more in income taxes, have created a plan to make students pay even more.

This is on top of the already escalating cost of a college degree.  The cost for a college degree has risen by 85% in the last decade.

To me it’s just ridiculous that these right-wing politicians don’t even hide their true colors.  With every move, they repeatedly show who they represent and who they couldn’t care less about.

It’s amazing that when the wealthy is asked to pay a little more, Republicans are the first ones standing tall to fight in their defense, but when it’s mostly middle and lower income Americans being asked to pay more—they’re the ones passing the legislation which would require them to.

But then again, this is the Republican Party, a party build on ignorance.

And when a party relies on their supporters remaining ignorant—more Americans with access to an affordable education is a threat.

Allen Clifton

Allen Clifton is a native Texan who now lives in the Austin area. He has a degree in Political Science from Sam Houston State University. Allen is a co-founder of Forward Progressives and creator of the popular Right Off A Cliff column and Facebook page. Be sure to follow Allen on Twitter and Facebook, and subscribe to his channel on YouTube as well.


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