Speaker Boehner Mocks Free Community College Using Taylor Swift, And It’s Laughable

Speaker Boehner Taylor Swift 2Speaker John Boehner doesn’t like President Obama’s idea to make community college free, which would help lessen the amount of debt students find themselves with after graduating college. Community colleges are actually a great way to get the first two years of college out of the way without going into crippling debt while trying to get through English 101 or other core classes all college students have to take before really diving into their degree studies. Like many other Americans, I also went to community college.


Starting at the age of 15, I took a few night classes here and there in addition to high school studies before finally going on a full-time basis. Thanks to Pell Grants and low tuition costs, I was able to graduate from Blue Ridge Community College without a penny in debt, unlike a number of my friends who decided to go straight to the University of Virginia, Virginia Tech and other schools in nearby states.

That was over a decade ago and since then, student loan debt has only increased. I was fortunate enough to escape college with only about $15,000 in student loan debt, but other people I know have much more than that.

The average amount of student loan debt again crept up for the Class of 2013, and is approaching $30,000, according to a new report from the Institute for College Access and Success.

In its ninth annual report on student loan debt, TICAS found nearly 7 in 10 graduating seniors in 2013 – 69 percent – left school with an average of $28,400 in student loan debt, an increase of 2 percent from 2012. But the amount of student debt and the likelihood of graduating with debt varied greatly between both states and colleges. Some states had average debt amounts as low as $18,656, while others topped $30,000. Between different colleges, average debt amounts ranged from $2,500 to $71,000. (Source)

President Obama’s proposal of making community college free for students who want to work for it would go a long way towards cutting the amount of debt graduates find themselves with. In turn, having less debt coming out of college would make it easier for these people to get loans for cars and homes, a big help to the economy. Many people my age are still trying to pay off student loans and buying a new vehicle or purchasing a home is completely out of the question unless you’re making a fat paycheck as a lawyer or perhaps, a member of Congress.


Speaker Boehner decided to get down on our “level” and explain to voters 18-35 why free community college was a bad idea, by utilizing Taylor Swift GIFs. Apparently someone in his staff thought this was a smart plan of action, by demonstrating how painfully out of touch Speaker Boehner and the rest of Congress is with the American people. Digital Communications Director Caleb Smith and Deputy Communications Director Mike Ricci put together this Buzzfeed-styled link titled “12 Taylor Swifts GIFs for you” which Speaker Boehner’s Facebook page and Twitter account posted and it’s every bit as eye twitch inducing as the title suggests.

Speaker Boehner Taylor Swift

Newsflash guys: Buzzfeed is sooooo 2013. What’s even more laughable is that Speaker Boehner and Republicans are actually quibbling over something that will help reduce student debt and help the economy because “60 billion dollars is a lot of money…you can’t just shake it off.” This isn’t $60 billion annually, this is $60 billion over ten freaking years ($6 billion annually for the mathematically challenged). That’s a tiny drop in the federal budget. You know what’s a lot of money that’s being wasted? How about the F-35 stealth jet development budget which is now at $400 billion and won’t have an operational 25mm cannon until 2019, which means that for the first three years of use, pilots are basically unarmed at close range? Hmmmm?

Or how about the trillions of dollars they had absolutely no problem spending on destabilizing the Middle East? How about bailing out Wall Street banks that then turned around and screwed homeowners over as their way of saying “thanks” to the American taxpayer? God forbid we spend a mere fraction of that money making sure that our college graduates get a better chance at the American Dream, apparently.

Mr. Speaker: an apology is in order and it isn’t from the president – it should be from you and your office. Here’s to shaking you off in 2016.



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  • DMJ

    Oh no people might get an education and all it would cost is a fraction of what we pay the military just to make weapons for future wars we might not even fight at that time?

  • Cemetery Girl

    I have been saying for years that a 2 year program (either associates or certification, but of a 2 year equivalent) should be part of public education. We have public schools because of a need to have a labor force with at least a minimum level of education. We needed our labor force to have at least an understanding of “the three R’s”. Our labor demands have evolved. Finding a job that doesn’t require a degree or certification isn’t easy, and frankly despite the conservative claim of “pay for an education so you can have a good paying job and not be on a form of assistance” it is quite possible that that the education that’s supposed to keep you off assistance leaves you with debt greater then the median salary for that career.

  • BillC

    People who get an education don’t vote against their own self interests. Rethugs are afraid of this plan for that reason.

  • Nathan Mowrer

    I support the program, and I agree with your article for the most part, but I want to point out a little problem with your comparison at the end. Yes, the F-35 program has been an absolute black hole for money, but the 25mm cannon argument is basically a red herring. Air combat against a developed air force hasn’t involved anything close range since the 1970s. When advanced air forces conduct training exercises that involve simulated air combat, kills are scored from 10-20 miles away, if not farther than that, due to advanced missile and radar technology. The only practical application for the 25mm cannon on the F-35 is in a ground attack application, and strafing runs from air superiority jets are far less accurate or effective than stand-off air-to-surface missiles. Again, I agree with the point of the article, but to call the F-35 “basically unarmed at close range” is flat-out incorrect.

  • GenerallyConfused

    The university/college education prices are a bubble, and eventually, that bubble will burst. It happened with dot coms, housing and most recently, oil. It’ll happen with tuition prices, it’s only a matter of time.

    Having said that, with a college education becoming an integral part of finding a job, it’s tantamount that at least an associates be easier to obtain. Unfortunately, there are people who believe that the amount of money one owes post-college education shouldn’t matter – once that college education happens, the money flows, right? No.. it doesn’t. And that’s sad.

    • Cemetery Girl

      It always annoys me when I hear the old “if these poor people would get an educations…” I know several people that have degrees (bachelors or up) that work lower paying jobs that aren’t even related to their degree. For some it is the struggle that the companies hiring want 4-5 years of experience, which they don’t have. I know a couple of people that obtained a degree and found out that there wasn’t the demand for the field like they had been told. Some lost jobs due to recession cut backs and now get told when they interview for jobs in the field that they are overqualified. College education is a gamble. It might help you get a job with a decent wage, or you might have spent the time and money and get nothing but a piece of paper. Of course colleges and universities promote an image that their education will provide that path to a strong career, but they know it’s a gamble.

      • GenerallyConfused

        It’s disgusting that there aren’t any honest to goodness entry level jobs, not really.

  • Jude Hislop

    Governments(US and my own Canada) literally lose that much a year. Literally…it just ups and vanishes, and they go, whoops! Conservatives in both countries have gone down a dark path. It’s not about conservation unless it’s helping people. Bombing…yes…helping citizens with it’s own money, no.

  • “This isn’t $60 billion annually, this is $60 billion over ten freaking years
    ($6 billion annually for the mathematically challenged). That’s a tiny
    drop in the federal budget.”

    It’s this kind of thinking that has led to the federal budget going up from $100 BILLION under President Kennedy to over $3 TRILLION today. Lots of things may be good ideas; that doesn’t justify making other people pay for them.

    • Cherie Capri

      Yes it does, paying for education is not only good for the person but a 1000 times better for the country to compete in the world. Paying for wars with no win of any kind is what is not good for us and why the debt has gone up. Educate yourself please.

    • Larry

      You are wrong Steve. What got us from $100 billion to $3 Trillion was Reagan’s Star Wars embezzling scheme, GW Bush and his two wars and his global war on terror and war on American citizens freedoms. Try going through any airport in America today without getting molested in the name of security.
      I love Benjamin Franklin’s quote about those that give away their freedom for security, deserve neither freedom nor security.

  • John LaVoy

    The data are. Clear. It may not be the best time to get s college degree but it is the worst time not to. Period.

  • Carlton Fisher

    Let’s not forget the billions spent on investigating the Clintons during the 90s and only being able to find a stain on a Gap dress for all of that effort and cost.

  • Judy Kachelmeyer

    John Boehner is 12 years old.

  • wendy

    Keeping americans uneducated is boehner’s plan. That’s how they get votes and keep middle class from achieving their dreams. Hey, kinda smart because it’s working out that way. Good job, Mr. Boehner

  • Rob

    They are scared that they will lose a lot of people from the crippling student debt treadmill that the ultra rich also get money from too. John Oliver did an excellent episode about that. Soon, nobody will be able to afford living in the us