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Todd Akin
Rep. Todd Akin (Official photo)

Missouri's Republican Senate candidates were asked at a debate whether they wanted to see federal student loan interest rates double from 3.4 percent to 6.8 percent, and Rep. Todd Akin apparently decided he sure doesn't need the votes of young people:

Akin said the government should be out of the student loan market altogether. "America has got the equivalent of the stage three cancer of socialism because the federal government is tampering in all kinds of stuff it has no business tampering in," he said.
The federal government "has no business tampering in" giving loans to citizens so that they may obtain an education, gain knowledge and improve their economic productivity. That's socialism. One of the funny things here is that we're talking about something that's profitable for the federal government; the question is the profit margin:
Roosevelt Institute fellow Mike Konzcal has noted that the government borrows at a far lower rate than [3.4 percent], which raises the question of why it is not investing more robustly in young people.

Konczal pointed out that the government makes a profit somewhere around 13 percent for each dollar of loans, and because the loans are not dischargeable in bankruptcy and Social Security payments can even be garnished to make them up, default may even be more profitable for lenders than borrowers making payments on time.

There's the dread cancer of socialism for you. The federal government is collecting interest that private lenders could otherwise be vacuuming up.

High student loan interest rates are basically a tax Republicans want to levy on people who can't afford to pay for college out of pocket—not rich people, in other words. Some Republicans are fine with that tax being paid to the government; others, like Todd Akin, would prefer to privatize it. Either way, given high tuition rates even at public colleges and Republican resistance to regulating the for-profit college industry, it's a tax many people will be paying for the rest of their lives.

Tell House Republicans not to let student loan interest rates double.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Wed Apr 25, 2012 at 11:40 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos Labor.

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Comment Preferences

  •  More randianism (8+ / 0-)

    Can Republicans change the R and put an E instead because they have become the egotist party. They are sociopaths. And this is a guy son of a minister with a masters in divinity. Me,me,me. Jesus who you socialist fuck?

    •  I wiki'ed his divinity school, the Covenant (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Theological Seminary, and he is listed at the head of the list of their three notable alumni.  I don't find that an especially ringing endorsement for their academic cred.

      And it feels like I'm livin'in the wasteland of the free ~ Iris DeMent, 1996

      by MrJersey on Wed Apr 25, 2012 at 11:58:40 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Akin spent about 25 years in the MO Congress.... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      in both chambers.  If you ever want to depress yourself look at the bios of the MO house and senate members and note how many completed their education at some divinity school...  often some "divinity school" located in the rural ozark hills.  Associates degrees in criminal justice are also quite popular.

      I'll need some room for this...

      by duckhunter on Wed Apr 25, 2012 at 12:50:02 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Just looked at (6+ / 0-)

    Akins' badly crafted (according to wiki) wikipedia page.  No claim to a spouse or children (with or without a spouse).  So, Akin has zero skin in the student loan game -- unless, of course, he got financial assistance in his undergraduate and divinity school years.  Inquiring minds want to know.

    The guy is an overall scumbag -- but even conservatives in Missouri have children who aspire to go to college and need student loans.


    Vi er alle norske " My faith in the Constitution is whole; it is complete; it is total." Barbara Jordan, 1974

    by gchaucer2 on Wed Apr 25, 2012 at 10:27:18 AM PDT

  •  Absolutely, the student loan program (7+ / 0-)

    is a real sore spot.  It looked like such a gravy train for local banksters and their friends in the adult education/human husbandry business, and then the ACA rerouted the train to serve out real education and send the money saved to health clinics.  And, they couldn't complain because to do so would have meant admitting that they were ripping adult students trying to "improve" themselves off.

    Now the corrupt Capitol Hill Gang wants to raise the rates to justify sending the money back to the banks.

    Government is the ultimate DIY enterprise.  Done well, it cuts out the middlemen.  So, how will the middlemen get a cut of the action for themselves?  That's the question of the century.  When there's government BY the people, a host of do-nothing middlemen are displaced.

    People to Wall Street: "LET OUR MONEY GO"

    by hannah on Wed Apr 25, 2012 at 10:32:13 AM PDT

  •  *lightly banging head on the desk* (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TomP, Krush, MrJersey, msmacgyver, Matt Z

    Really?  Keeping the Staford student loan rate from doubling is akin to stage three cancer AND "Socialism"?  Really???

    Why is this even a political issue??

    My head hurts...

    The greatest trick the Devil ever pulled was convincing online commenters that they have anything to say.-- B.F.

    by lcj98 on Wed Apr 25, 2012 at 10:34:48 AM PDT

  •  It's so bloody stupid (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MrJersey, wsexson

    Young voters were such a big part of Obama's coalition (relatively speaking).  One would think that the Repbulicans would do whatever they could not to inflate youth interest, in a negative way.

    Ancora Impara--Michelangelo

    by aravir on Wed Apr 25, 2012 at 10:37:44 AM PDT

    •  not just young (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      It's not just young voters who worry about student loans, their parents also have a lot of skin in the game.  The longer those loans are in being paid off, the longer it is before Junior moves out of the basement and starts working on those grandchildren...

    •  They are not getting it (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Radiogabs, TRPChicago, aravir

      Shrub drew more votes than any Republican in years, maybe ever, from Mexican-Americans, so the Republicans attacked immigration and The Dream Act.

      Obama was strong among women, so the Republicans attacked women's rights.

      Obama was strong among students and young people, so the Republicans attacked student loan and grant programs.

      It's pretty clear to me that the Republican Party is working very hard to purge itself of all but its true believers and I hope they succeed.

  •  On behalf of Missouri's 2nd CD (6+ / 0-)

    I apologize for this asshole and the overwhelming majority of morons in my district who continue to re-elect this asshole.

    Please note that not everyone in MO-02 are ignorant assholes. Between myself and my family, I know of at least 4 MO-02 residents who have a functioning brain.

    "How come when it’s us, it’s an abortion, and when it’s a chicken, it’s an omelette?" - George Carlin

    by yg17 on Wed Apr 25, 2012 at 10:46:13 AM PDT

    •  This is akin to where I am. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Matt Z

      Second reddest county in the state, about 2 hours west of you in new CD 6.  I joke there are only 6 Dems in the county.

      The really scary thing is that this asshole could be the next Junior Senator from Misery.  Of the three k-k-klowns running for the Repup nod, he's probably the "best" of the lot.  Best being a relative term.

      "I'm not writing to make conservatives happy. I want them to hate my opinions. I'm not interested in debating them. I want to stop them." - Steve Gilliard

      by grog on Wed Apr 25, 2012 at 11:48:22 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Rush attacked Sandra Fluke on this (8+ / 0-)

    yesterday.  Said that she wanted others to pay for her education.  

    Actually, she is trying to make the rate on her own debt not go up.  she is not asking for further assistance.  

    Furthermore, the loan program was corporate welfare when it went through banks.  The banks got the interest payments, not individuals. All they got was the debt, and relief from the interest payments while in school.  

    The govt saves money this way, but the fiscal hawks never mention or notice that.  They say the govt now has a monopoly on student loans (they always did) and that competition should be introduced into the system (huh?  is there a bank that wants to pay people's interest for them?).  

    What a bunch of liars.  

    Todd Akin is a lying pig with a masters of divinity.  Lying is a very special way to honor your savior, Congressman.

    The robb'd that smiles steals something from the thief. -- Shakespeare

    by not2plato on Wed Apr 25, 2012 at 10:47:52 AM PDT

    •  Totally unfair comment! (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      grover, LostBuckeye

      It’s really not fair to remind people that we already tried privatizing student loans. That would require a mental giant like Rep. Akin to remember how things were way back before 1993, when Direct Loans from the Dept. of Ed. came to be.

      I can remember getting Guaranteed Student Loans through a private bank when I was an undergrad. I paid an 8.5% interest rate on a loan insured against default by the Federal Government! The bank couldn’t lose!

      Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read. - Groucho Marx

      by Joe Bob on Wed Apr 25, 2012 at 12:08:42 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Right, the banks have no risk (0+ / 0-)

        the feds guarantee the loan: they pay the interest, and if the student defaults, they pay the principle and then assume responsibility for chasing down the deadbeat student.  

        When I was and undergrad ('80-84) my loans were 2% interest, btw.  When I went to grad school ('85-92), my loans were 5%.  Had I not taken the year off in between, I could have had the grad school loans at the 2% rate locked in.  

        The robb'd that smiles steals something from the thief. -- Shakespeare

        by not2plato on Thu Apr 26, 2012 at 07:33:42 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  The more Akin talks, the better (4+ / 0-)

    it is (for Dems)  :-)

    I'm from the Elizabeth Warren and Darcy Burner Wing of the Democratic Party!

    by TomP on Wed Apr 25, 2012 at 10:50:31 AM PDT

  •  If you and your mom and dad can't pay for (7+ / 0-)

    college, you're not allowed to go, say Republicans. They don't care about your SAT's or how well you did in High School.

    "Mistress of the Topaz" is now available in paperback! Link here:

    by Kimball Cross on Wed Apr 25, 2012 at 10:51:49 AM PDT

  •  Too bad this tool doesn't have a chance... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    softserve, Matt Z

    to win the GOP Mo. Sen primary.  OTOH, Steelman was saying a day or so ago that she couldn't comment on support or not regarding the Violence Against Women Act renewal until she read it.  

  •  When is the federal government (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Raynfala, MrJersey

    going to stop tampering in the profit subsidy business?

    "A cynical, mercenary, demagogic press will produce in time a people as base as itself." - Joseph Pulitzer

    by CFAmick on Wed Apr 25, 2012 at 11:07:20 AM PDT

  •  I guess he forgot about the GOP's MOHELA scam (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    gchaucer2, foucaultspendulum

    The one where former GOP Gov. Blunt's campaign donors, including Goldman Sachs, conspired to sell Missouri's student loan program to private investors.


    Throw that back in his face.

    "We must not confuse dissent with disloyalty." Edward R. Murrow

    by Betty Pinson on Wed Apr 25, 2012 at 11:24:51 AM PDT

  •  Sigh (0+ / 0-)

    I moved to Saint Charles, MO from Saint Louis (I'm from Chicago, originally) and Todd Akin has been a constant thorn in my side.

    I still recall the first mailer I got from this guy. It had a little mail-in survey. Every questioned was leading and baited in such a way that it was very clear which option he considered the "wrong" choice and that you should feel foolish for choosing it.

    My only solace is that his office has to waste the time writing up responses to all of the petitions I send his way.

  •  Another opening for my media strategy. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MrJersey, grover, cosmicvoop, Radiogabs

    This is another issue where people could make Republicans very angry simply by referring to Mitt Romney as the leader of the Republican Party.

    "Your party's leader is in favor of student loans, and in fact endorses the president's position. Why are you disagreeing with your party's leader?"

    They, of course, don't see Romney as a leader. They see him as a tool and a placeholder. So the idea that they should follow his lead will incite anger and occasional anti-Romney comments.

    it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses

    by Addison on Wed Apr 25, 2012 at 11:46:17 AM PDT

  •  To paraphrase that Laurence O'Donell ad on MSNBC (5+ / 0-)

    "The GI Bill was the most successful law in the history of US education, and those that opposed it called it 'socialism'".  It would seem that little has changed for Republicans since the end of WWII.  

    And it feels like I'm livin'in the wasteland of the free ~ Iris DeMent, 1996

    by MrJersey on Wed Apr 25, 2012 at 11:52:07 AM PDT

  •  Great speech by Obama at Iowa Univ. on subject (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Alice Olson

    He really hit it out of the ballpark!

    Daily Kos an oasis of truth. Truth that leads to action.

    by Shockwave on Wed Apr 25, 2012 at 11:55:52 AM PDT

  •  If you want everything privatized (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    move to a third world country. You can buy stuff there really cheap too!

    Its neato!

  •  Come to think of it... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Nina Katarina

    Why is the government even running public universities? All that does in undercut the profits of outfits like University of Phoenix or Capella University or Billy Bob's School of Auto Repair & Cosmetology. There is money to be made and government is in the way.

    Wait, what's that you say, "Education is a public good??" What in the world is a public good? All goods should be bought and sold in the Free Market™. No exceptions.

    Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read. - Groucho Marx

    by Joe Bob on Wed Apr 25, 2012 at 11:57:12 AM PDT

  •  Not an expert... (0+ / 0-)

    but wasnt there s little something called the GI Plan following WWII, where GI's came home, enrolled in college with tuition assistance provided by the gummit, and the net result was a workforce ready to move into the next decade?

    Having a hard time finding a "pro-person" gop position anywhere.

    "Refuse to believe in the Culture of Fear"-Thievery Corp.

    by A Runner on Wed Apr 25, 2012 at 11:58:03 AM PDT

  •  The absolute danger of the "socialism" argument (0+ / 0-)

    This Tea Party philosophy IS the cancer growing on our democracy.  This statement by Rep Akin is all of it in a nutshell.

    West. No further west. All sea. -- Robert Grenier

    by Nicolas Fouquet on Wed Apr 25, 2012 at 11:58:30 AM PDT

  •  We must be winning this one. (0+ / 0-)

    It has been true for 60 years or more... when the rightwingers start calling you a "communist," a "socialist," or a "pinko" THEY know they have lost.

  •  youth vote (0+ / 0-)

    I guess when you've got banks paying for your campaign you don't need to worry about who might actually vote. Remember, his constituents are not students, are not parents, are not even people who live in his district.
    Like most elected officials these days, his constituents are the people who pay his bills.

  •  Laura, if "eyes are the entry to the soul", and (0+ / 0-)

    foolish words the expression of hollow people, this diary confirms my fears.  

    Todd Akin, and most Republicans are on the precipice of a dark side; lemmings on a cliff, awaiting surrender of the call to join the others smashing their brains on the rocks below.

  •  These morons have no idea about socialism. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    helfenburg, Wintermute, softserve

    In socialist countries, college is free.

    I believe all Southern liberals come from the same starting point -- race. Once you figure out they are lying to you about race, you start to question everything.- Molly Ivins

    by shoeless on Wed Apr 25, 2012 at 12:02:57 PM PDT

  •  my life would be shit without staford loans (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    i would NEVER have been able to get private loans.  i would not have ever gone to college.  which is the idea for these people i think.  keep the working class out of college.  now THAT is class warfare.  

    some people are just begging for pitchforks and torches.  i swear to god.

    i think my cat is possessed by dick cheney

    by Anton Bursch on Wed Apr 25, 2012 at 12:03:10 PM PDT

  •  Nice comb-over Todd... (0+ / 0-)

    Now go away.

    Just another day in Oceania.

    by drshatterhand on Wed Apr 25, 2012 at 12:04:07 PM PDT

  •  My prayer: Oh, Lord, please, please let the (0+ / 0-)

    Republicans run on a platform of banning contraception and government-funded student loans.  Amen, oh Lord, hear my prayer.

  •  Be sure to catch Obama's U of Iowa (0+ / 0-)

    speech if you can.  He has a lot of fun with this fool  and his talk of Stage Three Cancer of Socialism.  

    MSNBC has just run most of the speech uninterrupted and it was a great speech, compelling and entertaining   Well worth the time to find and watch it.

    The good we secure for ourselves is precarious and uncertain, is floating in mid-air, until it is secured for all of us and incorporated into our common life. Jane Addams

    by Alice Olson on Wed Apr 25, 2012 at 12:06:31 PM PDT

  •  Ironic that commercial banks fled that market (0+ / 0-)

    In the depths of the bank crash, commercial banks fled the student loan market, and had ED not stepped in, there would have been no student loans available.  So ED basically did for student loans what the federal government did for banks in general, which was to step in and support a financial market that the private sector had messed up.

    Also ironic is the fact that if it weren't for federal student loans, all those for-profit colleges that can's seem to graduate too many folks would all of a sudden go out of business.

    -9.00, -5.85
    If only stupidity were painful...

    by Wintermute on Wed Apr 25, 2012 at 12:06:53 PM PDT

  •  Appears that these geniuses don't understand (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    That better educated middle-class folks tend to make more money, tend to buy more and bigger (like houses, cars and refrigerators) and tend to pay more taxes to both the Feds and the states, as well as keeping the economy chugging along.

    A college degree is still the best stepping stone from being working class or poor into the middle class.

    Oh, that's right. They don't care. They have been perfectly fine with off shoring good American jobs for years....

    © grover

    So if you get hit by a bus tonight, would you be satisfied with how you spent today, your last day on earth? Live like tomorrow is never guaranteed, because it's not. -- Me.

    by grover on Wed Apr 25, 2012 at 12:10:42 PM PDT

  •  What about the commie stooges in Akin's (0+ / 0-)

    district who are getting farm support, small business loans along with various federal funds going to health, education and infrastructure from the 'socialist' government?  

  •  The money spent on college loans (0+ / 0-)

    could be better used in purchasing a 3rd vacation home in the Bahamas for a wall street broker or paying for new leather seats in his Gulfstream G500 jet.

    Why waste it on someone who'll probably vote Democratic anyway.

    What can be asserted without proof can be dismissed without proof. - C. Hitchens

    by sizzzzlerz on Wed Apr 25, 2012 at 12:50:01 PM PDT

  •  So all the European Countries (0+ / 0-)

    are cancerous?

    " A lot of money is tainted - taint yours and taint mine." Unknown author

    by libbie on Wed Apr 25, 2012 at 01:22:24 PM PDT

  •  GOP candidates for McCasskill (0+ / 0-)

    With MO trending red, anti-incumbent mood, and personal baggage (tax dollars on her family's plane); Claire is the most vulnerable Senator running for reelection.

    The only positive is the utter fools running in the GOP who apparently want her reelected. So Akin is Mr. Socialist Cancer, Sarah Steelmen (what is the Violence Against Women act?), and Brunner's company has it's credit downgraded while taking govt tax credits. None of them know the minimum wage.  

    Keep it up GOP.

  •  When a Republican has nothing else to offer in (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    solutions to problems, or has lost the argument, they start clutching straws.  In order they are:

    1.  Blame Bill Clinton
    2,  Blame Hillary Clinton
    3.  Blame Jimmy Carter
    4.  Blame a Kennedy, any Kennedy
    5.  Blame Barack Obama
    6.  Call the opposition a Socialist
    7.  Call the opposition a Communist
    8.  Call the opposition a Fascist, sometimes in the same sentence where the Radical Right Republican called the person a Communist.  They know their audience can't tell the difference between a Fascist and a Communist, hence it makes no difference what they say, it's still nonsense.

    The order above may shift a bit, but Socialist, Communist, Fascist are scraping bottom for the RadRep, and they say it just because THEY HAVE NOTHING!

    Republicans are like alligators. All mouth and no ears.

    by Ohiodem1 on Wed Apr 25, 2012 at 01:59:23 PM PDT

  •  So, in Missouri, kids are so smart they don't ... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    ... have to go on to college, or can work the jobs required to pay-as-they-go, or enriching private lenders is part of their learning process.

    Obama and strong Democratic majorities in 2012!

    by TRPChicago on Wed Apr 25, 2012 at 02:28:28 PM PDT

  •  He understands what the word "loan" means, right? (0+ / 0-)
  •  Mitt Romney = "Cancer OF Socialism?" (0+ / 0-)


    There’s always free cheddar in a mousetrap, baby

    by bernardpliers on Wed Apr 25, 2012 at 04:58:09 PM PDT

  •  Akin (0+ / 0-)

    Akin like most GOP politicians in MO is an idiot.  Too bad There are no more John Danforths in the GOP there.

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