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President Obama delivers his 2011 State of the Union address
If Congress doesn't act, student loan rates double in 10 days, on July 1. According to President Obama, speaking today to students, if that happens, "more than 7 million students will be hit with the equivalent of a $1,000 tax hike," yet "we've been stuck watching Congress play chicken with another deadline."

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell referred to the president's focus on student loans as "another sad example of his election-year strategy of deflection and distraction." McConnell's official logic here is that the House passed a bill that would extend the lower student loan interest rates—by cutting funding for cancer screenings and childhood immunizations. Senate Republicans, meanwhile, filibustered a bill that would have kept student loan interest rates low by closing a corporate tax loophole. According to McConnell, since the House passed a bill and the Senate hasn't yet, the Senate should pass the House bill and the president should sign it, regardless of what exactly is in the House bill.

Obama urged students and parents to keep up the pressure on Congress to extend the 3.4 percent interest rate without demanding unacceptable trade-offs, pushing back on Republican claims that this issue is a distraction from the economy by noting that "this is the economy." It's hard to know what else to call adding a $1,000 a year burden to 7 million working-class and middle-class young people. "Tell them," he said, "to double down on an America where everybody who works hard has a fair shot at success."

Fri Jun 22, 2012 at 9:56 AM PT: As Obama says, we need to keep the pressure on. Tell Congress to act now and prevent student loans from doubling on July 1.

Originally posted to Daily Kos Labor on Thu Jun 21, 2012 at 11:30 AM PDT.

Also republished by ClassWarfare Newsletter: WallStreet VS Working Class Global Occupy movement, Progressive Hippie, German American Friendship Group, and Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Who loses? (8+ / 0-)

    If interest rates double, which I believe they will, who loses? It's not the Republicans, it is millions of college students who depend on student loans to go to school.

    The Republicans will not extend the 3.4 percent interest rate without some sort of trade-off, but if they do, it will shock the hell out of me.

    24, male, OK-02 (current), TX-04 (born)

    by chancew on Thu Jun 21, 2012 at 01:15:45 PM PDT

  •  screw student loans (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Jabarten, Matt Z, wsexson, thomask

    College should be free to anyone who wants to go, like high school.

  •  How does closing this loophole... (0+ / 0-)

    provide any funding for student loans? Closing the loophole, which allows the wealthy to avoid SS and Medicare payments, will provide funding to SS and Medicare. SS is not part of the General Fund.

  •  Student loan payback (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LouisMartin

    I'm thinkin' that if we get another 4 years, student loans are gonna be FAR different than what they are now...even to the point of "forgiveness" and "funding" for those that meet-the-grade...and, I'd be totally okay with that.

    We have to make sure our kids that are interested in their own future and in being citizens that give to our society get that advantage.  But, we have to make sure that kids that are just going to college to avoid working and being responsible for themselves and achieving in our society don't just take advantage of giveaways that keep them away from progressing in their lives.

    Okay...I'll explain that to anyone that doesn't understand it.

    The truth is sometimes very inconvenient.

    by commonsensically on Thu Jun 21, 2012 at 01:50:14 PM PDT

  •   deflection and distraction!!?? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Hill Jill, kitebro, Matt Z

    McConnell is disgusting.

    $1000 a years is not a "distraction" to my daughter who struggles with student loan debt.

    •  $1000 a year? (0+ / 0-)

      First of all, the rates are fixed - so any loans your daughter already has will not change.

      Secondly, the maximum subsidized loan you can get is $5,500 (and only for your 3rd year and beyond - first 2 years are 3,500 and 4,500).  An extra 3.4% interest rate is around $200 a year.  The only way your daughter would pay an extra $1000 a year in interest due to this change is if she starts school now, goes for 6 years, and takes out the maximum amount ($30,000).  Then she would pay an extra $1000 in interest the first year (but it would go down after that, once she starts paying off the principle).

      However, since you say that your daughter "struggles" with student loan debt - that means that your daughter is already out of school and nothing about this affects her.  Stop believing everything a politician tells you.  You have been lied to.

      •  Also (0+ / 0-)

        Forgot to mention that the 3.4% interest rate was only around for one year.  In 2010-11, they were 4.5%, in 2009-10 they were 5.6%, and in 2008-09 they were 6%.  So I was actually being generous in my analysis.  No one had a 3.4% interest rate all through college.  It was only the lucky ones who were there last year.

  •  Doesn't this only apply to NEW student loans? (0+ / 0-)

    I thought people who currently have loans will not see their interest rate change, but only those getting new loans.

    It still sucks, though.

  •  How about "Republicans" play chicken (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Matt Z

    with another deadline instead of "Congress"?

  •  Obama gets the headlines (0+ / 0-)

    McTurtle doesn't. The GOP has stuck it to my kid and millions like her. And most of America will realize that fact. Very soon.

    Romney - 2012 - He's A Trooper!

    by kitebro on Thu Jun 21, 2012 at 02:10:39 PM PDT

  •  Can't Get Excited About this (0+ / 0-)

    Low interest helps, but the problem someone with $50k in student loan debt has is the $50k in student loan debt.

    And what does a win here get us: a applause line and then continued not doing anything about the actual problem?

    How about no more federal guarantee to the student loan sharks and the ability to forgive the debt through bankruptcy?  Or maybe the fed buying student loan debt instead of mortgages and treasuries?  If the White House wants to fight for something that would really help, I'm in.  Not for this.

  •  Christian nation my ASS!! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Matt Z

    Usurt is a fucking SIN in the bible.  There shouldn't be ANY interest rate on student loans in a "Christian" nation.

    i think my cat is possessed by dick cheney

    by Anton Bursch on Thu Jun 21, 2012 at 02:15:36 PM PDT

  •  No they won't "double" - stop lying (0+ / 0-)

    I am a liberal Obama supporter, but these lies about student loans are really pissing me off.  Student loan rates are not going to "double" - this is only about future student loans.  Saying they will double implies that everyone else's rate is going up.  Also, they were only at the extremely low 3.4% rate for 1 year.  So it is again misleading to claim they will double.  I really do not like being lied to and this is not the way to pass a bill.

  •  Dear Democrats: Try this framing (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LouisMartin, Matt Z, arealniceguy

    "We want a clean bill and an up-or-down vote."

    Don't get distracted with the standard-issue Republican tactics. Yertle will yammer about all the unsavory bills he and his robber baron lickspittle pals passed that included keeping student loan rates down. It's a distraction.

    There's no need to explain all this "Yes, the Republicans passed a bill, but it had unacceptable other parts." Because all the popular media will report is that "Democrats agreed that Republicans had passed a bill with what the Democrats want, but . . ." Followed by it doesn't matter what.

    Just say you want a clean bill on student loan rates with an up-or-down vote. "Clean bill." "Up-or-down vote." The Republicans say that all the goddam time with highly salutary results. Let's see if the exact same tactic will work in our favor for a change.

  •  The repubs will put lots of $$$earmarks$$$ (0+ / 0-)

    so their local companies get a boost. Note I didn't say their districts repub voters. because they do not care what they think. Their money bag supporters will invest in the media and take care of getting the voters.

    Constitutions should consist only of general provisions; the reason is that they must necessarily be permanent, and that they cannot calculate for the possible change of things. Alexander Hamilton (1755-1804) Just A Real Nice Guy, thinking out loud.

    by arealniceguy on Thu Jun 21, 2012 at 05:54:51 PM PDT

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