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Sigh. This time it's Rep. Roscoe Bartlett (R-Md.) comparing the Holocaust to something that is really, really not like the Holocaust at all:

“Not that it’s not a good idea to give students loans, it certainly is a good idea to give them loans,” Bartlett said. “But if you can ignore the Constitution to do something good today, tomorrow you will be ignoring the Constitution to do something bad. You could. There are more people in our, in America today of German ancestry than any other [inaudible]. The Holocaust that occurred in Germany — how in the heck could that happen? And when you start down the wrong road, it can be a very slippery slope.”

If you don't believe me, watch it yourself. The stupid begins about 3:30 in.

Now, obviously it's going to be the Holocaust comment that gets the most attention, and rightly so, because it is a stupid, witless, pathetic remark from a stupid, witless, pathetic man. But I also want to draw attention to the commonly expressed teabagger idea that the federal government cannot do anything that the Constitution--a document written more than 200 years ago in an agrarian society by people who weren't any better at predicting the future than any of us are--does not specifically say it can do. This is a nonsensical, ahistorical idea propagated by people who are too dim to understand what they are talking about.

The Constitution doesn't say the federal government is allowed to purchase jet aircraft, does it? No! And yet the Defense Department has thousands of them. I guess that must be covered under "provide for the common defense," huh? Well, guess what: Federal student loans provide for the general welfare of the United States. Idiot.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (5+ / 0-)

    If I'm lyin', I'm Ryan!

    by phenry on Thu Sep 06, 2012 at 12:13:32 PM PDT

  •  Still, the loans should be used with caution. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    fuzzyguy, johnel

    I'm not writing in the same context as the diary, I should mention. It's just that when you take out a loan you assume that you will eventually be making good enough money to pay it back. However, a lot of people (I've heard as high as 50%) end up dropping out and facing paying back a loan that will survive bankruptcy.

    It was good to hear one speech at the Democratic Convention that mentioned a payback system to be based on earnings; I think it was mentioned that the loan amount would be adjusted to be commensurate with the earning power of the person who took out the loan. So that would be a useful change from the way things are now.

    My kids got thru by going to a state school that was good but relatively inexpensive (University of Idaho), financing it with a combination of work and loans. They ended up with about 10K in loans each. Of course, that was about 10 years ago. I imagine the numbers would be higher now.

    Makes me kind of glad I went to school in an era where you could earn one large three item pizza per hour at an average student job and an out of state semester's tuition at the University of Michigan was about 130 pizzas or so.

    Moderation in most things.

    by billmosby on Thu Sep 06, 2012 at 12:37:17 PM PDT

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