Bill ending banks' role in student loans stalls in Senate from the Washington Post 1/29/10
The breadth of the effects of the right wing's nay saying is sickening. As millions of aspiring kids and their families struggle to figure out how to finance college tuition, the Senate Republicans are saying NO to a bill passed by the House last year that would save families $80 billion dollars over the next ten years, largely by eliminating bank fees and profits. What's not to like?
Ask Republican Lamar Alexander of Tennessee who said, in some sort of Orwellian double-speak, "Relying on budgetary gimmicks to stage another Washington takeover, this time of 15 million student loans, is not good for college students. The Department of Education in Washington will not be able to serve students as well as 3,000 lending institutions." Mr. Alexander has been the recipient of more than $500,000 in contributions from the securities and banking industry since 2005, by the way.
Now, those institutions range across a broad spectrum of size and kind. But let's take an average. This average bank would, if the legislation fails, earn $26,667,000 over that ten year period, or roughly $2.7 million per year. Alexander claims this is a government "takeover." Senator, this is a federally funded, federally guaranteed program. The banks have been used to administer the funds but, because of their dubious records over the last 10+ years and their excessive profits torn from the skin of the backs of the middle-class, they have lost their privileges. Direct lending of taxpayer money back to taxpayers seems to make eminent good sense. And, as the right wing is so fond of trumpeting, it would cut inefficiencies.
Who is really for the American people when millions of struggling kids need college financing?
Certainly not the right wing, which wants to wring every last nickel out of the middle class, and has no moral compunction about doing so.