In what is clearly an attempt to get people to look away from the scandals overtaking his administration the President delivered a rose garden speech surrounded by college kids today.
Photo: Getty Images
"We can't keep saddling young people with more and more debt just as they're starting out in life".
'He's finally got it!' I thought. But then he continued
“We cannot price the middle class or folks who are willing to work hard to get into the middle class out of a college education".
Oh... that. What about the $53,000 in debt we saddle on you the minute you're born? Actually since we understand that babies and poor folks can't pay toward the government debt it's now over $150,000 for every working person. And in Obama's first term he saddled $64,000 of extra debt on each taxpayer. The average yearly cost of in state tuition books and dorms according to CNN is $16,510. Meaning 4 years of college would cost $66,040 or less than half the debt our government puts on you once you graduate.
Also the crisis the President is talking about is another self created tragedy. If this feels like deja vu all over again like Yogi Berra said, it's because last year at this time the President made the same speech. It has to do with federal interest rates on student loans which are currently set at 3.4% set to jump to 6.8% on July 1st. Like the fiscal cliff crisis which he created in the Oval Office, July of 2011 and extended through January 2013, this is another crisis that he could have solved before any drama. But now we're weeks away and he wants to play hero to the 7 million college kids who fund their schooling with Stafford loans.
But I have to admit I do like his plan a little bit better than the GOP's. The GOP plan ties student loans to the interest rates on 10 year treasury notes plus 2.5 percent. But they change every year the student is in school. They cap the max rate out at 8%. Obama also ties it to the interest rates on 10 year treasury notes plus 2% but locks you in for 4 years. He also guarantees that your payments once you graduate don't exceed 10% of your annual income. I like both plans but the Obama plan a bit better because it allows a student to lock in a rate, and more importantly helps assure they won't default on their loan. But either plan will be better than what we have now. So Obama should turn down the rhetoric like "the GOP plan isn't smart and it's not fair." It's almost the same as yours!