Sunday, September 20, 2009

Good News for UA Students!

The House of Representatives last week passed H. R. 3221, a student loan reform bill that would simplify the federally guaranteed student loan system, save an estimated $87 billion over 10 years and use that money saved to increase financial aid to low-income students, improve community colleges, and raise standards for early childhood education. There's already another recent law that forgives part or all of the debt for college graduates who go into careers in public service.

The new legislation is rather simple and makes lots of sense, even though the bankers and their loyal stooges in Congress don't like it. If this becomes law, no longer will the federal government be doling out the funds to private banks holding toxic assets and giving big bonuses to executives who made bad decisions. The new Stafford and Perkins Direct Loans cut out the middleman and the guaranteed profits to banks and, instead, get the money directly to students at 5% interest. The bill also expands and authorizes full funding for direct Pell Grants to students.

The bill passed by a vote of 253-171. Congressman John Boozman (R-Arvest) voted against it.


  1. Why do the College Republicans support Boozman? Because their daddies are bankers, and they don't have to take out student loans. Nor do they have to go fight in Iraq, worry about the cost of health care, or even consider working for minimum wage.

  2. I would venture to say 2:49 that most college Republicons cannot understand the above column.
    By now, with over 16 years of corporate handouts under our collective belts, people of college age think "that's the way it's always been." For most of them it has.

    This is a move toward sanity. Boozman voted against expanding student loans in 2006 then has the audacity to show up on UA campus for special achievements and awards.

    There is no limit to Boozer's gall, or his two-facedness. Come to think of it, most Republicons are made of similar stuff.

    However, before we start getting all feel-good over this another victory for sanity the bill must go the Senate where our own Blue Cross Democrat, Sen Lincoln, sits on the Finance Committee. So don't get your hopes up too far. I'm sure the Arkansas Bankers Assoc has had more than a few good words with Blanche about taking away one of their bidness models.

  3. Congressman Boozman knows there are more students than bankers in his district. He also knows students don't register, don't vote, don't have hired lobbyists to take him to dinner or golfing, and don't make meaningful campaign contributions. Neither do the parents of students who need student loans and Pell grants. The vote was a No-Brainer for Boozman. Maybe all of his votes are.

  4. Blanche Lincoln would have a hard time justifying a "no" vote on this issue based on the relative inefficiency of letting the government handle money. I believe her farm subsidies come directly from the government.

  5. We should let AIG and Bernie Madoff handle our national student loan programs as private enterprise propositions. Only the rich know how to manipulate wealth for the benefit of the society.

    God Knows -- by Divine Right only the rich kids really deserve an education!

    Reinstitute the right of Prima Noctae for the frat boys while you're at it.

    God made wealth and the poor deserve to be exploited!