The federal student loan program has been a whammy, the academic version of selling people mortgages they can’t afford, generating $1.1 trillion in debt while fueling tuition hikes. That’s more money than Americans owe on credit cards, huge numbers are defaulting, and here comes President Barack Obama with a solution. Only it’s not. It’s a farce.

In full campaign mode while once more neglecting the duties of office, Obama showed up at a Denver high school to outline more of his executive orders that will do absolutely nothing for 29 million of the 36 million paying off these loans, and something on the order of a smidgen for most of the others.

One move affecting roughly 6 million of the debtors, for instance, is to allow consolidation of private and public loans so as to reduce interest payments by half a percentage point, or less than $10 a month, according to a calculation by Atlantic magazine. But hold the chuckles. There’s more.

The president also intends to reduce the mandatory amount due on some loans in 2012 from 15 percent of income a year to 10 percent, while allowing full forgiveness after 20 years instead of 25. The thing is, this change was due to go into effect in 2014 anyway, no more than 1.6 million will be eligible for it, and many of those probably won’t sign up because, when you deal with Uncle Sam, it’s not red, white and blue you are dealing with. It is only red. Red tape.

“We can’t wait for Congress,” Obama said while in the swing state of Colorado that could be absolutely crucial in next year’s presidential election. The question is how much longer we can wait for Obama to get serious about the economy (not to mention the Constitution he is ignoring). Here he is trying to replicate Harry Truman’s unexpected victory in 1948 by running against a “do-nothing Congress” when he ought to be seeking common ground on measures he has been hiding from for three years now.

You remember, of course, how he backed a do-nothing stimulus bill that worsened a debt that absolutely has to be restructured for the economy to purr. His real attention most of his first year in office was to a health care measure that raises deficits, raises costs, denies liberties and fixes virtually nothing that could not have been more cheaply accomplished. Advocates trotted out horror stories that could be trotted out under any system as if the bill would cure them. A favorite was how so many of the elderly could not afford long-term care.

Of course, the section of a mostly unread, 2,000-page bill that dealt with that issue was flimflam, as even Obama finally recognized in announcing it would go poof. Not too long before that, however, he had figured out a way to make his “reform” more expensive by making sure even the rich he wants to tax more will soon have to make no insurance co-payments on birth control purchases. The worst of the act is that it adds more to the debt and is scaring businesses out of expansion because of the costs and complications for them.

Time and again, government does that kind of thing. As too many have failed to notice, Congress prompted the fiscal crisis by conniving with Fannie Mae and Wall Street on means of getting mortgage loans to the unqualified. Among those later lying bloody on the ground were those awarded the unaffordable mortgages. Preoccupied with his health measure, Obama had some weak-kneed ideas to help them and lately came up with more weak-kneed ideas to bring down interest rates for those struggling the least.

The student loan program has been more of the same. While tuition charges have gone up beyond the ability of many families to pay, the government has made it easier for them to find the money in the short run, meaning tuition charges go up even more. The politically advantageous move is to pretend the guaranteed loans are rescue instead of culprit, but culprit they are.


Jay Ambrose can be reached at

(8) comments


You ain't seen notin' yet!!

Obomb is moving into full campaign mode. He deliberately held the withdrawal of our troops from Iraq until the timing was best for his recently launched reelection bid. That should have been done 2 years ago. How many have died or been crippled in the last 2 years?

Now he is out campaigning on our dollar, pretending to be doing the people's business, what frickin’ a joke.

In the last week or so he has rolled out several "targeted" programs via executive order that are nothing more the identifying a sector that he hopes to seduce into voting for him but in reality do little of nothing to improve the overall economy.

The most obvious is the Student Loan scam he just launched. The fact is it does nothing for most with student loans and those that would be helped would be in the exact same place in 2014. This an obvious case of trying to improve their situation in time to get their vote in the 2012 elections.

Keep in mind that this is a “thinks like a King”, wannabe dictator that uses executive order like Kings and Dictators use Royal Decree.

So you ain’t seen nothin’ yet. King Obomb is going to pull out all the stops and probably drop millions if not billions of your taxpayers dollars trying to pay people for their vote.

The Gimlet Eye
The Gimlet Eye


College Conspiracy

College education is the largest scam in U.S. history!

An Orcutt Reader

@Gimlet, that video is an eye opener! I have always been pro college but within the last 5 years have changed my opinion. The video makes me realize it is worse than I thought.


Thank you Gimlet Eye for sharing such an eye-opening video. I thought about returning to college to finish my AA degree to pursue a career change, but I think I'll spend it on dog obedience classes for my pup. Money much wiser spent.

The Gimlet Eye
The Gimlet Eye

You are welcome, folks.

Don't get me wrong, education is a wonderful thing, but.......

getting it via a "scam" is not the way to do it!

Spread the word about this video, folks! It's time to clean up education in this country!

An Orcutt Reader

Even worse Gimlet is all of the fraud that goes on. I can't believe that woman who figured out how to make the taxpayers buy her a car - unbelievable! I'm sure those things happen more often than we realize.


Prior to enactment of the GI Bill after WWII, college was an option for the sons and daughters of the rich only - unless one happened to be a gifted athlete. The GI Bill was, and is, responsible for greater upward social mobility than any other measure in American history. Without access to student loans, many of today's youth would face the same obstacles to fulfilling their dreams as did their working class counterparts prior to passage of the GI Bill. As with other "entitlement" programs, today's conservatives resent paying for programs for which there is no obvious personal gain.


The Obama Administration, in the interest of clearness and transparency, rolled out its new easy-to-understand financial aid form on July 24. The federal government is recommending universities to look at the brand new "shopping sheet" for the 2013-2014 school years. Resource for this article: i need a loan i can pay back monthly

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