Hendricks County Flyer, Avon, IN

Commentary

June 7, 2013

Warren misses the mark on education debt problem

College graduates facing a crushing debt – some more than $100,000 – is a very big and a very real problem.

But U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s recent proposal to deal with it won’t solve the problem. It is a cheap ploy to divert attention from the real problem.

If the former Harvard Law hotshot professor and now superstar senator from Massachusetts really wants to deal with crushing student debt, the place to start is not by beating up on banks. She and her academic colleagues should start by looking in the mirror. They, along with an allegedly compassionate government, are the real causes of the problem.

Sure, banks are an easy target. We’ve all been told that they (along with their “crony,” President George W. Bush) took down the American economy. We have endlessly heard about how greedy and venal they are. Sen. Warren keeps talking about how the middle class is getting “hammered” and how banks are the chief villains in all that hammering.

Maybe in some cases that is true. But when it comes to student debt, Warren is playing the same old political game she pretended to disapprove of when she was running for office — shift the blame for a problem by distraction: Hey, look over there! A big, bad bank!

There is nothing good for college students about Warren’s first piece of legislation, hilariously titled, “The Bank on Students Loan Fairness Act.” Yes, Liz is all about fairness, as long as she gets to define it.

Her bill is designed to look good to anybody who doesn’t bother to scratch the surface. It would cut the 3.4 percent interest rate on federally subsidized Stafford loans — scheduled to double to 6.8 percent in July — to 0.75 percent.

Her argument is, “If the Federal Reserve can float trillions of dollars to large financial institutions at low interest rates to grow the economy, surely they can float the Department of Education the money to fund our students, keep us competitive, and grow our middle class.”

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