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The Student News Site of Drake University

The Times-Delphic

The Student News Site of Drake University

The Times-Delphic

Obama and candidates address student loan reform

Erixon is a junior politics and rhetoric double major and can be contacted at

In the last week it has been encouraging to watch education policy, and student loan reform in particular, become visible issues in the presidential race. Almost everyone in the Republican field has come out in favor of eliminating the education department and drastically cutting student aid while Obama has recently announced a major policy shift on student loan reform.

The plan, known as “Pay As You Earn,” will help ease student loan burdens and makes it less difficult for graduates to repay their debts. Under the new policies, graduates will be able to cap their payments at 10% of their discretionary income and would create a path for loan forgiveness after 20 years of payments.

President Obama understands that having an educated population and workforce is vital to restoring our economy and rebuilding our middle class. That is why he has worked his entire presidency to reform our education system, by encouraging innovation with his Race to the Top program and through major investments in school construction and tuition assistance.

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This plan is representative of Barack Obama’s long record of advancing the interests of students and young Americans. Everything from infrastructure spending and reform to education innovation is very much focused on building a new national future. As much as Barack Obama has made tough decisions to help repair the economy today, he has always had a much longer view of policy that took into account the long-term effects of our current policy debates.

Even as he strived to create shovel ready jobs in The Recovery Act he worked to invest in high-speed rail and other infrastructure improvements that will help modernize our economy. And now, with his American Jobs Act he is balancing the need to take immediate action to spur economic growth with the need to make major investments in the future of our economy, our workforce and our infrastructure.

Unfortunately the one thing that has consistently served as an impediment to this progress has been the Republican leadership in Washington. At each every step of the way, President Obama has presented fresh and innovative ideas to reform our system and bring about positive change, and every time he has been shot down by obstructionists in Congress who are solely interested in protecting the wealthy and the corporations.

While this gridlock has made for entertaining political theater, it does nothing to help the millions of jobless Americans who are bearing the consequences of the last decade of deregulation and tax polices that coddled the wealthy. These millions cannot wait for Congress to get its act together. They need help, they need reform, they need action, and they need it now. I applaud President Obama for taking the initiative and using his executive authority to provide some assistance to struggling Americans. I only hope that there were more politicians with that kind of political courage.

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  • M

    MikeNov 2, 2011 at 5:17 pm

    Good comment Ben. This is another empty political move by Obama to try to get ready for the 2012 election. (changing the current rule from 25 to 20 years)

    Casey decides not to talk about how Obama included a clause allowing creditors easier access to students’ personal information in his “Jobs” bill (a.k.a. failed stimulus part II)

    • B

      buckeyeladyNov 4, 2011 at 9:07 am

      Very failed “stimulus” package. Very failed Obummer administration. It is astonishing that there is ONE citizen that can even find the “good” in the current administration.

      This is serious. However, I can understand the mind of young folks “not getting it” when it comes to how the world works. I can understand that they THINK Democrats are “cool” because they supposedly spread peace and love and money and equal rights to all, but I tell you Youngins this: They spread NOTHING of the sort. Complete delusion, and it’s deliberate. This IS the dumbing down of America. A la carte the Democratic party’s elephant dung. When you “grow up” you will see
      that life is not a bowl of cherries. It’s not a party. It’s not about ‘equality’ for all. It’s about getting a job, saving your money, be responsible, being creative all to the good of yourself and society.

      The “Fed Govt” isn’t a perpetual mommy and daddy.

      Question Casey… Are you a good student? Do you get good grades? If the answer is yes (and I hope it is) – imagine this situation….

      You are earning your credits and your GPA is great, nice and high. Why is that? It’s probably because you earned it by thinking and studying hard. Now lets take your room-mate. He is lazy, gets bad grades, but will ultimately get the same degree as you and in the work force, you and him will basically be competing for the same jobs.

      You KNOW you will be the more successful one job-wise (and probably salary wise, because you know you’re smarter and more responsible).

      But at the end of the day (or grad day) the over-seer of all comes along, in his DEMOCRATIC agenda/policy way and says “Casey, your GPA is outstanding and you’ve earned it, but Bozo here is lacking a bit in that dept, so we are going to take some of your GPA and give it to Bozo so that we can have a better measure of “equality”. Thank you for spreading the wealth of your earned GPA. Here take this gift card to McDonalds as a token of appreciation!”.

      UH…..Scuze me, but I get the feeling YOU are gonna be PISSED. Well guess what? If you are then you are REALLY NOT a “Democrat” – Democrats BOW to this type of equality. And THAT is EXACTLY the Democratic Party YOU (as a delusional youngin) support!

      You unwittingly support a socialistic system because it just seems like it’s the “cooler” one. They’re the all loving free party that wants ‘everyone’ to be prosperous.

      So not so.

      Life is what YOU make of it. Not what your govt gives you.

      Yes, there are some things valuable where the govt can help it’s citizens in times of need, but the bottomline is that YOU need to get out there and be your own. You need to be progressive for yourself. Govt doesn’t need to be progressive and “advance”. It’s policies – Namely the Constitution is PERPETUAL – no change needed. It’s been ammended to address issues related to citizens rights, and to STILL leave Govt out of your life.

      BTW: Obama knows NOTHING about “restoring our economy”. NOTHING!

      The ONLY candidate on the horizon that will actually help our economy (and that is all we have left) is Ron Paul. He is unmatched by all opposing candidates, including Obama-Bin-Lyin. All others pathetically slip on their words defending some idiotic idea to get us back up and running.

      RON PAUL is it. Last Chance. There will never be another time for RON PAUL to run. If you exclude his existence in this race, you WILL live to regret it.

  • J

    Judith AllenNov 2, 2011 at 8:19 am

    Why are the interest rates on Stafford loans fixed @6.8%interest and alternative loans from Iowa Student loan now at 2.5% interest? I realize the 2.5% rates are adjustable but for the time being far more affordable. Why can’t the govt reduce the interest rate on Stafford loans which would ease the student’s repayment?

  • D

    DillonNov 1, 2011 at 4:07 pm

    ^ They Pretty much summed it up.

  • B

    buckeyeladyNov 1, 2011 at 8:09 am

    Typical write-up from a delusional and/or brain-washed “forward thinking” “progressive” “liberal”. You really don’t see that our country is in DEBT do you, and you’re supporting all “forward-thinking” young adults into their own DEBT until at least the age of 45. Ummm……that’s really good…. we’ll have a bunch of smart-ass know-nothings. The complete and utter ironic ‘dumbing down’ of America, a la carte Obummer administration. I really do pity the “liberal” leaning young adults who mainly get the notion to go to college so they can party-hardy and look smart doing it. Do yourself a favor, get a job and stop robbing the tax payers. If you can’t afford college, look to your state for help. Exactly HOW is the FED GOVT “protecting” it’s citizens by lending you money for tuition? I’d prefer my tax dollars be spent on ‘something else’ besides your continuing education that today doesn’t even lead to a job, because there are NO JOBS and there won’t be any jobs till our economy is straightened out and we get out of this debt. Instead of your “forward thinking” “progressive” “liberal” (whatever that equates to in your mind) why don’t you just face the facts that YOUR COUNTRY is going to hell because of this so-called “forward thinking” administration.

    Don’t you realize what this administration is doing? They are bankrupting our country and you are losing your freedom. You need to educate yourself and grow up! Get a job! pay for your education as you go. You’ll be glad you did that! Go to a community college. They teach the same thing! Whiny little progressive/forward thinking brainwashed young adults.

    OWS – whining about the bailouts yet looking for student loan bail outs. WOW. Hypocrites!

    ONE TRILLION dollars in student loans? WHERE IN THE HELL did that money even come from? This is ridiculous!

    Whatever happened to owning things because you PAID for it? How did it get PAID for? WORK!! I think that’s the problem! Nobody wants to work. Hand outs from the GOVT is all you look for. That’s PROGRESSIVE? THAT’S FWD THINKING? WAKE UP DUMMIES!

  • B

    Ben AustinOct 31, 2011 at 5:25 pm

    His policy does nothing for the people who have private loans from for profit private colleges. I have $40,000 in private loans at 16% interest…. thanks for nothing.