Saturday, September 8, 2007

The U.S. Government Forgives Student Loans - For Its Own Employees

It Really Pays To Work For The Government!!

Forbes featured this news story about how the members of Congress have given themselves and their aides forgiveness of federal student loan debt.

So if you are a full-time public service employee (including law enforcement, or the military, public health, teaching and of course, the government) then you can take advantage of one of the provisions of a major education bill that was just passed which forgives the balance on your Federal Direct Loans if you have made at least 10 years worth of payments on those loans.

The articles says this:
The bill, known as the College Cost Reduction Act, is designed to provide $20 billion in student aid to borrowers by reducing government subsidies to lenders. The money saved will be used primarily for student grants and scholarships, including a $1090 increase in individual Pell Grants for needy students by 2013. It also reduces interest rates on many federal Stafford loans by 50% by 2011, and it includes $500 million in aid for predominantly minority colleges. President Bush is expected to sign the legislation into law soon.

“Our loan forgiveness program will allow students to follow their hearts and dreams into professions they love, rather than choosing jobs on the basis of their student loan burden," says Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, who chairs the senate education committee. "All of us will benefit as a result.”

Maybe. But the loan forgiveness provision raises eyebrows, and not just because it would directly benefit people who work on Capitol Hill. It's also a tasty treat for loyal political donors such as the American Federation of State, County & Municipal Employees (AFSCME) and the Service Employees International Union (SEIU)--the largest organizations representing public service workers.

According to the Center for Responsive Politics, a watchdog group that tracks political fundraising, AFSCME has given nearly $38.7 million to politicians since 1989--more than any other group in the country. SEIU was the ninth biggest donor during the same period. Both groups raise more than 90% of their funds for Democrats. Among their top recipients are members of the House and Senate education committees, including Rep. Phil Hare, D-Ill., Rep. Bernard Sanders, I-Vt., Rep. Carolyn McCarthy, D-N.Y., Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, and Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y.

SEIU spokeswoman Stephanie Mueller says the union was not actively involved with lawmakers in crafting the legislation. AFSCME officials could not be reached for comment Friday.
I have absolutely no problem with relieving members of the military or law enforcement of their loan obligations. They put their lives on the line for Americans everyday that they serve. But, I guess all of those Poli-Sci majors working as Congressional aides really cashed in. So who picks up the tab of those forgiven loans? I'll give you a few guesses...

I have the opinion that this may be a move by Democrats like Ted Kennedy to begin government paid secondary education - in fact presidential candidate and US Senator from CT, Chris Dodd, has already expressed a desire for the government to provide a "free" college education to every student - free of course meaning taxpayer funded by YOU and ME (and those students would be attending State Universities of course).

So let's see - taxpayer funded universal pre-school and taxpayer funded k-12 education and now taxpayer funded college education... Oh and let's not forget taxpayer funded universal healthcare... Will I get to keep any of the money of our family income? Probably not - and that folks is Socialism and redistribution of wealth. Plus it is government controlled education from age 3 to age 22. (Now here is an interesting read and here's another on that topic)

"A tax supported, compulsory educational system is the complete model of the totalitarian state." --Isabel Paterson

"Let me control the textbooks and I will control the state. The state will take youth and give to youth its own education and its own upbringing. Your child belongs to us already….what are you?" --Adolf Hitler