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Meteorology Major on His Student Loans

BEGIN TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: Steve in Norman, Oklahoma.  Steve, great to have you on Open Line Friday.  Hi.

CALLER:  Hi, Rush.  How are you?

RUSH:  Good.  Thank you.

CALLER:  Good.  I wanted to take a step back a little bit and talk about the student loan and interest rate issue.

RUSH:  Yeah.

CALLER:  I'm a college senior right now, and I worked really hard all through high school trying to save money with my parents.  I had $80,000 saved up to go to college, and we lost about two-thirds of it when the economy busted --

RUSH:  You saved $80,000 when you were in high school?

CALLER:  Well, the majority of it was my parents, and I can thank them for that --

RUSH:  Still, that's huge, that's good.  But a lot of it you lost because of the recession?

CALLER:  Absolutely.  I kept working. I got about $50,000 in scholarships, and I'm still gonna have almost $30,000 in student loans by the time I'm done with my degree at the University of Oklahoma.  And for the Democrats to think that it's okay to allow us to have to pay more money to them over the next couple of years and to the government on this interest is just ridiculous.  And that's money that I can't put straight into economy --

RUSH:  Now, wait.  Wait, wait, wait, wait just a second.  One thing.  You're a senior, did you say?

CALLER:  Yes.

RUSH:  As I understand it, being that you are a senior, your interest rate won't go up.  This is for new student loans or recent ones.  It's only gonna affect the rates on loans after July 1st.  Current interest rates are not gonna double.  But Obama wants you to think it is.  See, this is the point.

CALLER:  Okay.

RUSH:  Obama wants you to think your interest rate's gonna double.  The Republicans are trying to stop that from happening, and Obama's prepared to veto. Look, hang on.  I want to explain this to you and everybody else with a little bit more time.

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

RUSH:  We have Steve, Norman, Oklahoma, college senior, $30,000 will be your student loan debt when you graduate?  Did I understand that correctly?

CALLER:  Yeah, right around there.

RUSH:  Right.  Okay.  Now, as I understand it, the interest rate that is supposed to double on July 1st is for new loans, not current loans.  I know this sounds unbelievable because Obama on the stump is making it sound like if you are a current holder of a student loan, on July 1st your student loan rate, interest rate's gonna double.  Regardless, the Republicans passed legislation today, passed a bill to prevent this.  Obama, according to Nancy Pelosi, is threatening to veto it.  Now, here you have Obama on the stump all week bemoaning interest rates doubling.  Republicans today pass a bill saying, "Nope, they won't," and Pelosi says Obama is going to veto it. 

Sandra Fluke, who I'm not supposed to talk about, according to Judith Miller, Sandra Fluke is also out talking about how her student loan rate's gonna double, and it won't.  Her interest rate will not go up, either, despite the claims she's making in her tweets.  If I understand this right.  There's a lot of confusion that I will have to admit to here on this.  But the bottom line is that the Republicans have never wanted the interest rate to double.  It's been a Democrat idea from the get-go.  All they wanted to do was pay for the extension.  The Democrats want to just borrow the money from the Chinese to pay for this.  So having said that, what was the question or comment that you were gonna ask?  Did that answer it?

CALLER:  Well, I just wanted to say that, you know, on one hand, we have the Democrats that are always pushing for more young adults to go to college; they're pushing for us to create more jobs in the marketplace.  And this is a perfect example of where we could help young adults go to college, not have to pay as much back to the government, and be able to be putting that into the economy at a sooner point in our lives and be able to get better jobs.

RUSH:  Well, you probably saw the news this week that one out of two college graduates is either unemployed or underemployed.  The fact of the matter is, we're losing jobs in the private sector for everybody, college graduates and everybody else.  If I were in your shoes and other people your age, I'd see all this polling data about the youth vote, even though it's coming down, still a majority for Obama.  It doesn't compute to me.  I don't know how -- and I know you're not one of these people -- but I don't know how anybody coming out of college now, with job prospects being as bleak as they are, can in any way be supporting Obama.  But you think that they ought to deep the interest rate low so that the student loan is not so damaging to you as you build your life when you get out of college, right?

CALLER:  Right.  And what you just said, I'm a meteorology major, and some of my friends applying for jobs right now, we've got one job that there were 120 applicants for this single job in our sector.  We've got all of these students that are coming through college, and they can't even look at getting jobs in their sectors and so they're going out and they're selling cars or they're doing things that have nothing to do with their education that they got.

RUSH:  Okay, now, let me give you a little tough love here on this.  That, of course, is disappointing.  You've gone to school for meteorology.  And a lot of other people have gone to school specializing in things.  Life is what it is.  You happen to be graduating at a time when we are in a depressed economy.  So you can feel bad about that for a while, but then at some point, if selling cars is what you have to do until the opportunity opens up, that's what you have to do.  I'm not gonna sit here and tell you all the stuff I did to stay in radio and so forth.  I don't want to be one of these old fuddy-duddies, but I will tell you that everybody faces these consequences at some point in their life. Even if you come out of school and your job is there.  You might get fired. You might get fired for cause. You might have a black mark on your resume.  It's an obstacle. 

There are gonna be obstacles every day of your life.  Yours right now is that there isn't a whole lot of job opportunity in your chosen field.  You might have to wait 'til it opens up, or you might have to go on interviews and show the people who do have jobs that you're better than anybody else applying.  There are challenges each and every day.  Overcoming them is a great sense of achievement when you pull it off.  But all these things are character builders.  You need to understand that there are people who are older than you, who are working very hard to get rid of the political party and the people who have brought about these economic circumstances, because there are people like me who want nothing but robust opportunity for everybody.  Economically and otherwise. 

We don't want all the power in government.  We don't want all the money transferred to government.  We want it staying in the private sector, and we want the private sector growing so that it can handle college graduates every year coming out of the job market and replacing people who quit or retire or what have you.  What is the biggest obstacle you think you're going to have once you graduate?  What kind of job do you want with a meteorology degree?  Do you want to do television weather?  Do you want to actually go work for the National Weather Service?  What kind of work do you want to do?

CALLER:  Well, you know, I'm pretty open because I understand that it's gonna be difficult to get a job directly in my field, and personally anything that I can do to affect public policy and help more students get to go to college and help with some of the public policy perceptions on meteorology and --

RUSH:  Well, now, that's interesting, since you mentioned public policy, because you probably know this. But if you don't, let me tell you one of the obstacles you're gonna run into.  Let's say that the economy was fine and you had your pick of jobs.  The biggest obstacle you're gonna find is that the, quote, unquote, meteorology field right now is populated with people who believe in manmade global warming, and you had better, too, if you want to get a job.  I don't know where you are on that, but the head meteorologist, for example, at Channel 7, at ABC O&O in New York is one of these big manmade global warming guys.  Well, maybe it's not him, but some weather people are suggesting that if you're not pro-manmade global warming, you don't deserve to be hired to do TV weather, for example. 

So you mentioned public policy.  That means politics.  And you're gonna have to deal with that, too, as you go into the field.  You've got an exciting life ahead of you.  You got all kinds of things that are gonna blow up in your face that will be teachable moments.  But remember this, this is for everybody, you never start at the top.  Not even Barack Obama.  He was a community agitator first, and then he went to the top, but nobody starts at the top.  Well, I mean maybe the Kennedy family, some of them did, but that's inheritance, and that's really unique.  That's not very common.  But you don't start at the top.  And your student loan debt of $30,000 is much less than a lot of others who have six figure student loan debt.  So compared to people with whom you're gonna be competing, and that's what you're gonna be doing, that's another thing, you're gonna be competing against other people for jobs, you're ahead of the game in a lot of ways.  Look, I'm glad you called. 

Chelsea Clinton, she started at the top.  She's right there at NBC Nightly News and that 30 Rock show.  Well, she just got hired again there.  I think last week I read that she re-upped at NBC.  But, see, even then that's primarily -- well, I don't want to take anything away from Chelsea Clinton.  But clearly when your dad's ex-president and he goes places that you'd like to go, too, like Columbia, places like that, you want to stay in good graces, and you want access to him as a journalist, to ask him questions, interview him.  It's what is.  Some people have advantages that other people don't have, and you have to bite the bullet on that, too.  But she did have her contract renewed.  Anyway, Steve, thanks much for the call.

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: Michelle Obama just tweeted: "The Obamas know the challenge of student loan debt firsthand.  Stand with Barack Obama to make college affordable."  He's only had three years to do that.  If they're so worried about student debt, how come there's no record of either of them ever working a day to put themselves through college? 

Now, folks, look, I want to make a comment about the caller from Norman, Oklahoma.  I know that a lot of you are smoking out there and I want to try to explain it.  Everybody is focused on themselves.  It's just human nature.  And his problems are the most important problems of the world.  Everybody's personal problems are the most important in the world.  I know full well, there are people in this country who haven't gone to college, can't afford to go to college, and they hear people complaining about the interest on loans that they voluntarily assumed and they don't have a whole lot of sympathy.  I mean, really, you took out the loan yourself.  Don't cry about it. 

There are people in this country who are breaking their backs, who are working to hold onto their homes.  Their homes!  And they listen to all this talk about students and the interest on their loans, and they say, "Wait a minute, what are these kids complaining about?"  There are a lot of people losing their homes, foreclosed on, and they're breaking their backs trying to hold onto 'em.  I know those people are out there, and it's just the way it is.

END TRANSCRIPT

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