RUSH: The economic news, folks, you know me, I’m upbeat and optimistic, and I am today. I still am. Somebody asked me again Monday or Tuesday, ‘Why are you still doing this?’ Oh, I know what it was. There was a story about wealth. People were asked how do you define wealth, how do you define rich? And one of the most common answers to the question was, ‘I have enough money where I didn’t have to work but I could still do the things I want to do, travel now and then, live in my house,’ blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. That was the definition of wealth. A lot of people said to me, ‘You don’t have to do this anymore. Why do you keep doing it?’ And the answer is, A, I love it, B, retirement doesn’t make any sense to me whatsoever, but C, these are dark times that need a little light shining on them. We’ve got dire circumstances here and a lot of people like me care deeply about the country, and they’re pained greatly by the direction it’s going.
So I come here with these stories today, the top of the stack is filled with rotten economic news, and it is sort of a dilemma for me because I like to be of good cheer and optimism, but not phony, I don’t want to be phonily optimistic, that’s not going to do anybody any good, much less me, but despite what’s going on we still live in the best country in the world, and by all means it’s certainly worth fighting to save, which more and more people are now realizing we have to do. But yet we encounter stories like this even from the Huffing and Puffington Post. Now, James Capretta in National Review Online’s Critical Condition, that’s their health care blog: ‘A Fraud Exposed — and Ignored.’ It’s from a couple of days ago, James Capretta.
‘Richard Foster, the chief actuary of the Medicare program and the man responsible for overseeing the production of the data which forms the basis of this annual report’s forecast, has advised the public — in his official ‘Statement of Actuarial Opinion’ printed at the end of the trustees’ report — not to believe any of the modestly rosy conclusions contained within it.’ So the Medicare actuary’s come out and said don’t believe this. It’s not rosy. Medicare is not solvent for the next 12 years or whatever. We’re in deep doo-doo. And these oil experts directly opposed the ban on drilling. They opposed the moratorium. And yet their signatures were affixed to a document saying they supported it. You see things like this and you have the desire to counter all these lies with truth and keep people as optimistic as possible. Then you run across economic news like today, unemployment not getting any better, and then you get mad because you know, and more and more people instinctively know what we’re doing to fix this problem is only making it worse. It’s not improving anything. And we have to get up every day and listen to members of this regime tell us how all of this is their predecessor’s fault, whining, moaning, immature little kids, this administration’s made up of. ‘Not our fault, George Bush made me do it, George Bush,’ (crying). They sound and come off like little kindergarteners, when it’s their own ideas that are causing this collapse and adding to it.
And now this: ‘$830 Billion in Student Loans: the New Mortgage Bubble — A strange milestone was marked this week in the history of student loans,’ which, by the way, the regime has now taken over. The student loan used to take place in the private sector. Not anymore. Government owns it. Obama took it over. ‘The total balance of all outstanding US student loans (given as $730 billion in DIY U, based on OMB estimates) is now estimated by Mark Kantrowitz of Finaid.org at more like $830 billion — $605.6 billion in federally guaranteed student loans, which have interest rates fixed and in some cases interest subsidized by the government, and a further $167.8 billion in private student loans, with interest rates that hover around 18-20%.’ And nobody’s got the money. All of these student loans are guaranteed but the government doesn’t have any money. I mean in the real world we’re bankrupt. In the real world we don’t have any of the money that the government is spending or lending.
‘Furthermore, $300 billion in federal student loan debts have been incurred in the last four years. This means the total balance of student loans has just surpassed the total balance of credit card debt for the first time in history.’ Now, what’s Obama said about that? Obama has said the US is no longer going to be the leader of the economic engine of the world. No. Why? Because the American people have lived beyond their means. The American people have maxed out their credit cards. The American people, he says with contempt, have spent more than they have earned. They’ve spent more than they’ve got. We’re not going to be the people that keep this party going. We’re not going to be the leaders. We’re going to have responsible citizens. That’s what he says. And now the federally owned student loan program has surpassed the total balance, the balance due of credit card debt for the first time in history.
‘Each makes up roughly a third of the money Americans owe, mortgages excluded. The good news here is that at least since the credit crisis in 2008, credit card debt has been going down slightly. Americans are saving more and spending less. The bad news, of course, is that student loan debt is much more severe than credit card debt, because it can’t be discharged in bankruptcy. That means your only ‘recourse’ if you can’t manage your loans is default, and in the case of federal loans, that means being pursued until you die. The federal government can and will seize your tax refunds, Social Security and disability payments until your dying day,’ or they can forgive them, which I think is one of the reasons the Obama people took over the student loan program, to be able to forgive certain student loans based on certain characteristics of the students in question, how are they going to vote, how did their parents vote, to whom did the parents contribute political contributions to and so forth and so on. Don’t doubt me on this.
So Anya Kamenetz, who wrote this: ‘From where I’m sitting, the buildup of the national student loan balance looks like a massive betrayal of trust. People have been told for decades that this is ‘good’ debt,’ because it’s financing higher learning and education, yet it’s starting to look more and more like the mortgage bubble. ‘Someone with experience in the for-profit college marketing business told me that the same online sales geniuses who used to work for mortgage brokers are now employed by for-profit colleges. Their business is the same: fill out the forms, get the money, consequences be damned. Will we stop them this time?’ I read stories like this and nothing’s been real. Nobody has had the money that they’ve spent. The government hasn’t had the money it spent: federal, state, or local. A lot of consumers have not had the money they’ve spent, except they have been paying it back slowly but surely or filing bankruptcy or what have you, dealing with it somehow, ’til they started losing their jobs. But, boy, when you get at the government level, it’s all been jacked up and unreal and literally unreal. Spending money they don’t have, and apparently never have had. Lending money they don’t have.
For who knows how many years it seems like all these bubbles are now surfacing at pretty much the same time. Not good. All of this debt just makes you wonder how much if any of this has all been real, folks, how many years. And with the government in charge of all of this and more and more of it, can’t possibly — Obama even hinted at forgiving student loans all through the campaign. Now they got rumors out there about forgiving underwater home mortgages. Forgiving student loans throughout the campaign helped get out what little of the youth vote that he got out. He kept saying all during the campaign, he and Michelle had only just recently paid off their student loans. Why do we have all these student loans? Because we have this formula in America that everybody has to go to college. If you don’t go to college you don’t stand a prayer of having any earning power, of having any social status. You’ve gotta go to college and it’s all been a racket because the people pushing you to college are the people who benefit from you going to college by virtue of the money that you are lent for tuition and everything else to go to college. And note throughout all of this, nobody ever rips colleges and universities for high tuition.
Big Oil gets ripped for gas prices. Sam’s Club, Walmart gets ripped for whatever they get ripped for. A lot of private sector companies get ripped for ripping people off. But not universities. You never hear, particularly elected liberals or Democrats, complain about tuition costs. And if you do hear them complain about it, it’s not their fault. And the fix is not aimed at colleges lowering their tuitions. It’s we gotta figure out a way to get more people into these colleges, it’s unfair how much it costs, student loan program, voila. Takes us to where we are.
Do you know why the left will never take on the universities? Do you know why Obama, the left, no one, even some ruling class Republicans will never take on the universities? They will never tackle high tuition, never tackle anything, because universities are the factories that produce the ruling class. Universities are the factories that produce the hows and whys and the what-fors that teach you how to be a ruling class member. And it’s the most expensive universities who most effectively put the ruling class in touch with each other. A Harvard grad, a Yale grad, secret handshake, Skull and Bones, what have you. The top colleges are the functional equivalent of leadership schools from totalitarian nations. They’re factories to produce ruling class demeanor, education, attitude, behavior and so whatever it costs it’s worth it to get your kid in there ’cause that’s the ticket to the ruling class. So there won’t ever be any assaults, criticisms, what have you, on tuition. They may have to throw out a president now and then like Larry Summers ’cause he goes all politically incorrect on telling the truth about women and math, but they will never, ever take on the cost of these universities. This is how you keep the riffraff out. That’s how you keep the riffraff out of the ruling class is by having high tuition prices at the universities of so-called higher learning.
Folks, Snerdley, you don’t think the ruling class comes outta junior college, do you? He-he-he-he-he-he. Ain’t no way, daddy-O. It’s one of the primary reasons Sarah Palin’s hated. She’s not from the ruling class; she’s not followed the route. It’s one of the reasons that Clarence Thomas is hated. He didn’t follow the civil rights route to get where he is. And therefore both of them are threats. It’s the reason I’m a threat. I didn’t even go to college. Well, I went one year, practically flunked speech and ballroom dance, and I remain proud of it.