RUSH: Some time ago, maybe a year ago — at least I think a year ago, certainly within nine months… By the way, a shout-out to those of you students. It’s about your student loans. A year ago, nine months ago, we were told that the House Republicans and Democrats were working diligently to reduce a scheduled doubling of the student loan interest rate. You remember this discussion?
The student loan interest rate, because of prior legislation, was scheduled to double this summer, to go from somewhere around 3% to 6.8%. But we were told that this wasn’t going to hold. Obviously Republicans and Democrats were playing a cat-and-mouse game on this. But the upshot of it was that by this summer, that legislation would be rewritten and the interest rate would stay the same.
The argument, if you recall, centered around the usual Washington budget talk about how there was gonna be a “cut” in the student loan rate, when there wasn’t going to be a cut in the student loan rate at all. All that was gonna happen was it was gonna remain the same, 3.4%. It was scheduled to go to 6.8% — and it was the Democrats who wrote that in, by the way. It was Democrat legislation that doubled the student loan interest rate from 3.4% to 6.8%.
The Republicans came along and… I forget the exact wording on this and what the argument centered over. It centered over whether the rate was indeed gonna be held steady. I think the Democrats wanted to argue they were gonna cut it, and the Republicans wanted it to remain the same or whatever. The bottom line is that the student loan rate is going to double. It’s gonna go from 3.4% to 6.8%, and here’s the reason why: Congress has figured out they need that additional money to spend on Obamacare.
I have two stories. The first story is from a relatively new website called Campus Reform. “The Affordable Care Act is set to cost students enrolled in the government’s loan program $8.7 billion in extra interest over the next decade according to a report published by the CBO.” By the way, I got a couple or three stories in the Stack today about how health care costs are just skyrocketing.
There is one in particular that, in my mind, constitutes journalistic malpractice, because this was known. It was known during the debate on Obamacare. It was known what the cost of insurance was gonna do. It was known that premiums were gonna go up, when Obama was out there saying, “They’re gonna come down $2500!” And, of course, the media is just an extension of the regime, and so whatever Obama was saying is whatever they were reporting.
They weren’t challenging it, even though they knew.
There was no way any cost associated with Obamacare’s coming down. Zilch, zero, nada. It’s all going up. Now we’re starting to get the truth, since there’s nothing that can be done about it now. One of these stories involves the student loan program. The Affordable Care Act, Obamacare… By the way, have you noticed that in the Drive-By Media they’re referring to it as “Obamacare” less and less now, and as the “Affordable Care Act” more and more?
That’s because there’s nothing about it that’s affordable, and they don’t want any negatives to attach to Obama so his name is coming off of it in terms of how it’s used in the media, and the Affordable Care Act is what it’s being called, which is what it is. That’s its official legislative title but it’s bogus because nothing about it is “affordable.” Just to repeat for you: Obamacare is set to cost students enrolled in the government’s loan program, student loan program, $8.7 billion in extra interest over the next 10 years.
And this is from the CBO, now. If the savings were kept inside the loan program instead of transferred to Obamacare, they could allow Department of Education to lower student interest rates to 5.3%. The nearly $9 billion in increased student loan debt is being used to pay for Obamacare, and it is derived from $106 billion the government says it will save by administering student loans in house.
So while the government claims to be saving big money on student loans, your interest rate’s going up. Here is that story. It’s from The Daily Caller. “The subsidized interest rate on Stafford student loans doubled Monday, following top Senate DemocratsÂ’ rejection of a bipartisan compromise supported by the president. As the US Senate debated comprehensive immigration reform for days last week, the student loan clock was quietly counting down.
“Now, with legislators on vacation for Independence Day week, the interest rate for undergraduate student borrowers has automatically increased from 3.4% to 6.8%. Students may never have to pay the higher rate, however. Iowa Democratic Sen. Tom Harkin, who chairs the Senate education committee, wants Congress to change the interest rate retroactively, once the legislative session resumes. His fix would set interest rates at 3.4% for the next two years — a solution favored by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, a Nevada Democrat.”
Now, I’m having trouble remembering — the precise details of how this thing all came down. I remember that the Democrats were blaming the Republicans for student loan interest rates doubling sometime within the past year, which necessitated me coming here once again to defend against a bogus charge, because it all centered around the fact that the Democrats wanted to cut student loans, and there wasn’t going to be any cut in student loans.
If anything, the interest rate was going to remain the same.
Well, as it turns out, Congress ended up not doing anything about it, and so the automatic increase that’s in prior legislation has occurred as of today. As of today, Stafford student loans’ undergraduate interest rates have skyrocketed. They have doubled from 3.4% to 6.8%, and I think the politics is now that the Democrats let this happen so that they can be the ones to magically ride in on their lower-cost white horse and claim they are going to cut the interest rates that the Republicans didn’t care about.
One thing I do remember about this: The legislation that automatically raised the student loan interest rate to 6.8% today is Democrat legislation. Democrats wrote the bill, and it was one of those things probably that they thought would never happen. “We’ll fix it as we get down the pike.” But they had to do this. They had to write an increase in the student loan interest rate in order to come up with revenue to pay for something else that the CBO was scoring.
So it was all bogus, and they all knew they were gonna fix it. But the time has come and gone, they didn’t fix it, and now the story is how while Harkin may want to do something about it, the bottom line is that the regime wants the extra money in order to fund Obamacare. And we’re talking about nearly $9 billion. The regime needs extra money to fund Obamacare, so students are gonna be taxed. We’ll keep a sharp eye just to see what kind of action is taken on reducing this auto increase in the student loan rate.
Look, the truth is the truth and facts are facts, and you students need to understand that it’s the Democrat Party doing this. This is a Democrat Party idea, it’s a Democrat administration, which is eagerly embracing the increase in the loan rates so they get more money to fund Obamacare. It’s the Democrats who wrote the legislation that has the scheduled doubling of the interest rate in it in the first place. But all the while during this, what you heard in the media was:
“The Republicans wanted to double your student loan interest rate! Republicans don’t like you! Republicans don’t want you going to college! Republicans don’t want you having a cheap student loan arrangement! Republicans, they don’t want anything!” That’s what people heard all during the coverage of this, to the extent that anything was heard about it. (interruption) What do you mean, “They heard about the money”? (interruption)
Oh, I know that’s what the students heard about it. That’s exactly why I’m leading about this. This is the young demographic that thinks Obama’s all-in for ’em. This is the young demographic thinks the Democrat Party is their future! This is the Democrat Party which is making it more expensive to go to college. It’s the Democrat Party. Who runs the student loan program now? Obama.
The government went in and took it over, most of it from the private sector. The student loan program is run by the government now. You know, all of these little things, they add up. There’s a popular way of thinking that says, “Change is good,” and part and parcel of that is that people who object to the change are closed-minded and old-fashioned and old fogies and this kind of thing. The people who advocate for change, advocate in many cases for radical change…
Those who oppose it say, “Well, you know, if you do that, then, ‘Katie, bar the door.’ Look at all the rest could possibly happen.” The change advocates say, “You know, you guys always do that. Straw man! You always say any change is gonna lead to disaster.” Well, this kind of change that we’re talking about. People need to be paying more attention to results. It’s just a little loss of freedom here and a little loss of freedom over there, and a little loss of freedom over there.
So now we’ve got the student loan industry taken over by the government, ostensibly to make it fairer, ostensibly to make it more financially sound. We got the greedy big banks out of it. But now you’re at the total whim of the federal government — whether you get a loan, what the interest rate’s gonna be — and the sad reality is that college graduates are coming out with lifetime debt before they’ve even earned a dollar. Lifetime debt! By that I mean debt that’s gonna take a lifetime to pay off before they’ve earned a dollar.
Now, there’s another example of this kind of change. Look at the pressure on the Washington Redskins. I’m talking about the NFL. The pressure on the Washington Redskins to change the name to something else. The modernists among us say, “You can’t continue to call it Redskins! I mean, you wouldn’t run around in life and call out, ‘Hey, look, you’re a Redskin!’ You wouldn’t say that to somebody’s face, so the team shouldn’t be named that.”
Then the people who oppose it might posit an argument, “Well, you know, if you do that, where are you gonna stop? Are you gonna start saying you can’t name teams after animals next? Where is it gonna stop?” And then the change advocates say, “See? See? You just construct this straw man where you manufacture disaster as a result of change.” That’s not the point. In the case of the Redskins’ name, who is everybody advocating changing it looking at to make it happen? The federal government.
This is the problem.
Look, change is unavoidable, change is standard, and it does need to be embraced. But I’ll tell you, folks, all of the change being advocated now… The change advocates, the people think they’re hip and modern, all they’re actually doing is advocating the government take more control over things. Okay, so the Redskins may not be a popular name with some people. Let the NFL figure this out. Why does the government have to get involved? Why does Obama or Congress or anyone need to get involved?
We don’t need McCain and the boys involved in this. Why should they be? But the advocates, those people who are now just fit to be tied over the name Redskins, what they really want is to empower the federal government some more. They’re willing to turn over all kinds of power to the federal government in order to bring about what they want. So these change advocates are nothing but a bunch of liberals who are, in truth, seeking to empower the federal government more power over everybody.
It’s incremental and sometimes it’s tiny and sometimes it’s considered insignificant. “Come on, Rush! What harm could there be getting rid of the name Redskins? It offends some people and it’s old fashioned.” Fine. But why do you want the iron fist of the federal government involved in this? It’s an NFL thing. Let them deal with it. The NFL and the owners deal with the Redskins and the fans.
You know, if it were really that upsetting to the fans, nobody’d be going to FedExField. But FedExField is sold out every week. They’re obviously not offending too many people, and yet you want the federal government to come in here with their jackbooted thugs or iron-fisted people and do what? The change advocates, if you pay attention… Look, I’m not one of these people that is routinely, uniformly formulaically against change ’cause you can’t be. I mean, you stop it.
But the change advocates are a bunch of leftists who simply want to empower the federal government to impose what they believe under the name of change. What they want you to believe is simply societal change. In the case of the Redskins name, what they want you to believe is that our country and our society is maturing and is understanding that it’s just reprehensible and unfair and mean to have a team named Redskins.
Well, the fact of the matter is our society is not that offended by it, and doesn’t think it’s that big a deal as evidenced by Redskins sellouts and high TV ratings. So the advocates, the people who don’t like the Redskins name are just a bunch of PC jerks. They’re politically correct little liberals who want the federal government to come in (crying) “We don’t like Redskins, and we don’t want have to see it!”
There isn’t a groundswell to change it, so they want the federal government to do it. It’s the same thing here the student loan program. Or it’s the same thing in so many other areas of life. Life must have change. If you want the federal government to do it, you’re not talking about change. You’re talking about imposition and you’re talking about imposing things that liberals want, and you’re also talking about the incremental loss of freedom — a little bit here, a little bit there — and it adds up someday to be big.
RUSH: About 15 months ago Obama as in Iowa City, Iowa. By the way, I went back to my website and I now am fully up to speed. The Democrats wrote this student loan bill so that the rate would double as a campaign issue in an election year. Details coming up. I want you to hear Obama, though, April 25th, 2012, in Iowa City. He’s at the University of Iowa talking about student loan program.
OBAMA 2012: Now is not the time to double the interest rates on our student loans. Now is not the time to double interest rates. Now is the time to double down on start investments that build a strong and security middle class. Now is the time to double down on building an America that’s built to last.
RUSH: Okay, so that’s during last year’s presidential campaign, April 25th in Iowa City. “Now is not the time to double interest rates.” They were scheduled to double today, and they were using this as a campaign issue. Guess what? Interest rates doubled. Obama won reelection so it doesn’t matter. They need the money for Obamacare.
RUSH: Okay. Just to close the loop on this, to wrap it up, we went back and looked at my own website archives, and here’s what we found. The Democrats, folks, intentionally wrote the law to make the student loan interest rate double in an election year. What you need to know is this. Back in 2007, the Democrats controlled both houses of Congress. The Foley thing had happened in 2006, Mark Foley. (You know, all this.)
Supposedly corruption in the House had taken place, the Democrats exploited it, Bush’s popularity falling, war in Iraq, death count, body count, all that. The Democrats won the House back in the 2006 election. In 2007, they controlled both houses of Congress. They’d just won the election. So Pelosi’s running the House; Democrats are running the Senate. So 2007 they passed legislation that would cut the student loan interest rate in half and then reinstitute it in July of this year.
In 2007, they wrote legislation to cut the student loan interest rate in half for the 2008 presidential election year so that they could claim they cut the student interest rate. As part of that legislation, it was due to be reinstated on July 1st — which, after the cut, the reinstatement would equal a doubling of the interest rate. They did this on purpose. They wanted the college student loan interest rate to double in an election year in the summer right before the conventions.
They were rolling the dice on this.
This from our website April 25th last year: “Democrats Intentionally Wrote Law to Make Student Loan Interest Rates Double in Election Year.” They could have put the increase off forever, but they wanted to increase it and be able to blame it on the Republicans. The Republicans didn’t control any house of Congress at the time and were powerless to do anything about it. So here’s the short version. In 2007, the Democrats cut the student loan interest rate in half, to 3.4%, and they could have kept it there, forever, in their bill.
They had control of Congress.
But they put in the bill that it would go back to that same rate on July 1st of 2012, just in time for the elections. Last July they punted it back after the elections to this year. They delayed the doubling of the student loan interest rates scheduled to be last July 1st, 2002. They moved that a year later to today in order to take it out as an issue of contention during the 2012 presidential race. But it was enough to give Obama a campaign issue.
They used the high student loan interest rate, the fact that it was going to come back, as a bludgeon on the Republicans. So here we are now with the rate being reinstated anyway to 6.8%, and the news today as sort of an adjunct is that the Democrats are not unhappy with this as it turns out because there are no more elections that affect Obama. They need the money for Obamacare. So we have an ancillary story here that says that Tom Harkin’s unhappy with it and he’s gonna go to Dingy Harry to do something about it.
That’s what you’ll hear. That’ll be the last thing that you’ll hear, that the Democrats want to cut the student loan rate, and then you as a student are gonna say, “Boy, I love those Democrats! They’re always working for us, man. They really put our interests first.” When the truth is, they authored all of this, and this doubling of the student loan rate or the reinstitution of it to what it was in 2007 is going to stay because Obama needs the money for Obamacare.
So the two things that you students need to know are the new rate of 6.8% is gonna stay there, but don’t be surprised if in the news occasionally you see a story that some Democrat wants it reduced. You’re gonna go, “That’s right! The Democrats are looking out for me. The Democrats love me; the Republicans don’t. The Republicans are in line with the big bankers! The Republicans are the ones raising my interest rates.” The Republicans have nothing to do with this.
This has Democrat fingerprints from beginning to end. What you students need to know is that the student loan interest rate today, in effect, doubles, and becomes what it was in 2007. It’s going to stay there because Obama needs the money, your additional interest payments on your student loan to help fund Obamacare. So if now you see Tom Harkin or Dingy Harry or anybody else in the Democrat side in a news story, if you read it on the Web or Twitter or wherever you get your news?
If you see the Democrats want to lower the student loan interest rate, please, do me a favor and understand: It’s nothing. They’re not gonna touch it. It’s just a tug on the heartstrings of your emotions to try to make you think the Democrats are outraged by this and terrified by it and want to do something about it to fix it. It’s the Democrats who are gonna leave it where it is. It’s Obama who’s happy and the regime that’s happy that the student loan interest rate’s now 6.8%.
RUSH: Doug in Chesapeake, Virginia, hello, sir. Great to have you here.
CALLER: Hello, Rush. Hey, mega Carolina Panthers season ticket holder dittos from Section 229 of Bank of America Stadium.
RUSH: Well… Ha-ha-ha-ha-ha.
CALLER: How you doing?
RUSH: I’m good. No comment.
CALLER: I called and told Mr. Snerdley that when you were talking about college and these loan rates going up, I don’t think people in this country understand — not enough of them do — that it’s because the federal government underwrites the cost of education that the costs never go down. By the federal government ensuring that everybody who wants to go to college literally can, they’re ensuring that the classrooms are filled up, thus there’s no incentive for these schools to have to cut their costs.
RUSH: You’re exactly right. They are subsidizing their buddies who run the universities and teach at them.
RUSH: They are insuring them against any negative economic realities or news or what have you. They’re also urging everybody to go to college. They’re telling these kids, “If you don’t, you don’t have a prayer,” and they are in charge of the debt that everybody is incurring. So, Doug, one thing. I think more and more people are getting angry and becoming informed. I think there’s an effervescent outrage out there, folks, waiting and looking for an outlet. I really do.