Take Back Congress - New York

Monday, February 13, 2006

When Congressmen Attack

Last week a great letter to the editor appeared in the Post Standard criticizing Bully Jim for the slash and burn attack on student loans.

Bully Jim decided it wasn't enough to viciously attack students from Washington, now he is striking back at all those who disagree in shrill letters in the Post Standard. Here are a few of the kind words Jim had for a constituent:


In her letter, it's clear that Ms. Kelly fails to understand what the bill actually does for student borrowers.

[...]

I hope that Ms. Kelly - a professional educator and Le Moyne College graduate student - considered all sides before formulating and sharing her opinion on the matter.


Way to treat a constituent Bully Jim. I hear that his next step is to find all the people who disagree with him, ring their doorbell and run away before they can answer!

Bully Jim also had this gem:


There are some who have good reason to oppose these lending reforms (primarily student loan lenders and banks who have lost the ability to charge high interest rates and excessive up-front fees), but student borrowers aren't among them.


But among key opponents are United State Student Association and Student Aid Alliance.

From the United State Student Association:


The bill generates over 70% of its total education savings from charging higher loan interest rates to borrowers. "Congress plans to swindle students and families by forcing them to make excessive interest payments on their loans," said Jennifer Pae, Vice President of USSA.

[...]

Most federal student loans will be impacted by the interest rate changes. Stafford loans will move to a fixed 6.8% interest rate and PLUS (Parent Loans for Undergraduate Students) loans will increase to a fixed 8.5% interest rate. "My current Stafford loan interest rate is 4.7%. With a 6.8% fixed interest rate, I will end up paying thousands more in interest payments over the life of my loans," said Jeannie Biniek, Vice President of Associated Students at the UCLA and USSA Board of Directors Member.


From Student Aid Alliance:


  • While there are some new improvements for students, the loss of more than $12 billion from student loans could have a devastating impact on the future stability of the program. For example:
  • Student loans contribute 30 percent of the bill's entire contribution to deficit reduction, but represent less than half of one percent of all annual federal spending.
  • Most of the savings come from changes to the student and parent interest rate structure, including a July 1 increase in the parent interest rates from 7.9 percent to 8.5 percent.
  • Under the bill, the congressional pot that funds grants and work-study for needy students would have to absorb nearly a billion dollars a year in administrative expenses for the Education Department, meaning less money for everyone.

Crossposted at The Walsh Watch.

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