Akin And Blunt Embarrass Missouri

Ah, to live in Missouri.

First, there’s one of our state’s zaniest Republicans, Rep. Todd Akin, who is trying to become Claire McCaskill’s replacement as U.S. Senator. (By the way, as The Washington Post reported, “Independent conservative groups have already spent more than $3 million on television and radio ads” against McCaskill.)

Akin had the distinct pleasure of being the butt of a joke by the President of the United States involving the issue of increased interest rates for student loans. From HuffPo:

“I’m always interested in how folks talk about this issue,” he said. “You’ve got one member of Congress who compared student loans — I’m not kidding here — to a stage three cancer of socialism.”

Obama tried to repeat the phrase but broke up laughing.

“I don’t know where to start? What do you mean? What are you talking about? Come on!” he implored, eliciting loud applause. “Just when you think you’ve heard it all in Washington, somebody comes up with a new way to go off the deep end.”

Yes, it’s true.  Todd Akin, who has been endorsed by Michele Bachmann and Iowa’s goofy representative, Steve King,  did say this:

America has got the equivalent of the stage three cancer of socialism because the federal government is tampering in all kinds of stuff it has no business tampering in.

Now, Akin isn’t the only Missouri politician making news about student loans. Roy Blunt, who is Mitt Romney’s front man in Congress, told a whopper about the Affordable Care Act and the interest rates charged to students taking out loans. He told Andrea Mitchell:

Why is that rate as high as it is? Because it was one of he pay-fors in the President’s health care plan. If the health care plan goes away, as the court very well might decide, there’s no longer an argument about this loan rate because it was used to take money from students and pay for health care, and largely health care for people who aren’t students.

Of course this is a complete lie. The law that lowered interest rates (from 6.8% to 3.4%) was signed by President Bush in 2007 and it is set to expire on July 1 of this year, which is what the current fuss is all about.

Some people think Blunt got that law confused with the Student Aid and Fiscal Responsibility Act, which was attached to the ACA. That Act cut the bankers out of the student loan loop (which pissed off Republicans bigtime), thereby saving the government tons of money that Democrats then reinvested in low- and middle-income students via grants. (Presumably, that is what Todd Akin meant by “stage three cancer of socialism“!)

In any case, confused or not, what Blunt did was stand in front of a television camera and tell a falsehood—without immediate challenge from Andrea Mitchell. Thankfully, though, The Ed Show exposed Blunt’s tall tale later that night in the following segment:

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5 Comments

  1. ansonburlingame

     /  April 26, 2012

    Go to http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2011/10/25/we-cant-wait-obama-administration-lower-student-loan-payments-millions-b

    THAT is the NEW Obama approach to student loans being criticized by some members of the GOP. In my view Akins and Blunt were not talking about a 2007 Bush program, they were addressing to program being proposed by Obama in the above link.

    And of course the whole issue is much broader simply the interest rate paid on loans. One of the BIG problems is defaults on such loans.

    THAT usually occurs when students take out loans but do not complete their education and thus do not achieve the earning power to repay the loans.

    Get a loan to buy a car, not pay for it as agreed and one loses the car. Student loan defaults are a whole other matter and it is now a big deal.

    When government offers loans to “want a be” students, well we see the results. It takes more to BE a student in college than just wanting to be a student in college. Now go regulate that one Mr. Government.

    Anson

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  2. Jane Reaction

     /  April 26, 2012

    The only missing idiot in the clown parade is Billy Long. The amazing propaganda machine is always welcome here in flyover country.

    Thanks for this one.

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  3. Jane Reaction

     /  April 26, 2012

    Speaking of the consistently wrong, Anson, they DO complete their education only to go back home in 85% of the cases because there are NO JOBS.

    This is not a philosophical debate, not a partisan issue, it is a fact. There ARE no jobs for college graduates. There are no jobs for high school graduates.

    America has the distinction now of being the worst job market in the western world. We now have the highest percentage of low-wage jobs in the entire OECD, including Spain and Greece.

    Please try some reality in your daily routine.

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  4. ansonburlingame

     /  April 26, 2012

    I have the reality of experince as well as the current day. I have two grandchildren graduating from High School this year and entering college, with the intent to NOT just “get a degree” but to find a field of study that can contribute to society in later professional careers.

    Yes jobs for college graduates are becoming less availabile. That is one of the reasons college student going into “education”, at least those in the lower half of the class where many new teachers come from, the lower half of college classes. There is high demand for “good teachers” yet the ones that enter that profession are ……..

    You see Jane and others, competition still prevails. A college degree is not longer a insurance policy for a “good” job. Such jobs go to the “best and the brightest” just like it USED to be for kids leaving HS to go to college.

    I am not worried about the “outstanding student debt” as long as such debt is repaid in terms set forth when the debt was incurred. I AM worried about defaults on such debt and my guess is that most of it comes from people that incurred the loans but failed to gain the earning pontential desired from a college education.

    Look at it another way. Dropouts from HS are almost doomed to remain in the lower rungs of society. Those in the last half of HS GPAs stand littlle chance of getting into a good college, with or without loans. And those that graduate from college with a degree in “underwater basket weaving”, well they MIGHT earn whatever underwater basket weavers might receive.

    Diplomas from HS or college or graduate schools MIGHT in the past have gotten you in to the work force at various levels. But individual success in terms of going beyond your education and making a contribution have always distinguished the “rich” from the “poor” at least in achievement in the professional (be it a plumber or a CEO) world.

    My parents, neither of which attended college encourage me to go to college, not the “norm” for my little community. I did and achieved some modest professional success and live accordingly.

    My sons grew up EXPECTING, within themselves without my prodding to go to college and beyond. And they have exceeded my professional and finacial achievemnet by orders of magnitude. All I did was to counsel and encourage them and lower the boom on them in their formative years, teenagers primarily, when they strayed from the path of good behavior, ON MY TERMS, not theirs.

    THAT Jane is the progress of the American Dream, parents encouraging kids to go “farther” in their lives, at least to the extent possible on the part of the kids; My Dad always told me, “I don’t care if you are a ditch digger, son. Just be the BEST GD ditch digger you can be”.

    Become the “best you can be” is good advice to kids today. And let them know the consequences of not doing so. I don’t understand why that is such a “radical” appoach in todya’s world for kids or adults.

    Anson

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  5. Jane Reaction

     /  April 27, 2012

    So you again missed the point: There are NO jobs for 85% of the graduates. Duh.

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