Human Events Blog

Studentloanfare

President Obama addressed yet another student audience today, in an uncomfortably protracted series of appearances before youthful audiences.  This latest taxpayer-funded campaign “road trip” brought the immense presidential motorcade to North Carolina, on the eve of a heavily-touted appearance on Jimmy Fallon’s late-night show… at a venue less than half the size of the one Obama filled in 2008.

Here he made a desperate appeal to youth voters, warning that unless they support him, a bill Obama personally didn’t even bother to vote on in 2007 will reach the expiration dates installed by its Democrat authors, and student loan rates will double.  No one pushing for an extension of the reduced student loan rates has the foggiest notion of how to pay for them.  Their price tag far exceeds the potential income from the ridiculous “Buffett Rule” Obama just wasted months promoting – about $6 billion per year, compared to the best-case $4.7 billion the Buffett Rule would have brought in.

Professional activist Sandra Fluke, who suckered much of the media into believing she was an innocent young coed just a couple of months ago, immediately began pumping the new campaign theme on the Internet.  “Don’t double my rates!” is meant to become the new battle cry of a budding dependency class… ripening just in time to be harvested for votes by the man who personally dumped over $12,000 in debt on each and every one of their heads, and recently submitted a budget that would have piled on another $28,000 apiece over the next ten years.  Our per-capita debt load is already higher than that of Greece, and by the end of Obama’s second term, it would be nearly double what each Greek is carrying.  But let’s hear some poetry about the unlimited potential of the future from the Five Trillion Dollar Man!

It’s a sign of political desperation that the President feels he has to make such a huge push for the youth vote, which is notoriously unreliable, and rested comfortably in his hip pocket once upon a time.  It won’t help his electoral strategy – or America’s fiscal crisis – that his 2012 opponent already agrees the student loan rates should be extended, although he has not specified how long he would extend them.  Obama is trying to run for re-election by beating a drum Mitt Romney is already pounding on.

Hearing the coming expiration of the student loan bill described as “doubling the rates” is odd, because Democrats have been sternly instructing us for years that allowing the “Bush tax cuts” to “expire” would not constitute a tax increase.  Sometimes expirations are increases, one supposes, and sometimes they are not.

There are many reasons the spectacle of Obama begging for votes from the people he has so thoroughly victimized is absurd.  Paramount among them is the question of exactly what these students plan to do with the degrees they’re paying ridiculously bloated tuition rates to earn.  What do they imagine will be out there waiting for them?  Under current CBO projections, we’re only a generation away from the entire United States economy completely shutting down under the weight of federal debt. 

If the President had a shred of integrity, he’d be apologizing to these kids for blowing all their cheap student loan funding on Solyndra and the rest of his “investment” debacles.  If the government actually had a “budget,” in the sense that members of his young audience are expected to live according to a budget, Obama would have no choice to tender that apology… or inform the members of other dependency groups that they’ll have to give up their government lollipops to fund cut-rate student loans… or he’d have to be honest with his cherished “middle class working families” about how much he’ll need to raise their taxes, in order to keep lollipops in every “deserving” mouth.

But we don’t do budgets at Leviathan State HQ any more, and we actually stopped respecting the concept of budgeting long before Democrats gave up the pretense of respecting the law three years ago.  The new Big Government operating system involves ever-growing promises to targeted dependents, with vague assurances that faceless rich people can cover it all with their petty cash funds. 

If the students Obama is romancing today are lucky enough to find jobs among the wreckage of his economic policies, they’ll start earning a decent salary just in time to be told that massive across-the-board tax hikes are tragically necessary to prevent out-of-control debt from destroying the country.  It will all be presented as so terribly, regrettably inevitable.  If tomorrow’s tax serfs think back to the days when it wasn’t inevitable – the bygone era of 2012, when the national debt was only $17 trillion, and Democrats still pretended to hate the idea of jacking up taxes on “working families” – they’ll be castigated for living in the past.

The process of “studentloanfare” has been creating a new, captive dependency class right under America’s noses.  Shoddy public education turned college degrees into essential qualifications for jobs that should not require them.  An ocean of cheap student loan money sloshing around the system led tuition rates to climb an astonishing 25 percent in the last three years, during the same period when the Democrats’ self-destructing student loan bill pushed rates down from 6.8 percent to 3.4 percent.  These artificially cheap loans worked the usual Big Government black magic of separating consumers from the product they wished to purchase, with absurd price inflation the predictable result.

The result is a debt burden meant to indenture these students, leading them to think of themselves as helpless captives who cannot survive without the intervention of benevolent politicians.  Those huge student loan balances will be hanging around their necks for many years to come, and they can be electrified whenever the army of indebted graduates requires a little… guidance at the polls.

Fiscally responsible people fret about future debt bombs destroying our entire system, but when you watch Obama purchase youth votes with massive student loan subsidies, you’re watching a carefully timed debt bomb detonate right before your eyes. 

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