Since the House Republicans major wins in the 2010 elections allowing them to take over control of Congress, they have passed legislation from naming post offices (example, H.R. 2548 to designate the facility of the USPS located at 6310 North University Street in Peoria, Illinois, as the “Charles ”Chip” Lawrence Chan Post Office Building”) to turning Medicare into a voucher program. This is far from the platform that every Republican politician ran on leading up to 2010 and that was Jobs, Jobs, Jobs.
Now they are focusing on Pell Grants. Since GOP came into power, they have repeatedly set its sightson Pell Grants, the federal grants that help low- and middle-income students pay a portion of their higher education tuition. Republicans have not only proposed lowering the maximum Pell amount from $5,500 (which is the level to which the Obama administration raised it) but also limiting eligibility, knocking one million students from the Pell program entirely.
Paul Ryan (R-WI), House Budget Committee Chairman, held a town hall yesterday and Matthew Lowe, a student, asked Mr. Ryan why he wanted to cut Pell Grants. Ryan’s stated that the program was “unsustainable,” and advised him to use student loans to pay for college instead of using Pell Grants.
LOWE: I come from a very middle-class family and under President Obama, I get $5,500 per year to pay for school, which doesn’t come close to covering all of the funding, but it helps ease the burden. Under your plan, you cut it by 15 percent. I was just curious why you would cut a grant that goes directly to the middle- and lower-class people that need it the most.
RYAN: ‘Cause Pell Grants have become unsustainable. It’s all borrowed money…Look, I worked three jobs to pay off my student loans after college. I didn’t get grants, I got loans, and we need to have a system of viable student loans to be able to do this.
The second concern I have is, in the health care bill — people don’t know this — for budgetary gimmickry reasons, the administration and Congress at the time, took over the student loan industry. So they had the federal government, the Department of Education, basically confiscate the private student loan industry.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Current Population Survey, the unemployment rate for college graduates between the ages of 20 to 24-year-olds soared five percentage points in the past month — from 7.1 percent in May to 12.1 percent in June, compared with a three percent jump during the same period last year.
The amount of student loans taken out last year crossed the $100 billion mark for the first time and total loans outstanding will exceed $1 trillion for the first time this year. Americans now owe more on student loans than on credit cards, reports the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
I advise people to stop focusing on such things as immigration and social issues and start looking at Republicans economic policies because in the end, their economic policies are going to have a devastating effect on your middle- and lower-class children. Will their quality of life be better than their parents, the American dream? The GOP policies are guaranteeing fewer and fewer of our children will have better lives than their parents.