Missouri's 7th District, U.S. House of Representatives
Bringing LIBERTY to Capitol Hill -- 2008 OZARKS VIRTUAL TOWN HALL
Saturday Morning, April 26, 2008, 10:30am
A Discussion of The President's Saturday Morning Radio Address
Click here to listen to a replay of the April 26, 2008 Ozarks Virtual Town Hall
Notes and Summary of the President's Address -- Student Loans
THE PRESIDENT: Good morning. As we approach graduation season, many American students are looking forward to beginning college in the fall. This new chapter of life is a time of great expectation but can also be a time of anxiety. And that anxiety is being heightened by the recent credit crunch, which has raised concerns about the potential availability of student loans. (continued below)
How the President Differs from the American vision of "Liberty Under God":
Universities were created by Christians after the fall of Rome. All early universities in America were Christian. The federal government promotes atheism ("secularism") which undercuts the foundation of learning, converting a university seeking the truth to a "multiversity" which says falsehood and truth are equally valid.
The Federal Government only has the powers which "We the People" delegated to it in the Constitution.
The Tenth Amendment in the Bill of Rights summarizes the philosophy of the Constitution:
"The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people."
In Federalist 45, Madison described the relationship between the federal government and the states in these famous words:
The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government, are few and defined. Those which are to remain in the State governments are numerous and indefinite. The former will be exercised principally on external objects, as war, peace, negotiation, and foreign commerce; with which last the power of taxation will, for the most part, be connected. The powers reserved to the several States will extend to all the objects which, in the ordinary course of affairs, concern the lives, liberties, and properties of the people, and the internal order, improvement, and prosperity of the State. [emphasis added]
Education was never considered a function of the government, especially the federal government. Parents, churches, and businesses are more directly charged with education and training for success in life.
College is not necessarily the best route to success for every individual: e.g., Bill Gates.
Traditional brick-and-mortar colleges are not necessarily the wave of the future:
Government should not be subsidizing one route over another.
Saturday Morning Radio Address
"Liberty Under God"
THE PRESIDENT: Good morning. As we approach graduation season, many American students are looking forward to beginning college in the fall. This new chapter of life is a time of great expectation but can also be a time of anxiety. And that anxiety is being heightened by the recent credit crunch, which has raised concerns about the potential availability of student loans.
Recently, some lenders have dropped out of the Federal program that provides college loans to students who have often little or no credit. Without an adequate response, this means that many students may approach the upcoming school year uncertain of when they will be able to get their loans or where they will come from.
According to a statement released by Rep. George Miller (D-CA), the chairman of the House Education and Labor Committee and sponsor of the "Ensuring Continued Access to Student Loans Act," no students have actually reported an inability to get federal loans. And while several large firms, including HSBC and CIT Group, have recently stopped originating federal loans, J.P. Morgan Chase and other companies reportedly plan to expand their student lending operations. So while a shortfall in federal loan funding is possible, it's far from a clear and present danger
A slowdown in the economy shouldn't mean a downturn in educational opportunities. So we're taking decisive action now to ensure that college is accessible and affordable for students around the country.
There are many paths to success besides traditional brick-and-mortar colleges. Subsidizing a particular industry is completely unconstitutional.
One way we're helping is through the Department of Education's "lender of last resort" program, which works to provide loans for students who are unable to secure one from a lender. The Department is taking steps to ensure that the agencies involved in this program are ready and able to meet their responsibilities. If necessary, the government will help fund these loans. With these actions, we will help ensure that a college education is not unnecessarily denied to those who have earned it.
What kind of deceptive political rhetoric is this? "those who have earned it?" But they haven't earned it, otherwise they wouldn't need a loan. And their earning potential is so limited that lenders won't lend to them! But politicians are more interested in votes than in the truth.
These are important first steps, but more needs to be done. Congress needs to pass legislation that would give my Administration greater authority to buy Federal student loans. By doing so, we can ensure that lenders will continue to participate in the guaranteed loan program and ensure that students continue to have access to tuition assistance.
The real beneficiaries of government intervention are banks and lenders, not necessarily students.
A bill that would do this has already passed the House of Representatives. It is called the "Ensuring Continued Access to Student Loans Act." This bill provides the necessary tools for safeguarding student loans without permanently expanding the government's role in their financing. The authority the bill grants is temporary and would be used only if it became apparent there was a shortage of loans available to students.
Ensuring the stability of student loans is essential to keeping educational opportunities open to all Americans. Last year alone, Federal loans provided more than $60 billion of aid to American students. This money helped pay for tuition, textbooks, and the lifetime of opportunity that comes with holding a college degree. Members of Congress now have a chance to preserve this opportunity, and they should take it.
Aid to the higher education industry, interest to lenders.
Money taken from one industry and given to another means the first industry cannot create jobs, which destroys "the lifetime of opportunity that comes with holding a college degree."
I urge Congress to get the "Ensuring Continued Access to Student Loans Act" to my desk as soon as possible. A delay of even a week or two may make it impossible for this legislation to help students going to school this fall. By working together to improve and enact this legislation quickly, we can ensure that higher education remains within the reach for all those who've earned it. And we can ensure that America's college students can spend more time next fall thinking about their textbooks than their pocketbooks.
Students need to start thinking more about their pocketbooks, both now and in the future. Attending colleges which promote socialism won't help them do that.
Inventing a Student Loan Crisis
"Ultimately, though, this is just another episode in our vicious, never-ending tuition-inflation cycle, which is driven by the attitude that everyone should be able to go to college wherever and whenever they want, even when others are unwilling or unable to help them pay for it. Students and parents complain that higher education is too expensive, vote-seeking politicians increase grant and loan aid, colleges raise tuition to gather the new money, students and parents complain again, and around we go. The only way to slow the vicious tuition-inflation cycle is to cut down on the cheap aid that fuels it."
A judge ruled that Pennsylvania's student-loan agency acted with wanton disregard when it withheld spending records and ordered it to pay $48,000 in legal fees incurred by three news-media companies that fought in court for the documents.
If left alone, individual taxpayers will produce better results in the aggregate than government can. Individuals know what they want and need better than any government, and even more importantly, in a truly free market they have to balance their needs and desires against those of all the other people in society, resulting in the fairest, most efficient, aggregate outcome. Not so with government, where politicians can’t possibly divine and balance the needs of everyone in our impossibly complex society, and the people with the most lobbying power often get what they want specifically because they don’t
have to balance their needs against everyone else’s.
In the case of higher education, this plays itself out with relatively well-off students often getting aid; students spending large amounts of time partying rather than focusing on graduation; professors devoting much of their time to esoteric, often government-funded research instead of teaching; and universities using resources very
inefficiently. Meanwhile, taxpayers are doing without money they might have used to buy food, or invest in innovative young companies, or any number of other uses that would have been much more beneficial to society, but which politicians ignore because – unlike kids taking subsidized loans or bigger Pell Grants – their absence is invisible.
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John Adams once wrote that the American Revolution began in 1761, when Massachusetts attorney James Otis began legal challenges to the Writs of Assistance. He lost the case, but "American independence," Adams wrote, "was then and there born." Now do the math. That means it took 15 years to convince the rest of America to declare Independence (1776). Then another seven years of war was required before a Peace Treaty was signed (1783), and then six years before the Constitution was finally ratified (1789). That's almost 30 years. (And Jefferson
said we shouldn't go 20 years without another rebellion!) How can we hope to convince Americans to fight for principles they were never taught in government schools? We need to be in this battle for the long term. "Eternal Vigilance is the Price of Liberty."
Record-high oil and gas prices, due in part to government subsidies of big-oil corporations. Government should subsidize alternative-energy corporations instead.
End all corporate welfare. Government has no Constituitonal authority to run energy businesses. Socialism in any form -- even small amounts -- always results in greater inefficiency and higher prices and a lower standard of living for consumers.
Click herefor a replay of this edition of the Ozarks Virtual Town Hall