What Student Loan Legislation Means To You

Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) has recently proposed the “Bank on Student Loan Fairness Act” to the senate. The interest rates on Stafford loans are set to rise from 3.4% to 6.8% on July 1st, which is what prompted Elizabeth Warren to propose this act. If passed, the interest rates on student loans would fall to a mere 0.75%.

“We should not be profiting from students who are drowning in debt while we are giving great deals to big banks.” says Warren. A lot of Young Greens and other college students may be in agreement with that statement, but Warren’s bill would not solve this problem. College tuition and housing rates are still remarkably high, and that alone is enough to make students “drown in debt.” Let’s not forget the fact that the government would still charge an interest rate of 0.75% in addition to that. Given, 0.75% interest is still better than 6.8%, but it’s still not enough to save students from debt slavery. The government would still be capitalizing off of a student’s inability to pay for college.

Meanwhile, the House of Representatives went in the complete opposite direction. The Republican-controlled House passed a bill that would inflate student loan interest rates based on how much the government borrows. This could cause interest rates to roughly start around 4%, but could raise it to 8.5% or more. When this bill is presented to the Democrat-controlled Senate, it is more likely to pass than Warren’s bill is in the House. The Republicans would overwhelmingly support it, as they did in the House, and it’s obvious that they are able to find enough Democrats to pass pro-business legislation. This is evident from the Senate’s overwhelming rejection of a bill that would allow states to require GMO labeling, showing that Democrats are willing to bow down to Monsanto and other large corporations. However, President Obama has threatened a veto of the House’s loan bill.

So with that in mind, let’s not forget that both parties are equally guilty of supporting large corporations who continue to make a profit off of people who are suffering. That and the Democrats are still in favor of students going into debt, they just prefer less debt.

Corporations are still making record profits in this country, while everyone else can hardly get by, much less send their children to college. As a nation, we have the money to totally pay for the college education of anyone who seeks it. Everything could be subsidized by the government, from housing, tuition, meal plans, books, fees, and whatever else is required. Various European countries have a system like this. As a matter of fact, Germany didn’t even give universities the option to charge a cent for tuition until 2005. Their government even offers a cheap public transportation alternative for students to enjoy.

This view is also the position of the Green Party; to not only make college affordable, but for education to be totally paid for from the start. Education should not be a luxury for the few, as the two major parties gladly allow it to be, because it is a necessity that should be enjoyed and offered to the many. Our country’s lack of funding for education is absolutely disgraceful, and that is one of my many things that the Greens would drastically change. As the Youth Caucus of the Green Party, this is one of our single most important issues. Join us if you agree.

– Written by Evan Lyne

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