On July 1, the interest rate on student loans is scheduled to double. The economy is weakening, and there are fewer jobs for college graduates, and those jobs that exist just don’t pay as well as they used to.
In the face of this looming extra burden on America’s new college graduates, U.S. Representative Keith Ellison rose on the House floor this week to speak out against the economic agenda that lowers taxes for millionaires and billionaires, but commits usury against Americans who are working their way through school. Ellison said, “We cannot let student loan rates double at a time when we see colleges all over America experiencing double-digit increases in tuition, when the price of an education has gone sky-high, outpaced inflation manyfold… I think the truth is that America, a Nation that has made it possible for BP and ExxonMobil and GE and all these big corporations to do so well, should do well by America. I don’t think that’s asking too much. It’s not right to protect the richest people in America, and let everybody else get by the best they can. This Nation has made it possible for them to earn all that money, and I don’t have any problem with people making good money. I just think that if you make good money, and you have used our police force, our military has protected you, our roads and bridges and our transit system have allowed you to move your goods and services around, our EMS system has made sure that if you get sick we’ll come help you, our public schools have educated your workforce, then I don’t think it’s asking too much to say, put in the pot and help some kids have affordable education. I just don’t think that’s asking too much.