Student Loan Reform: Best Progressive Victory of 2010

By: Friday December 31, 2010 6:05 am

Looking back on the year, I believe that the best victory for progressives was student loan reform, which was passed as part of the reconciliation measure. While not as large in scale as some of the bills passed by this Congress, it still was a substantial measure that ends over $60 billion in government waste. I’m proud of the role FDL played when our “Students, Not Banks” campaign helped make sure uncompromised student loan reform was passed this year. Looking back at the year, I wish progressives had been given the chance to have more clear fights like this one.

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What Progressive Victory Looks Like: Ending Corporate Welfare To Help Regular Americans

By: Saturday March 27, 2010 8:00 am

This week was actually big victory for progressivism. Not in health care, but in student loan reform. Finally, a wasteful and worthless corporate welfare program was eliminated. The taxpayer dollars that were being thrown away on private profits will now be redirected to help low income students attend college and pay down the debt. This is what progressive victories look like.

$112 Billion Student Loan Industry Bailout a Lesson in Corporate Welfare

By: Thursday March 11, 2010 8:12 am

With little public notice or fanfare, the federal government has been providing financial institutions involved in the student loan business with a bailout projected to be over $100 billion. With the federal government now helping to provide the financing for 80 percent of the “private” market for FFEL loans, it is ridiculous to classify it as anything other than a massive corporate welfare system.

Student Lending and the Myth of “35,000 Lost Jobs”

By: Tuesday March 9, 2010 12:59 pm

Student loan lobbyists have been distributing a memo around Capitol Hill, with the misleading claim that if the FFEL program is eliminated in favor of direct lending, all of these jobs in the industry will be lost.

The bottom line: job losses in a tough economy are nothing to treat lightly, but the claims made by lobbyists don’t hold to close scrutiny, and the jobs impact must be weighed against the number of students currently enrolled in each state if money that could be going to schools is instead propping up a costly and unnecessary industry that is surviving only because of government subsidy.

Find out more about the Students, Not Banks campaign and sign the petition.

FFEL: $80 Billion Wasted on Crony Capitalism

By: Saturday February 6, 2010 7:05 pm

President Obama has proposed ending one of the more wasteful crony capitalism programs currently funded by the federal government. The government provides students loans in two ways–the first and most effective of which is to just directly loan money to students. This is done through the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program. The other way is to guarantee student loans provided by private companies, through the government-guaranteed Federal Family Education Loan Program (FFEL). Not surprisingly, adding a private middleman adds waste and inefficiency. Eliminating this would save the government $80 billion.

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