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.

Please support FDL with a tax-deductible contribution to the FireDogLake Writers Foundation – even $25 will go a long way.


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.

Community Colleges Get Screwed for AHIP

By: Monday March 15, 2010 8:00 am

Now we see one of the reasons the Senate is including student loans in reconciliation — they don’t want to tax rich people (as the House does), so they’re stealing the money from community colleges.

The most economically vulnerable are having their futures hacked away to pay AHIP a 20% fee for doing nothing in the health care process. And Ben Nelson hasn’t even begun shaking the bill down for Nelnet, JP Morgan and Citigroup.

Sign the petition — tell the Senate to take care of students, not banks.

Senate Dems Say They’ll Include Student Loan Reform in Health Care Reconciliation

By: Thursday March 11, 2010 4:01 pm

Senate Democrats signaled that they would add the student loan reform bill to the reconciliation package being prepped for the health care bill. While the House may have to pass the Senate bill fully and have it signed by the President before moving to a reconciliation fix, this sweetener – providing college affordability for hundreds of thousands of students in their districts and ending subsidies for big banks – may make it worth their while to move forward.

Do Conrad and Durbin Just Love Banks, Or Really Hate Students?

By: Thursday March 11, 2010 9:29 am

Conrad doesn’t want student loan reform to pass. Why? Well, because the student lending industry has jobs in North Dakota. Fifty-seven, to be exact. Blanche Lincoln, Jim Webb, Mark Warner, Tom Carper and the Nelson twins are helping him, because they’ve got jobs in their states too. From companies with deep pockets, private jets and personal golf courses to keep up.

$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.

Lincoln Wants to Save Big Bank Subsidies, Joins Other Dems in Prioritizing Banks over Students

By: Wednesday March 10, 2010 3:50 pm

Blanche Lincoln, threatened by a primary campaign in Arkansas, has decided that the best way to win over Arkansans is to make college less affordable for them and funnel money to the biggest banks in America.

SAFRA’s Chances in Reconciliation: Students Not Banks Meets Patients vs. Private Insurers

By: Tuesday March 9, 2010 4:01 pm

As you may know, FDL has launched the Students Not Banks campaign to get the student loan bill passed through reconciliation this year, enabling hundreds of thousands of students to afford college and ending the needless subsidies to the big banks for the privatization of the student loan market.

FDL campaigns get results! Already today, senior Democratic aides have proposed combining the student loan and the health care bills through reconciliation, the only way to pass SAFRA this year:

Senate Democratic leaders have decided to pair an overhaul of federal student lending with healthcare reform, according to a Democratic official familiar with negotiations.

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.

Easy Money for Sallie Mae: Current Student Loan Policy Has Public Funds Subsidize Private Lender

By: Tuesday March 9, 2010 11:45 am

Sallie Mae gets cheap money to make guaranteed student loans, and there is a buyer who will pay face value. Surprise: it’s your government. It’s up to Congress to stop this practice and quit acting like saps.

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