Why did the Republicans try to rob the poor college kids?

Back when I was in college (10 years ago) the Republican led congress tried to push through a bill to eliminate grants for college kids. This was at a time when the budget was balanced and my costs were going up 13% per year, while the grant money was flat year over year, in other words, I was going into debt 13% more per year as it was.

Then, the Republicans tried to eliminate my grant money. I was livid. I talked & met with (personally) several of my local members of congress, I petitioned, I wrote and thankfully, that bill was defeated.

To me, this was an example of the Republicans trying to steal from the poor. If you’ve been to college on financial aid, you know how hard it is to repay those loans (it takes years) and the set back to your own economic progress is unreal, even with the low interest rates.

Can anybody explain to me why, at a time of prosperity for the country, the Republicans essentially wanted to steal from the poor and make it harder for them to bring themselves out of poverty?

Answer #1

It was the Gingrich-led Congress, not necessarily the entire Republican Party. The Contract with America was intended to shrink the size and scope of the federal government, often times regardless of the impact on certain segments of the population. The Republicans believed their 1994 sweep was a mandate to do so.

Answer #2

phrannie, you are treating any program that offers services to people as an entittlement. Even education. Should the government not provide any public education? How is providing a free college education going to hurt people’s psyche? Wouldn’t it be better to have a well educated populace so theat people are able to make a good living and not need any government “entittlements” in the future.

You are doing the same thing that all conservatives do. Thinking that anyone who gets help or aid from the government is out to scam the system. The fact is that the overwheling majority of people who receive services actually need them, and would be far worse off with out them. The amount of people scamming the system is a tiny fraction of those who really need it. Your “pull yourself up by your bootstraps” rhetoric, is just that, rhetoric, with no facts to support it.

Answer #3

“”To me, this was an example of the Republicans trying to steal from the poor. If you’ve been to college on financial aid, you know how hard it is to repay those loans (it takes years) and the set back to your own economic progress is unreal, even with the low interest rates.””

And to me, this a perfect example of the “principles of entitlement”…you can’t “steal” something from someone who doesn’t HAVE it…A loan is a loan…for some, even a gift…but it’s NEVER entitled.


Answer #4

phrannie, everyone should be entitiled to go to college free of charge. Much of europe is like that, and statistics show they are much better educated than us. Don’t you think we all benefit from an educated populace? I guess since republicans as a group are far less educated than democrats, you might see it as a benefit. We can’t have those liberal college educated elites running the country, now can we? No, you think we are better off with a couple of “C” students, like Bush and McCain.

If you think education is an entitlement, than waht is giving tax breaks to corporations that are making record profits, like oil companies? Those are the whopper of all entitlements.

Answer #5

jimahl…Actually, I feel that we, as human beings (or as Americans) are “entitled” to very little…The simple fact for the art of living…Nothing in Life is Free. Entitlement weakens a society…it dimishes the work ethic, it takes away initiative, and takes away feeling pride in a job well done. People who work for what they get, like what they have…free money, gifts, handouts are high on the unappreciated list of those who know no other means of getting what they want.

Sweden’s welfar system worked great when it could rely on the “the hard work ethic” of it’s people…Now that system has broken down…worked against itself because immigrants and on-going generations have become accustomed to the free lunch…they see no need to have a work ethic…Check it out…it’s true.


PS…Actually…college isn’t free for EVERYONE in ALL of Europe…

Anytime you use a definitive quanity containing the words all, never, none… you put yourself in a defensive position…It’s not free in the UK…there are student loans and scholarships (teachers and nurses get extra finacial help)…that’s not free…So are you talking about some countries for some people??

Answer #6

Dude, you’re throwing out stats and figures (all of which are mercurial at best, dependent on the motive of the “thrower”)…

I’m talking about human nature…What happens when “entitlement” becomes a part of the psyche…it’s not about who GETS an “entitlement”, it’s about FEELING, inside that one is deserving the free-lunch…How do you get stats on that?? You can’t…all we have available to us is to observe other places where “entitlement thinking” appears to almost be genetic…a societal faux pas…it takes time and generations for a society to evolve into a mass of “gimme gimme’s”… I think we’re well on our way…


Answer #7

jimahl…Ya know, the more I’ve thought about free college for everybody…I wonder if maybe it could be done. Theoretical thinking, of course…as the first hurdle would be to keep the layers of governmental bureaucracy to a bare minimum (no sense in taking a $35,000 to $40,000/year education and turning it into a $100,000+/year education)…right?

So let’s keep the overhead costs to registration and cutting checks…Each person in the US, with parents making less than $75,000 per year, at the age of 18 gets a check for $40,000…to be used for schooling. Now, there’s no dogging, no checking up, no babysitting (extra costs being kept at a minimum)…if that person goes to school and keeps at least a 2.8 average (even partiers can do that)…and finishs that year, then another $40,000 check will be waiting for the next year. If that person elects to blow the money, can’t keep up an average grade point…then there won’t be a check waiting. At the end of four years, their on their own to pursue graduate work…Those who have truly excelled are in line for scholarships…

That would at least separate the doers from the non-doers…played out by inner strengths, drives, and incentives to make it. Would this seem a fair plan?


PS…don’t forget the list of specific countries, please.

Answer #8

Because there really is no GOP its just a group of people trying to maintain the status quo and the hierarchy of capitalism.

Answer #9

All of the scandanavian countries (Denmark, Sweden, Finland, and Norway) offer free public college education. Sweden and Finland even offer it to foreign students. Ireland also offer free college education. So does, Libya and Cuba. Most other countries that offer it, do it through grants and scholarships.

Answer #10

That is the way Republicans govern. Big corporations and the wealthy will always get there attention. Surely college for kids who can’t afford it is not on their radar.

Answer #11

You miss the point phrannie. You wouldn’t get moeny to go to college. It would be a public college, just like public primary and secondary school. And it would not cost 40,000 a year. Private schoold would still be available to those who could afford it. The public colleg would be the equavalent of a community college, or maybe a state school.

There are many euorpean countries that provide it. I do not have a list right now, but I will find it, and will get back to you. I am pretty sure France and Germany provide it.

Answer #12

Much of europe is like that, and statistics show they are much better educated than us…

phrannie, he said “much” not, “all” regarding the European education system. In general, they have higher standards across the board - public schools, the US is the lowest of the industrialized world (on average, in my area, they’re quite good).

$36,500 (2007 est.) Swedish GDP… $45,800 (2007 est.) USA GDP…

However, let’s look beyond gross revenue, shall we? In the US, the lowest 10% of the public earn only (wait for it) 2% of the total revenue…however, Sweden, it’s 3.6%…so, their “poor” earn nearly 66% more than the poor in our country.

And, their rich earn 22% of the wealth, versus 30% for the US…so, the rich, here are far richer, and the poor, here, are FAR poorer, by comparison. In other words: if you want to get rich in Sweden, you can - it’s just harder by comparison to be dirt poor.

Thus…I think my point is proven, n’est pais? If you want to hand out money to the rich, FINE, but, it’s clear that welfare for the rich doesn’t necessarily make a great economy.

…do you have another European country to use as an example? The CIA factbook is very enlightening…

Answer #13

“Surely college for kids who can’t afford it is not on their radar.”

I don’t think most members of the Gingrich-led Congress would understand the concept of kids not being able to afford college!

Answer #14

Hi dude!

I really wish I had a good answer for this one.

It seems as though they take advantage of the ones they consider the least likely to have the ability to fight back. Money talks, and when you have none, who’s going to listen, right?

I guess they were wrong on this account - good for you for standing your ground!

Answer #15

jimahl…Please…I’d like hear the names of these European countries where University is free for everyone…


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