The GOP College Affordability Rhetoric Just Doesn’t Add Up

The GOP presidential candidates profess their interest in making college affordable. They claim they want to increase access to the opportunities fostered by a college degree. But when it comes down to it, when there are clear policy solutions that would reduce the crippling strain of student debt and improve college affordability, Republican opposition to substantive reform speaks volumes.

The GOP presidential field opposes solutions such as student loan reform and forgiveness. They decry plans for debt-free college and free community college as “free stuff.” Some of them have even advocated slashing education funding. And some of them have succeeded: Scott Walker’s 2015 Wisconsin budget cut $250 million from Wisconsin’s public universities.

These Republicans oppose increased investment in higher education, and even call for divestment. They claim they want to improve access to quality, affordable education, but they don’t offer much in the way of substantive solutions.

It’s all empty rhetoric — and it doesn’t add up.


Jeb Bush
Opposed Free […]

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Rubio, For-Profit College Beneficiary, Supports Plan Benefiting For-Profit Colleges

Absentee U.S. Senator and for-profit college beneficiary Marco Rubio this morning went on Fox & Friends to talk about college affordability. Here’s what he had to say:

The problem we have today isn’t just that college is too expensive, it’s that college, our system, is outdated. We need a flexible system that allows people who have to work full time, like single mothers who are raising children and are working also need flexible ways to go back to school.

Perhaps in his eagerness to criticize, Marco neglected to mention his long-time advocacy for and support of for-profit colleges. And Marco neglected to mention that his own proposed college affordability overhaul would specifically benefit for-profit colleges — institutions with a reputation for willfully misleading students, targeting veterans, in particular.

Perhaps he forgot to mention his advocacy on behalf of Corinthian Colleges — a school that, according to Bloomberg Politics, “was fined $30 million by the Department of Education for a scheme […]

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Marco Rubio would make students pay more for college

Marco Rubio took the bold step of offering a plan that even he acknowledges might make some people pay more for their college degrees. He wants to set up a system where private investors could cover a student’s tuition in exchange for a percentage of their earnings after college, but clearly hasn’t thought it through.

Will it limit someone’s freedom to choose their job afterwards since a financier will be breathing down their neck?
How much uncertainty will students face about the fine print and what could get sneaked into their contract?

In his Chicago speech today, Rubio left out his call to eliminate the Department of Education, which would also drive up the cost of college by getting rid of federal student loans and Pell Grants. He did, however, re-up his extreme proposal that would likely open the door to more for-profit colleges. A prime example is Corinthian College, which recently went bankrupt and left the federal government  Read more after the jump.

Kelly Ayotte Goes Full Washington

Kelly Ayotte is launching her reelection campaign as one of the most vulnerable Republicans in the country. Granite Staters don’t trust Ayotte to put them first ahead of the special interests bankrolling her campaign, and it’s easy to see why after five years in D.C.

Ayotte’s resume reads like a who’s who of out-of-touch Republican positions:

  • Ayotte supports raising the retirement age and cutting Social Security benefits.
  • Ayotte voted to roll back Wall Street reforms, while her largest donors are Wall Street execs.
  • Ayotte opposes equal pay measures and voted against the Paycheck Fairness Act.
  • Ayotte voted to voucherize Medicare in the Ryan Budget.
  • Ayotte is anti-choice and would overturn Roe v. Wade.
  • Ayotte voted to defund Planned Parenthood.
  • Ayotte would allow employers to make health care decisions for female employees by supporting the Blunt Amendment and Hobby Lobby decision.
  • Ayotte opposes marriage equality and same-sex adoption.
  • Ayotte voted against allowing people to refinance their college loan debt.

It’s no wonder that Republicans are already vowing to shatter previous New Hampshire spending and groups like Karl Rove’s are jumping into the race to prop up Kelly Ayotte. Special interests are doing everything they can to keep Ayotte in D.C. because she’s a rubber stamp for their priorities.

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MEMO/VIDEO: Bully Seeking Pulpit

Chris Christie enters the race as a brazen, outspoken bully hoping to use the 2016 pulpit to pull his GOP opponents like Jeb Bush further to the extreme right. With nine credit downgrades and a 30 percent approval rating under his belt, Christie has made the calculation that his charming personality alone won’t do the trick in the wake of Bridgegate.

American Bridge is also releasing a new video that shows Christie is now aligning himself with the extreme wing of his party in an attempt to gain traction.

Read more after the jump.

Multimillionaire, Political Savant Ron Johnson is on a Warpath Against College Kids

Multimillionaire Senator Ron Johnson thinks we’re helping too many young, aspiring Americans go to college. At a recent event in Wisconsin, Johnson said, “What’s wrong? Well partly, student loans are available and kids are using them.” Students are taking 5 and 6 years to graduate simply because loans are too easy to access and “college is a lot of fun,” he went on to say.

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Rarely Is the Question Asked: Is Our Children Learning?

The right-wing attack dogs have it out for Jeb on education, and the governor is running for the hills. Once seen as a part of his platform he would highlight, Jeb’s support for Common Core has provided fertile ground for conservatives to sully his record. But instead of taking the principled position and arguing his case, Bush has caved completely.

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NEW VIDEO — Vitter Hypocrisy Alert: Common Core

Sen. David Vitter made headlines yesterday when he announced his new-found distaste for Common Core standards. The flip-flop by Vitter constitutes a transparent attempt to pander to the right ahead of his gubernatorial primary, proving his political compass is as unsteady as his moral one. Luckily for the voters, they can take a look at just how empty his new course reversal really is — here are just a few highlights of Vitter defending Common Core:

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Thom Tillis to Campaign with Fellow Education Raider, Chris Christie

The Thom Tillis campaign is in freefall. For months and months, conventional wisdom had pegged North Carolina as one of Republicans’ best pickup opportunities in the Senate. But disarray in Raleigh under the House Speaker’s leadership, a disastrous budget overhaul that gutted education spending to give massive cuts to the wealthy, and a sustained disrespect toward women have left Tillis in a decisive hole.

Four separate polls came out this week showing Hagan up by an average of over 5 points, leading even a GOP pollster to say, “the race has unmistakably shifted towards Sen. Hagan in recent days.” So Tillis is calling in some help to stop the bleeding, in the form of one-time GOP presidential frontrunner Chris Christie.

Well the two should have plenty to talk about. They can talk about budget problems. They can talk about ethics questions. But most importantly, they can talk about how each of them took an axe to funding for education, hurting schools and angering constituents.

Thom Tillis has a lot to learn about putting his constituents first. Chris Christie is the least qualified person to teach him.

Read more after the jump.