Friday, December 31, 2010

Heather HigginBottom's Stale Suggestions: Same Ole Sorry Message

The White House is spitting out the same ole sorry message about how they are helping student loan debtors.The focus remains on prospective students.

Heather HigginBottom, the Deputy Assistant to the President for Domestic Policy, shares the latest suggestions from the White House (assess and view her comments below). She responded to a young woman who has student loan debt and four children. The young woman wrote to President Obama about her student loan debt. The note did not indicate what sort of loans she has, so that makes the message problematic. Ms. Higginbottom let her know that they are committed to making college more affordable. Wow! Great. Because we've never heard the White House talk about prospective students. Shortly after she talked about all the awesome things they're doing for future college students, Ms. Higginbottom turned to the woman's current situation. She encouraged her to look into consolidating her loans and IBR. Those things are fine, but again what if the woman has private loan debt? IBR is of no use. Moreover, if the woman were to go into default, she would no longer be a candidate for these programs. But Ms. Higginbottom really didn't have much else to suggest. Luckily, she returned to speaking about prospective students and all the wonderful things they're doing for them, and how this woman can be assured that her 4 children will have opportunities to go to college, and take on their own student loan debt. Whoopdeedoo. Ms. Higginbottom, you are ignoring the indentured educated class, but why am I surprised?


Nando said...

What else can we expect from an "deputy assistant"? I work with people like this, on the state level. They are policy wonks, i.e. they can read and regurgitate a densely-worded report but they don't know one damn thing about action!

Ms. Pigbottom is simply doing her real job, i.e. pulling out meaningless platitudes.

John in Boston said...

Gawdammit, lady, it's not all one thing part and parcel!!!

Affordability is NOT a synonym for access! Making college "affordable" is NOT achieved by making available loans to cover the price of a college education (including all ancilliary incidentals). All these loans do is make college "accessible".

So when those of us who were offered "accessible" education now find that the loan repayments are not "affordable", quit telling us that you did us any favors!

Anonymous said...

Typical Political Sidestepping of a question or issue.

Anonymous said...

Hey, if you reduce the tuition then you will have to reduce the salaries of the liberal faculties. Good luck with that.

Anonymous said...

One issue she is sidestepping is that we've gradually been conditioned to believe that loans are "financial aid." They aren't. You have to pay them back.

Back when I was in school, loans and work-study were labeled "self help." In other words, work-study is self-help because you are spending some hours of your week earning that money, and loans are self-help because you have to repay the funds. Once a study was done which indicated that people subliminally consider $3000 in loans only about the same as $1000 in grant aid.

While studies have repeatedly found no evidence that Pell Grants spur education price inflation (in part because, aside from at a community college, even the maximum available Pell Grant amount represents an irrelevant fraction of the dollar sticker price of postsecondary education), there is growing evidence that loan availability is an influence on increases in sticker price.

Loans are the path of least resistance, because there is no cost to the taxpayer. Grant aid, whether at the state or federal level, requires a dollar-for-dollar appropriation. $1 billion in grant aid to students requires governments to increase taxes by $1 billion. This has become a lower and lower priority on the radar screen when compared to social security, medicare, defense, and "homeland security." In particular the senior-citizen lobby has always out-maneuvered the students at every turn.

Legal Professional said...

"In particular the senior-citizen lobby has always out-maneuvered the students at every turn."

Excellent point and expect the senior lobby to continue full force since the elder boomers will start turning 65 y/o this year.

I worry for my nephew and many of the millennial in the US. This younger generation does not stand a chance unless something is done about the education bubble and the outsource problem in this country.

Running off to college is not the answer and I can't comprehend why people like Ms. Hingingbottom and Ben Bernanke just don't get it. What good is taking out a loan if you cannot pay it back and the chances in being gainfully employed out of college are slim?

Anonymous said...

@jan 2, 7:09PM

"What good is taking out a loan if you cannot pay it back and the chances in being gainfully employed out of college are slim?"

That is the simple question and entire situation in a nutshell.

The simple answer is that a small group of people profit enormously from the situation, while a lot of people lose and have thier lives destroyed with debt.

Who are the people in this small group that are making out like bandits?

I'll start the list:

1. The Universities
2. Al Lord and the Fitzpatrick fellow.

Cryn Johannsen said...

Let's always make sure to not name call, even though we see through the absurdity of these people.

Anonymous said...

^^ Well.....OK

Anonymous said...

Last week she was nominated for Deputy Budget Director (OMB).

Cryn Johannsen said...

I saw that.