In 2007 Democrats controlled both the House and Senate. They passed a bill which temporarily cut the interest rates on student loans. That temporary cut is about to expire. And as that deadline approaches Obama is campaigning around the country trying to convince he's on the side of younger voters who may face a higher interest payment by blaming the Republicans in Congress for the mess.
Obama never mentions that it was a Democrat controlled Congress which passed the bill. He also doesn't mention that he was too busy campaigning for President to vote on the bill. Since after taking office he rarely stops campaigning long enough to play a round of golf or throw a party not many people will be surprised.
This latest campaign swing is no different from all the others. It involves the usual attempt to distract voters from the greater economic hardship they see all around them and focus on some wedge issue which Obama will use to bash Republicans. The student loan ploy is just another in a long line of distractions Obama used to deflect attention from his record.
And for the younger voters Obama is attempting to hoodwink, economic hardship is a painful reality that won't be swept away with a sleight of hand campaign trick. From Speaker Boehner's blog:
It's no wonder that so many college age voters have become disenchanted with Obama. The old "Hope and Change" routine doesn't work (pun intended). Brendan Buck, spokesman for House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio summed the matter up this way: “Five years ago, just like today, the President put campaigning before governing. As a result, 50 percent of new graduates can’t find full-time employment in this economy.”
- 53.6%: Unemployed or Underemployed Bachelor’s Degree Holders. “About 1.5 million, or 53.6 percent, of bachelor’s degree-holders under the age of 25 last year were jobless or underemployed, the highest share in at least 11 years.” (The Associated Press, 4/23/12)
- 25.1%: Increase in College Tuition & Fees at Public Four-Year Institutions Over the Past Three Years. Published in-state tuition and fees at public four-year institutions averaged $8,244 in 2011-12, $7,613 in 2010-11, $7,050 in 2009-2010 and $6,591 in 2008-2009. (The College Board’s “Trends in College Pricing”)
- 13.2%: Unemployment Rate Amongst 20-24 Year Olds. “According to the March jobs report, the unemployment rate for those between the ages 20-24 is a sky-high 13.2 percent, versus the national rate of 8.2 percent.” (The Chicago Tribune, 4/18/12)
- 85%: New College Graduates Moving Back in with Their Parents. “Thanks to a high unemployment rate for new grads, many of those with diplomas fresh off the press are making a return to Mom and Dad’s place. In fact, according to a poll conducted by consulting firm Twentysomething Inc., some 85% of graduates will soon remember what Mom’s cooking tastes like.” (Time, 5/10/11)
- 10%: Decrease in Starting Salary of College Graduates Today vs. 2006 & 2007. “The median starting salary of students graduating in 2009 and 2010 was 10% lower than the salary received by those who entered the workforce in 2006 and 2007. College educated women continue to earn less than college educated men.” (John J. Heldrich Center for Workforce Development at Rutgers University, “Unfulfilled Expectations: Recent College Graduates Struggle in a Troubled Economy,” 5/18/11)