Priorities in Student Loans Debate
We should be helping our kids build their futures, not crushing them with debt just so the wealthiest few and Big Oil can pay less.
Connect: Working families are struggling, but millionaires and big corporations are doing better than ever.
Define: Yet Washington Republicans would rather force working families to pay more for health care or college than ask Fortune 500 corporations and millionaire tax dodgers already raking in record profits to pitch in.
Contrast: When the roof's leaking, ordinary families aren't going to borrow $1,000 from the nephew who's working his way through college -- they're going to ask their millionaire uncle to pitch in.
Values: We need leaders who understand that access to college is more than just part of the American Dream -- America's future depends on educating the next generation.
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ATTACKS AND RESPONSES
ATTACK: "Obama is trying to buy young people's votes."
- Actually, President Obama doesn't need to win over young Americans -- he's leading Mitt Romney among young voters by more than 35 points.
- This isn't about who votes and who doesn't. This is about our leaders showing us that they understand the priorities and challenges facing struggling students and their families.
- The interest rate on student loans will double on July 1, regardless of what happens with anyone's campaign. The question is whether politicians in Congress would rather look out for their wealthy campaign donors or working families.
- The Prevention and Public Health Fund they're attacking invests in health programs that benefit the entire community -- like training for primary care doctors, HIV screenings, and immunizations for kids.
- This is about the President's political opponents trying to repeal parts of Obamacare so it'll cost him politically, even though it'd cost working families even more.
- Obamacare is now the law of the land. Instead of rehashing old fights just to score political points, how about Republicans coming to the table to help us solve problems?
ATTACK: "This is a taxpayer bailout for students."
- In fact, this is money that students and their parents borrow so they can afford college now and pay back when they're done with school. They are stuck with this debt even after declaring bankruptcy.
- We need leaders who understand that college isn't just part of the American Dream -- America's future depends on educating the next generation.
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
- Student loan debt has already hit $1 trillion -- the last thing struggling students and their families need is $1,000 added to their cost of borrowing for college.
- Since the 1980s, the cost of living has doubled and healthcare costs have tripled but college tuition and fees have increased more than four times -- and shrinking public support for public higher education is a major reason why tuition keeps going up.
- The Senate bill that Republicans are opposing would close a tax loophole that lets wealthy individuals cheat the system by structuring their businesses to avoid payroll taxes.
- According to tax policy experts, closing this corporate tax loophole would actually help most small businesses, which are currently subsidizing the ones abusing it.
- The House bill that the GOP also opposed is paid for by ending taxpayer handouts to big oil and gas companies -- which top the Fortune 500 list of the most profitable corporations and rank among the worst tax cheats in the country.
- Average workers with a four-year college degree earn about $1 million more over their lifetimes and experience half the unemployment rate when compared to those with a high school diploma.
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