The Republicans are lying their asses off again. This time it's about student loans.
You see, most students use federal loans to pay for their education. The interest rate on those loans are set to double on July 1, which pretty much sucks for low- and middle-income students who will be buried under a mountain of debt after they graduate. President Obama has been taking his message about maintaining the current 3.4 % interest rates on the federal student loans to the streets, making stops in North Carolina, Colorado, and Iowa.
President Obama feels broke-ass students' pain:
FOXX: I went through school, I worked my way through, it took me seven years, I never borrowed a dime of money. He borrowed a little bit because we both were totally on our own when we went to college, totally. [...] I have very little tolerance for people who tell me that they graduate with $200,000 of debt or even $80,000 of debt because there’s no reason for that. We live in an opportunity society and people are forgetting that. I remind folks all the time that the Declaration of Independence says “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” You don’t have it dumped in your lap.
What Foxx said is more or less the Republican party line. I say "less," because one Mittens Archibald Romney decided that he agrees with President Obama on this issue, which is no surprise considering that a poll this week shows Obama kicking Mittbot's ass with young voters. (President Obama has a seventeen-point lead according to the Harvard Something Or Other poll.)
Presumably to stop the bleeding, Romney told a group of supporters in Pennsylvania earlier this week that he "supports extending the temporary relief on interest rates for students." Oops. That puts him directly at odds with not only his new BFF Paul Ryan of the Serious Budget Ryans, but also errrybody else in the Republican party that voted for Paul Ryan of the Serious Budget Ryan's Serious Budget.
Republicans are panicking, natch, and trying to figure out a way to woo all the young whippersnappers to the Romney camp without letting the young whippersnappers know how badly the Republicans are trying to screw them.
Enter Senator Roy Blunt (R-MOron) of the 'Employers Can Deny Preventive Healthcare to Women If They Feel Like It' Blunts with a large load of bullshit. Senator Blunt claims that the reason that interest rates are going up in July is because that nasty job-killin', dog-eatin' Obahhhhmacare bill stole money from students to pay for healthcare for people who aren't students.
In the reality-based world, interest rates were lowered in 2007 by cutting out the go-between in the loan process. Instead of the government giving the money to a bank which would give the money to students, the government gives the money directly to students. It's called "direct lending." The government used the money it saved through its new direct loans program to lower the rates. Easy Peasy. The rate reduction has nothing to do with the damn healthcare bill. Blunt isn't simply lying here; he's fucking lying.
Let's move on.
Enter John Boehner with a forty oz. of Derp in a failed attempt to woo young voters. This afternoon, Orange Julius held a press conference and stated that House Republicans will vote on Friday to maintain the student loan interest rate at current levels, but that the Republicans will pay for it using money from one of the "slush funds in the president's healthcare law."
What slush fund, you ask? Well, here's where the GOP's War on the Poor interesects with the GOP's War on Women. The "slush fund" refers to a $750 million fund set up under the PPACA for public health preventive services. And what do you think such preventive services are? Services primarily used by women, of course:
- Abdominal aortic aneurysm screening: men
- Alcohol misuse counseling
- Anemia screening: pregnant women
- Aspirin to prevent cardiovascular disease: men
- Aspirin to prevent cardiovascular disease: women
- Bacteriuria screening: pregnant women
- Blood pressure screening in adults
- BRCA screening, counseling about
- Breast cancer preventive medication
- Breast cancer screening
- Breastfeeding counseling
- Cervical cancer screening
- Chlamydial infection screening: non-pregnant women
- Chlamydial infection screening: pregnant women
- Cholesterol abnormalities screening: men 35 and older
- Cholesterol abnormalities screening: men younger than 35
- Cholesterol abnormalities screening: women 45 and older
- Cholesterol abnormalities screening: women younger than 45
- Colorectal cancer screening
- Dental caries chemoprevention: preschool children
- Depression screening: adolescents
- Depression screening: adults
- Diabetes screening
- Folic acid supplementation
- Gonorrhea prophylactic medication: newborns
- Gonorrhea screening: women
- Healthy diet counseling
- Hearing loss screening: newborns
- Hemoglobinopathies screening: newborns
- Hepatitis B screening: pregnant women
- HIV screening
- Hypothyrodism screening: newborns
- Iron supplementation in children
- Obesity screening and counseling: adults
- Obesity screening and counseling: children
- Osteoporosis screening: women
- PKU screening: newborns
- Rh incompatibility screening: first pregnancy visit
- Rh incompatibility screening: 24-28 weeks gestation
- STIs counseling
- Tobacco use counseling and interventions: non-pregnant adults
- Tobacco use counseling: pregnant women
- Syphilis screening: non-pregnant persons
- Syphilis screening: pregnant women
- Visual acuity screening in children
So to recap: Republicans are lying about the reason that student loan interest rates are set to go up on July 1, and they're lying hard. They're trying to blame the student loan rate increase on President Obama stealing money from students to pay for "Obamacare." In reality, the student loan rate decrease occurred in 2007 (during the Bush Administration, if you're keeping score) under a plan that cut out the loan go-between and passed the savings on to students. And in order to woo the yute voters (and avoid the backlash that would surely follow a rate increase), the Republicans propose gutting the healthcare bill, taking money for preventive care, and passing it on to students, rather than doing what 72% of the country wants them to do, which is raise taxes on the rich.
It's like robbing Peter (who has a preexisting condition) to pay Paul (who is massively in student debt) so that Mary can keep her damn jet plane.
Republicans want to convince students that Republicans have students' back, unlike that fascist Obama who stole money from hard-working students to pay for his Islamocommunist healthcare bill. But what Republicans don't want the yutes to know is that every last Republican voted for the Serious Budget proposed by Paul Ryan of the Serious Budget Ryans, and that the Serious Budget shovels more money up to the One Percent, in part, by raising student loan interest rates.
At this point, the Republicans are trying to confuse America into voting for them.