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Monday, December 09, 2019 {{ new Date().getDay() }}

Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) is again calling on Congress to stop student loan rates from doubling on July 1. The senior senator from Massachusetts says that doing this comes down to two issues: money and values.

Speaking on the Senate floor on Thursday, she first covered the money, pointing out that the government actually profits off student loans:

Some have argued that we can’t afford to keep interest rates low. But let’s be clear: Right now the federal government is making a profit from our students. Just last month, the Congressional Budget Office calculated that the government will make $51 billion this year off student loans. Think about that. $51 billion. And that’s $16 billion higher than the earlier estimate. We have the money to cut interest rates—if we’re willing to reduce the profits we make from our students.

She then connected the loan issue to the bailouts of big banks to argue that we need to adjust our values to support students:

Have we become a people who will support our big banks with nearly free loans, while we crush our kids who are trying to get an education? The student loan program makes obscene profits on the backs of our students. This is morally wrong, and we must put a stop to it.

Our students don’t have high-paid lobbyists to look out for their interests, but they do have their voices. Petitions urging Congress to pass a short-term plan for interest rates to prevent them from doubling have already collected more than a million signatures. Our students and their families are asking for what is right. They are asking for something we can easily afford. Let’s show them that government can work for them.

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This chart from the Century Foundation makes it clear what’s largely behind the rise in cost of college, lower government funding being passed on to students:

20130320-graph-as-state-funding-for-higher-education-collapses-students-pay-the-diff

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Jeff Danziger lives in New York City. He is represented by CWS Syndicate and the Washington Post Writers Group. He is the recipient of the Herblock Prize and the Thomas Nast (Landau) Prize. He served in the US Army in Vietnam and was awarded the Bronze Star and the Air Medal. He has published eleven books of cartoons and one novel. Visit him at DanzigerCartoons.

Reps. Matt Gaetz, left, and Marjorie Taylor Greene on their "America First" tour.

Photo from Rep. Matt Gaetz's verified Twitter

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

At a time when Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida is facing a federal sex trafficking investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice, Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia has jumped to his defense and joined forces with him for a fundraising tour. The far-right MAGA Republicans are both aggressive fundraisers, repeatedly stressing their unwavering devotion to former President Donald Trump. But according to Daily Beast reporter Roger Sollenberger, the Gaetz/Greene tour has "spent four times as much as" it has raised.

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