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Government and Politics

Democrats attack Paul Ryan's student loan plan
Ignore Mitt Romney's statement that he also disagrees with Ryan
This story is part of a special series.

Mark Urycki
An Obama campaign staffer orchestrates the rally at Kent State University.
Courtesy of urycki
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In The Region:
While Republicans are meeting in Tampa, Ohio Democrats are trying to drum up votes for President Obama by taking their case to university students. They’re pointing out that Paul Ryan has proposed raising student loan rates and restricting student grants. WKSU’s Mark Urycki has details..
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Former Governor Ted Strickland pulled into Kent State University in a bus that had a picture of Mitt Romney on its side. It reads “Wrong for the middle class.”  In the lobby of Kent State’s theater building, Ted Strickland called Paul Ryan’s budget “extreme” “out of touch,” and “outside the main stream.”   He was referring to Ryan’s proposed changes to Medicare, Social Security and tax policy.  But he also was talking about an issue on which Democrats think they can capitalize – student loans and grants.

The running mate of Mitt Romney released a House budget proposal in March that calls for freezing Pell grants and eliminating a temporary write down for Stafford student loans. That would double the interest rate from 3.4% to 6.8%.   Kent State senior Evan Gildenblatt, wearing an Obama T-shirt, said 356 thousand Ohioans would be affected by the changes to Pell grants.   He said Congressman Ryan, a graduate of Miami University in Ohio, forgot what it’s like to be a college student.

“I’m asking how can Ohio’s young people get the jobs of the future if we can’t get the education of today.” 

Another Kent State student, Bryan Staul, said President Obama better understands the challenges that students face because Mr. Obama only paid off his own student loans eight years ago.

“Mitt Romney, when asked how to control costs says ‘shop around’ or ask our parents for money.   We have jobs and our parents do help us.  That’s not a very in-touch answer with parents who have to tighten their belts.   I come from a blue-collar Pennsylvania family.  Money is tight.  They of course want us to get a college education.   We’re not asking for a hand out; we’re asking for a chance.”

Romney supports loans 

While Democrats have been calling the student loan changes the “Romney-Ryan plan,” Mitt Romney broke with Ryan’s proposal and said he, in fact, supports extending the temporary lower interest rate for Stafford loans.  Former Governor Strickland discounted that, said Romney is constantly changing his positions.

“If he were willing to renounce this part of the Ryan budget and say I am now in favor of continued support for pell Grants then that would be one thing.  But I haven’t heard him at this point direct any criticism toward the Ryan budget.”

State cutbacks 
Strickland warned that state cutbacks for education is leaving student loans and grants more important.   One politician who agreed with that is Democratic State representative Kathleen Clyde, who is still paying off her student loans.

“So many of our legislators in Columbus went to our great public universities when they were much more affordable and unfortunately so many walk through that door of opportunity in our great state and are shutting it on more and more young people each year…There is a crew of us down there in our 20’s and 30’s and  it’s a real issue to us and we know it’s only getting worse.”

The changes in Pell grants or Stafford loans will be up to Congress in next year’s budget.  

Listener Comments:

Another inconvenient truth for the media - Ryan is Chairman of the Congressional Budget Office - the Committee that does the numbers for expenses, such as Obamacare - Ryan knows more about financial issues than Obama knows about Socialism and Communism taught to him all his life - as outlined in Obama's America 2016 movie.
“Former Governor Ted Strickland pulled into Kent State University in a bus that had a picture of Mitt Romney on its side. It reads “Wrong for the middle class.” - what a joke – If anyone wants a student loan, the government is the only lender; you get a great interest rate, and many years to pay this loan off – win, win situation – unless you're critical, and evaluate what happens if you don't find wanted job, work for much less, and loan payments are still required? Of course you join the Wall Street protesters/invaders and blame the terrible corporations, not the mostly false promises by the federally-funded student loan programs.

Posted by: inconvenient truths on August 29, 2012 2:08AM
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