GREG SAYS: Politicians battle to gain student approval


Greg Caron is the Opinion Editor at the Valencia Voice, writing informative articles with a student point of view.

“In course I did; how was I to read it if I hadn’t? All’s fair in love and war, you know…” – Frank Smedley

Of course, we all do know, how couldn’t we? You do what you have to here. We are in the land of the free. Patriots. With no clear path to anything. And “so what,” if you think otherwise. You’re either in the game, or a product of it. Right? Right.

Journalism students from across the nation were assembled on September 10, 2014, via an invitation-only conference call by the Democratic National Committee (DNC) for a pro-liberal draft call that, from it’s beginning and right down to the end, amounted to little more than a pissing contest between the teams, under the guise of student welfare.

“Republicans in Congress blocked this important legislation earlier this summer,” announced the DNC in their invitatory student media advisory. “Proving yet again how out of touch they are with the American people.”

Despite the poor syntax, you like to think that politics are conducted like some kind of changing-of-the-guards ceremony, where a reverent gentleman decorated in white gloves walks over to another similarly dressed, but different gentleman, the two might exchange a flag or a patriotic baton, and then take turns sharing virtuous ideas and giving courteous, well thought out responses until finally, the conflict can be resolved.

Unfortunately, that’s not the case at all. Congress still loves an old-fashioned bar room brawl, and it doesn’t matter which side you’re on, they’re all throwing mud.

US Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT) leads the call. He is currently the youngest member of the senate, 41, and says that he is still paying off his student loans.

Now, on September 11, 2014 the DNC-backed “Bank on Students” bill will go up for a vote in the national senate. The bill calls for fixed interest rates on future student loans and allows old loans to be refinanced at the lower, fixed interest rate.

It sounds pretty sweet.

“We simply are asking for the richest Americans, people making incomes of a million dollars or more a year,” said Murphy in the conference call. “To pay their fair share in taxes.”

Wait, there might be some holes in this plan. The first one being the obvious, “why?” Why is it that every time we have an issue in our country, concerning finance, we look over the hillside until we find a big enough house and then start plotting?

Not that I’m trying to martyr the rich, they certainly do have enough money to go around, and it does seem like a great, easy fix, to just take it from them.

But that doesn’t fix the real issue: College is insanely expensive for most average people, who bought into the idea of a better life through college –– at all costs, who then inevitably default on student loans they may never be able to pay off in the first place.

Refinancing the loans isn’t a bad idea, but it’s not going to plug a $95.9 billion dollar hole in our economy, and Bill Gates certainly isn’t cutting us a check anytime soon. And why should he? We’ll just do it all over again.

We need to create a legitimate strategy that lowers’ the cost of education, especially for those who are least able to pay for it themselves, while boosting the economy, and without over-taxation.

“It is likely to be blocked by republicans,” Murphy laments. “And that’s no surprise.”

I won’t be surprised either. You can play Robin Hood all day long, it’s not going to keep the cost of tuition from going up next year or the loans from defaulting the year after that.

It’s the blueprints for his next campaign slogan, not an economic fix.

Murphy and the other presenters: DNC Chair Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla), and CDA President Natasha McKenzie (Trinity Washington University) spent the rest of the phone call tiptoeing around the bill and even going off the map and onto tangents about climate change, marriage equality, and why democrats are better.

I wonder how many student reporters, today, will sing the praises of short-term gains to their classmates, at the expense of real, well thought-out and warranted changes.

For more information on tomorrows vote and to read the bill in it’s entirety visit:

* This is an opinion article and by no way represents the thoughts and opinions of Valencia College or the Valencia Voice