End Student Debt!
The student loan crisis finally reached center stage in Washington after the House GOP budget called for letting interest rates double on government-subsidized loans (and for deep cuts in Pell grants and other student support). If it passes, students who borrow the maximum will end up paying as much as $1,000 a year in added interest. President Obama sensibly called for extending the lower rate, stumping at colleges and on talk-shows to enlist students and others in the cause.
Republican leaders quickly realized the perils of angering young voters. In another flip-flop, Mitt Romney decided to support extending the lower rate, while the House GOP passed an extension but taunted the president by stipulating that it be paid for with money taken from the preventive health fund created by the Affordable Care Act. Senate Democrats propose paying for it by closing a loophole that doctors, lawyers and small businesses use to avoid payroll taxes.
Ignored in the standoff is that even at the lower rates, more and more students can’t afford the college education or advanced training everyone but Rick Santorum believes they need. Since 1982 the cost of living has doubled and healthcare costs have tripled; college tuition and fees have exploded more than four times. All this comes amid revelations about the hundreds of billions in loans—at below-market rates—ladled out to the banks by the Federal Reserve and Treasury during the financial crisis.
Continue reading Bailout Student Loan Debt – Tax Wall Street →
Chesapeake Energy CEO bankrolled Corbett starting in ’04; McClendon’s contributions pivotal for PA governor
June 30, 2011
Philadelphia Daily News reporter Will Bunch, in “How a Natural-gas Tycoon Tapped into Corbett,” has helped reveal the tragic impact of massive gas industry campaign contributions on Pennsylvania politics (for the big picture see MarcellusMoney.org, meticulously researched up to the minute by Common Cause). Chesapeake Energy CEO Aubrey McClendon has been bankrolling Pennsylvania’s current gas-loving governor as far back as 2004.
Will Bunch’s feature on Governor Corbett’s rise to power and the role the gas industry has played in it was the cover story in yesterday’s Daily News. (Source: Keegan Gibson/politicspa.com)
In the Daily News’ June 29th cover story, Bunch explains that a wildcat well is “when a prospector takes a big risk drilling deep in an unexplored area.” Bunch then suggests that a “flamboyant Oklahoma City multimillionaire” did just this – and struck it big – back in 2004:
The $450,000 in campaign checks that energy mogul Aubrey McClendon wrote that fall helped elect a man he said he’d never even met – a relatively obscure GOP candidate for Pennsylvania attorney general, Tom Corbett.
And so the story goes in Bunch’s high-profile article exploring the power relationships behind Governor Corbett’s devotion to the natural gas industry in Pennsylvania. While Bunch begins by raising unanswerable questions of intent and foresight on the part of McClendon, the CEO of Chesapeake Energy, the overall impact of industry donations is unquestionably terrible for the environment and public health.
Continue reading PA Governor Corbett Bankrolled by Gas Drillers →