Bad Votes in US House

Well folks, I hate to be one to throw rotten eggs at our usually stellar Republican Congressional delegation, but I found this to be a little hard to understand, Georgia: The higher education state

It’s hard to understand why Georgia’s Republican Delegation to the US House found it necessary to vote against lowering interest rates for student loans or for that matter, why they all also voted against earmark reform. 

If anyone can explain, please do. 


  1. GeorgiaConservative says:

    The student loan bill was just a government subsidy–government welfare for college graduates.

    I don’t know which earmark vote you are talking about but Republicans have been the drivers in earmark reform. They forced Harry Reid to keep the tougher house definitions of earmarks. They are also trying to pass a measure similar to a line item veto where the president could send pork back to congress and force them to vote on it again.

  2. GeorgiaConservative,

    I applaud Congress for thinking like a business here. If you subsidize 1% of interest on $10,000 worth of loans, you’ll be “costing” taxpayers $100 every year.

    However, at a 20% tax rate, $500 of income will produce $100. So if those college grads can increase their salary by just $500 a YEAR, the government will make more in tax revenue than it loses by subsidizing the loan.

    Since the value of a college education or postgrad degree is probably closer to at least $10,000 of yearly income, you’re really talking about an extra $2,000 or so of taxes for each $100 spent.

    Show me the conservative businessman who would turn down a $100 initial investment that will net $2,000/year just a few years down the road.

    Since this is exactly how tax breaks to industry are justified by conservatives like Sonny Perdue (tax break now = future tax revenue) I await you telling me how I’m wrong about this.

  3. Bull Moose says:

    Sorry Georgia Conservative, I respectfully disagree with you.

    Investing in our nation’s future is worth the investment.

    I am dissapointed with the Georgia Republican Members of Congress who were in the minority (77 no votes) on this issue.

  4. Bull Moose says:

    While I’m thinking about it…

    I’m watching a press conference being held by Steve King of Iowa, Patrick McHenry of North Carolina, and Phil Gingery of Georgia. The level of hypocrisy is laughable.

    They literally are attacking the Democratic Congress for not being in session enough. On one hand, you’v got Members complaining that they are in session too much and on the other you’ve got those saying they aren’t in session enough. For the record, the Congress has actually been in session more in the past couple of weeks at this time than the Republican Congress was in comparable times.

    At the rate that Republicans in Washington are going in the House, they are cementing their minority status for a long long time and opening the doors to several issues in which Members are going to be vulnerable to.

    I have a hard time understanding the logic behind voting against the 9-11 Commission recommendations or against HHS negotiating prescription drugs with pharmaceutical companies like the VA does. Additionally, it’s unbelievable that they would vote against earmark reform.

    After the abuses of the previous Congress of earmarks that have driven up our national debt to historic levels and contributed to the low standing of Congress because of the scandals surrounding earmarks, you’d think House Republicans would have all voted for it.

    Anyway, I know I’m going to be in the minority here and that many of you are going to flock to the defense of the votes and of your favorite Members, and that’s fine, but I personally am dissapointed.

    Republicans in Congress need to be up front about what issues they are for and if the way they are voting and acting so far is where they are, than we may indeed be better served with a Democratic House and a Republican Senate. (they would at least be a check on one another)

  5. tribalecho says:

    Let’s just let the Chinese take over. Right before they got all capitalist and all they communistically educated people.

    I remember seeing a movie, maybe 20 years ago, called The Great Wall of China.

    In this movie entire neighborhoods were involved in learning English. Old people, kids.

    I also remember this, when Nixon and Kissenger went to China, I thought, oh great, just what they’ve always wanted, totalitarian capitalism.

    And now it’s finally here. Eating the US of A’s lunch.

  6. Jmac says:

    Why they opposed those measures?

    All politics. Had they been in power and offered the idea, they would have backed it. The other guys did, so they were against it. It’s all political positioning, and it happens on both sides of the aisle.

    And that’s a shame.

  7. Bull Moose says:

    Well, JMAC, not all the Republicans opposed it. In fact, out of 203 Republicans, only 77 opposed this measure.

    I’d officially say that those are the 77 that do not intend to seek higher office.

  8. Burdell says:

    I’ll try to explain. Don’t know if it’s the same reasoning used by those 77 Republicans or not, however.

    Increased availability of federal funds will drive up the cost of higher education by allowing otherwise unqualified students to attend college. This is because, from the student’s perspective, a federal loan is only a good idea if the college degree provides a sufficient income boost to justify the cost.

    Jacob Sullum at pointed out that the average college graduate will earn $20,000/year more with a college degree than without, but will owe only $18,000 for their education. With that kind of payoff, their is no reason to artificially lower the interest rate to below what the free market has already set.

    If the cost of borrowing is too low, the demand for higher education will increase, cause the price of college to rise for everyone.

    What we have seen since the big push towards federal education subsidies is not higher completion rates but only higher participation. This means the cost is being driven up without any benefit (including more tax revenue) and that the students who are taking advantage of these subsidies probably should not be pursuing a college degree anyway.

    To quote Sullum: “anyone who can finish college and reap the typically large returns from doing so should be able to finance tuition through market-rate loans, private aid, or some combination of the two.”

    The only people for whom federal aid makes college otherwise available are those for whom it is not a good investment.


  9. ColinATL says:

    Burdell, what the hell are you talking about?

    College degrees are WAY up in this country, and it has EVERYTHING to do with cheap student loans.

    The only way the US is going to compete in a global economy, once all our manufacturing jobs disappear, is to have more brain jobs with more brain jobs to fill them.

    A college educated public is the only thing that is going to help the country survive globalization.

    And by the way, the Republicans who are suddenly all vocal and in support of earmark reform were some of the worst abusers of earmarks ever.

  10. Burdell says:

    Colin, I’m not sure what you mean by “WAY up in this country.” Do you mean just the number of college degrees has increased? If so, that doesn’t mean anything, given that the number of college-aged Americans has also increased.

    More degrees does not necessarily equal more brains.

    As the availability of federal aid is increasing, we are seeing substantially diminishing marginal returns on the investment. If we invest in students who will not increase their earning power by getting a college education (the marginal students who otherwise wouldn’t go to college), we won’t see the promised return.

    Claims of increased tax revenue and global competition are true only if everyone will benefit from a college education. This is clearly not the case. Those who would benefit will find scholarships, private aid at fair interest rates, or a combination of both without increased federal aid, meaning that the government could see the exact same return without having to invest at all.

  11. ConservativeCaucus says:

    “After the abuses of the previous Congress of earmarks that have driven up our national debt to historic levels and contributed to the low standing of Congress because of the scandals surrounding earmarks, you’d think House Republicans would have all voted for it. ”

    Bull Moose: Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

    It is so enraging to see the GOP take the house and senate in ’94 b/c federal spending was out of control and democrats thought they knew better how to spend our money… and after a mere 12 years in power the GOP were doing the very thing they railed against in the first place. I am a proud conservative, and I want the party that claims to be conservative to govern like one.

  12. atlantaman says:

    Of course it’s always easy to point out worthwile causes and why taxpayer money should be funneled to them. The college kids are already getting a break on interest rates for their loans, why not dedicate money to other worthwile causes first?

    I personally favor getting money to parents who can’t afford heart transplants for their young children.

  13. atlantaman says:

    You know what else cracks me up about college loans interest rates: The one you see who is always bitching the loudest is some dude who has been going to school for 7 years, getting a graduate degree in women’s studies (with a minor in the history of Atlantis), who doesn’t think it would be very cool or rebelious to drive around campus with his shoulder-length hair bundled up into a Domino’s baseball cap dropping pizza’s off at the sorority houses.

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