At a press conference with Secretary of Education Arne Duncan on Thursday, President Barack Obama, again playing election year politics as he has done with immigration, accused Republicans of “playing chicken” with student loans and said, “It's mind-boggling that we've had this stalemate in Washington,” according to The Hill.
Except, again, what Obama said was not true. Democrats want to use student loans to pit young people against Republicans, and they are even planning to raise money off the issue. Interest rates for student loans are set to double on July 1 if Obama continues to play politics with this issue.
As Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) noted on the Senate floor, Republicans have passed a stand-alone bill in the House dealing with student loan interest rates (funded by monies that were marked for Obamacare programs) and have reached to the president and proposed “multiple good-faith solutions.” Obama and Democrats, though, have not even responded to Republicans looking to work out a solution on the issue.
“The President doesn’t have a positive message to send any of these folks, so he’s cooking up false controversies to distract them from his own failure to turn the economy around,” McConnell said. “ “The only reason this issue isn’t already resolved — the only reason — is that the President wants to keep it alive. He thinks it benefits him politically for college students to believe we’re the problem.”
McConnell is right. Obama could ease the anxiety of young people worrying if their interest rates are going to double by putting this issue to rest. But doing the sensible thing would deprive Obama of potential villains (Republicans) he can make up in an election year in an blatant attempt to get more young voters to the polls for him – in an election many think will be won by a razor-thin margin.