Obama to Students: I Struggled with College Loans Just Like You

Obama to Students: I Struggled with College Loans Just Like You

President Obama is trying to connect with students who are looking for a break on their student loan bill–by trying to convince them that he was once just as broke as they are now.

But that’s not exactly true.

In fact, a Breitbart News inquiry of the president’s tax returns proves that Obama has netted an average income of about $200,000 per year since 2000.

Obama spoke to about 10,800 students Tuesday night from the ‘People’s Republic’ of Boulder, at the University of Colorado, notably one of the most liberal municipalities in America. Obama’s appearance was part of an effort to bolster the president’s lobbying effort to Congress to extend current interests rates on federal Stafford loans.

The loans are set to double by law on July 1st and according to the Obama administration, more than 7 million college students may face an average of $1,000 annual increase in their payments if the extension is not passed.

“Stopping this should be a no brainer,” he said. “We need to send a message to folks who don’t seem to get this. That setting your sights lower–that’s not an education plan. You’re on your own–that’s not an economic plan.”

The president added:

We only finished paying off our student loans off about eight years ago. That wasn’t that long ago. And that wasn’t easy – especially because when we had Malia and Sasha, we’re supposed to be saving up for their college educations, and we’re still paying off our college educations. Michelle and I — we know about this first-hand. This is not something I read about in a briefing book. This is not something abstract to us. We’ve been in your shoes.

Recent media inquiries determined that the president has not taken a federal tax deduction for student loan interest since the year 2000. That doesn’t mean that he’s lying about whether or not he opted to delay a payoff of his student loans because the federal tax code only permits Americans to take the deduction if they make below a specified amount of net income. Currently, the limit is $150,000. In 2006, the limit was $135,000.

In fact, what it does indicate is that Obama is intensely dramatizing any hardship he may have faced to pay off those loans.

With a joint household income of roughly $200,000, one has to wonder why Obama and the First Lady waited as long as they did to pay off their loans. In 2004, exactly eight years ago when the president said he and the First Lady paid off their student loans, the couple was still able to claim $170,219 taxable income even after deductions and expenses. In 2000, the couple’s total taxable income was $215,016.

Most student loans are amortized at either 10, 15 or 20 years, and since Obama didn’t graduate Harvard Law School until 1991, he may or may not have been paying those loans during the time frame he said he paid them off. Since his income made him ineligible to take the student loan interest deduction, we may never know.

Breitbart News contacted the White House Media Affairs Department to get a statement as to why the president claimed financial difficulty paying off his student loans with an income of at least $200,000 per year. The White House refused comment.


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