Thursday, February 16, 2012

Inane Laws of the Bush Era, Part 22,354

Never let it be said that we coddle GWB here.

Congress created the [student] loan forgiveness program in 2007 to encourage graduates to enter the public service field. In exchange for that service, the remaining balance of student loans would be considered repaid after 120 full payments.

To qualify for the loan forgiveness, one must now work for a federal, state or local government agency or organization, including public water, bridge or housing districts, or nonprofit organizations designated as tax exempt by the Internal Revenue Service.

Public services that also qualify for the loan forgiveness include emergency management, military service, public safety, law enforcement services; public health services; public education, public library services; school library and other school-based services; public interest law services, early childhood education; public service for individuals with disabilities and the elderly.

IOW, join AFSCME or SEIU and you're out of college-debt in 10 years. (The military exemption is perhaps the only halfway reasonable  exemption.)

Granted, Bush had a (D) Congress to fight....


school loan said...

such a great post it is. you did a great job.

neomom said...

He had the veto option but didn't use it. His progressive tendencies came out a lot in his second term

Jim said...

I believe the maximum is $60,000.

Why is it OK for Wall Street to pay out signing bonuses to get the best and brightest but not OK for the government to incent college graduates to work for the public good?

The US Military has the GI Bill and also loan forgiveness programs.

Why would you have a problem with this?

Dad29 said...

Wall street bonuses are irrelevant to the discussion, Jim.

Nice try.

neomom said...

Why would I have a problem with this?

First. Wall Street doesn't hire that many people. Certainly an infinately smaller number of kids than will participate in this give away.

Second. I'm not paying for the first, but I am this one.

Third. Serving in the military where you can literally put your life at risk for the defense of the country is a heckuva lot different than having these kids be our bureaucratic overlords.

Fourth. The military pay isn't really all that hot. While most federal employees - especially those with college degrees make more money than their private sector counterparts with hugely more generous benefits already.

Fifth. Why is being a government employee be preferrable to the private sector. Why are we incentivizing the public sector.

Sixth. I didn't rack up their loans. I shouldn't have to "forgive" them. I paid back mine thankyouverymuch.

Seventh. Why is it the taxpayer's responsibility to bail out every person's stupid decisions? Whether buying more house than they could afford or them racking up $100K in student loan debt for a degree in Women's Studies....

Shall I go on?

Jim said...

First, the number doesn't matter. It's the concept of incentives for good people. Or does working for the government disqualify someone as "good people"?

Second, you don't have any market investments? 401(k)? IRA?

Third, so?

Fourth, not necessarily. This chart based on CBO figures shows that the more educated the federal employee, the smaller the gap with private sector counterparts. And for professional degrees, the pay is smaller than private sector. Those are the folks most likely to have student loans. And what "hugely more generous benefits" are you talking about?

Fifth, this doesn't make sense. Who says it is? You incent when you want good quality people. The program is at the discretion of the hiring agency and is designed "to attract or retain highly qualified employees."

Sixth, you didn't rack up their families, homes, cars, food, and health care expenses, and yet you will pay for those. Compensation is compensation. You paid off your loans, I assume, from the compensation you got once you were employed, unless your husband paid them off for you, right?

Seventh, different discussion, not relevant to this one. The student loan repayment program is not a bail out any more than the money your employer paid you that you used to pay off your loans was a bail out.

Anonymous said...


What do you understand about the idea of LIMITED Government.

Government workers are SERVANTS of the Public.

Not their masters.

It is an HONOR to serve,
not an entitlement

Is everything a Freebie for you?

Jim said...

Anon, what does free have to do with this? You don't spend much time here, do you? I ask for nothing free and I get nothing free (except Costco samples).

I understand the idea of limited government. I reject it. I think government should only be limited by what the majority of the people want it to be limited to subject to the restrictions of the US Constitution.

I want FDA, FAA, EPA and student loan repayment programs. I'm willing to pay for them because I think they are a good thing. So do a lot of people.

I think you may misunderstand the difference between "servant" and "public service". Masters? WTF?

It is an HONOR to serve, not an entitlement

What an idiotic statement! You're suggesting that a government project planner or contract specialist should kiss your ass for honoring her with a job? And accept what ever pay you deign to give her, master?

I don't know about the government workers you know (probably none) but I can't imagine that anyone would consider government employment an "entitlement."


neomom said...

No Jim they should accept their paycheck and benefits and pay back their own damn student loans. "Forgiving" up to $60K is most certainly a bailout - they incurred a cost and someone else pays it off.

neomom said...

And paying off student loans for government employees ain't in the Constitution. Regardless of what you believe you want.

Dad29 said...

And Jim, salary is only ~75% of total compensation. The fixed-bennie retirement program for Feds is actually quite large.

I'm willing to grant the forgiveness for military personnel. None of the rest, period.

Dad29 said...

And Jim, the BEA has a nice little graph of Fed salaries and bennies. See it here:

BEA is very accurate. Your argument is shot, Jim.

Jim said...

I paid back mine thankyouverymuch.

With what? Winnings?

And paying off student loans for government employees ain't in the Constitution. Regardless of what you believe you want.

Neither is the FAA. Neither was Apollo 11. Neither was the AUMF.

This "it ain't in the Constitution" argument is the lamest of the lame. Last time I looked at a calendar it said 2012, not 1787.

neomom said...

I paid it back out of my salary. Just like my mortgage and my car. Nothing was "forgiven" by taxpayers or my employer because of my years of service. Another idiot argument from you Jim.

True. Many agencies aren't in the Constitution specifically. However, one could make the argument that the FAA - does meet the "General Welfare" requirement as part of that for the common good/public safety/infrastructure thing...

"Forgiving" student loans? Not even close. It is nothing more than just another freebie for government employees.

The comparison to the two is a strawman of extremely lame proportions.

Jim said...

Not so. The job you took paid you enough money to pay your loan, I presume. So you took that job because it would provide you enough money to support yourself AND pay down/off your loan over time. It was part of your compensation and I imagine you wouldn't have taken a job that didn't pay enough to start paying off your loans.

This is not "forgiving loans". Maybe that's your hangup. It's loan repayment. The government program is at the discretion of the hiring agency, not automatic. It allows for loan repayment of $10,000 per year. The employee must work at the agency for three years or pay some of all of it back. The maximum is $60,000. It's compensation and is taxable income, incentive to get "highly qualified" employees.

And yes, one could make an argument that a lot of government services provide for the general welfare. Glad to hear someone here say it.

neomom said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
neomom said...

Not "a lot" Jim. Some.

Once you get past public safety and infrastructure, most of what the Feds do should be pushed back to the States, and closer to the taxpayers, to determine whether or not they want that particular government "service". If you love this crap in CA? Fabulous. We really aren't so keen on it in NC.

And no, my first jobs after college were not enough to pay for everything I wanted and to payback my loans. And I incurred fewer loans than most because I didn't live on campus and worked full time to minimize my debt load. But after graduation, I rented, had roommates, took an additional part-time job, had used cars and "early attic" furniture decor while I gained experience to move up and increase my salary.

I see no reason whatsoever to encourage kids to incur more debt than what can be paid back because the government is assuring an additional $60K drain on the taxpayers in addition to the salary and benefits paid out to these additional, and mostly unnecessary, bureaucrats.

All because the worst parental generation ever never taught their children anything about "delayed gratification" or that stupid decisions have consequences.

Jim said...

We really aren't so keen on it in NC.

Well last I looked the NC congressional delegation had a Democratic majority and Obama carried the state in 2008. Democracy in action.

I applaud you on your thrifty lifestyle to pay back your loans. Would you have declined a signing bonus if offered? Maybe people with your degree weren't highly sought after at the time.

I see no reason whatsoever to encourage kids to incur more debt than what can be paid back because the government is assuring an additional $60K drain on the taxpayers in addition to the salary and benefits paid out to these additional, and mostly unnecessary, bureaucrats.

This suggests that kids are getting student loans because they know they are going into government service and they expect that their qualifications will be such that they are highly sought after by a federal agency. It also suggests that $60,000 is more than they can pay pack. Both of these notions are a stretch.

All because the worst parental generation ever never taught their children anything about "delayed gratification" or that stupid decisions have consequences.

Ah, so it's all about the hippies, huh?

The student loan repayment program is a program to attract highly qualified individuals to government service. It is discretionary, not automatic. It has limits, and all repayments are taxable income to the participants.

Personally, I'd like to have highly qualified people working for government.

neomom said...

There are more Dem than Rep Congresscritters because of gerrymandering and history... I'm a Dem because my Daddy was a Dem and my Granddaddy was a Dem. I always chuckle when I hear liberals try to disavow the racisim of the Dem party and how they tried to block the Civil Rights Act with the "that is because all the racists became Republicans" horse manure (like Al Gore Sr and Robert Byrd, right?) No. There are many more registered Democrats here because up until just a couple of decades ago, you were banned from participating in any primary unless you were a Democrat.

In 2010, the Reps took both state houses for the first time since reconstruction. And therefore got to redraw the maps. Yep they are gerrymandered to benefit Reps this time, but passed pre-clearance from the Obama DoJ. Expect more Reps than Dems next year.

Also, since the sweep of the state house (the Senate even has a veto-proof majority). More than a dozen very prominent, powerful, and long-serving Democrats have announce they will not run this year because they don't like being in the minority and don't see it changing.

Incumbent Dem Gov Bev Perdue - our first female Gov - has announce she is not running this year. Evidently she isn't expecting the same Obama coattails that got her the mansion in 2008.

No. NC is a conservative state. They like their Dems to be of the moderate, blue dog, variety. Obama barely won her in 2008. It took days to finalize and he wasn't outside the margin of fraud. Nobody is really expecting that to happen again since they found out what a liberal/progressive Dem he is.

Again, you may love him in CA. Here? Not so much.

And while I want my government overlords to be well qualified. I want a lot fewer of them.

Jim said...

Government overlords? The ones coming in the black helicopters?

The loan repayment program neither adds to nor subtracts from the number of "overlords." It just attracts and retains highly qualified individuals to public service.

neomom said...

Yep. Government overlords. No black helicopter, they are real. They decide what light bulbs we should use, what is an acceptable school Lunch for our children, force us to use substandard fuels like ethanol, and deny due process through the use of regulations and decisions that they say can't be challenged in court until they do it....

Hopefully the Supremes won't screw this one up like they did in Kelo.

Jim said...

You can use any light bulb you want, Mom. They don't "decide" what is acceptable lunch food; they recommend. How is ethanol a substandard fuel?

That is a terrible story you linked to. I'm sure that never EVER happens at the state level.

neomom said...

Sure, that's why the 100W was banned. That's why we have lunchbox inspectors, or at a school in Chicago, a ban on home made lunches altogether. Ethanol damages your engines and drops my gas mileage.

And it's irrelevant if it is the Feds, the State, or the local government... Its still the government, and we need a whole lot less of it.

Jim said...

Sure, that's why the 100W was banned.

You have some kind of link to verify that claim?

neomom said...

Google it yourself Jim. But the Reps in Congress were able to defund enforcement at the end of last year. It passed in 2007. Another GWB inanity.

Jim said...

I did google it, Mom. Yes, as you note, there are goals and guidelines in place set under the Bush administration which the current congress has voted to suspend. But I can't find anywhere that anything, much less 100w bulbs, have been banned.