Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI), like the rest of his party, wants to eliminate Pell Grants, which help lower- and middle-class students pay university tuition. GOP budget proposals will eliminate grants to one million students or 10 percent. At a Wisconsin town hall meeting, Ryan told a student, Matthew Lowe, that he should work three jobs to pay off college rather than use the grants. Watch:
Lowe: I come from a very middle-class family and under President Obama, I get $5,500 per year to pay for school, which doesn’t come close to covering all of the funding, but it helps ease the burden. Under your plan, you cut it by 15 percent. I was just curious why you would cut a grant that goes directly to the middle- and lower-class people that need it the most.
Ryan: ‘Cause Pell Grants have become unsustainable. It’s all borrowed money…Look, I worked three jobs to pay off my student loans after college. I didn’t get grants, I got loans, and we need to have a system of viable student loans to be able to do this. The second concern I have is, in the health care bill — people don’t know this — for budgetary gimmickry reasons, the administration and Congress at the time, took over the student loan industry. So they had the federal government, the Department of Education, basically confiscate the private student loan industry. (h/t: Think Progress)
"Confiscate the private student loan program"? Of course, Ryan distorts any federal attempt to regulate crushing student debt:
The federal government is taking steps that could make the debt burden more manageable. A provision in the 2010 health-care reform law pushed private lenders out of the business of issuing federally guaranteed loans. The 2010 Dodd-Frank financial reform law puts the new Consumer Financial Protection Board in charge of collecting better data and regulating private student lenders. The new agency also is planning to launch an online tool — a "student debt assistant" — to help debtors learn more about their options.
For all of his concern about budgets, Ryan sees no fiscal problem in reducing the top tax rate from 35 to 25 percent–a transfer in wealth that would be brought about through his plan to destroy Medicare. And for all of Ryan's concern about entitlements, Social Security helped him pay for college, a point he does not mention above:
After his father’s passing, young Paul Ryan started collecting social security benefits until the age of 18 years old. He took this benefit and saved it for his college education. Representative Paul Ryan is one example of the millions of people whose lives have depended on our social contract with the American people. Without this benefit, his mother would have had to make even tougher decisions and Representative Paul Ryan may not have been able to pay for his college education. This social contract lifted him and his entire family out of a tough situation.