No Money, More Problems
November 18, 2005 - 1:47pm ET
"You’ve got to be kidding me" is going to become my new catch phrase when it comes to Congress.
Last night, the House voted 217-215 to cut student loan subsidies and freeze Pell Grants for the fourth year in a row, along with other programs that benefit the poor and working class. This move will save the government roughly $50 billion.
It’s unfathomable to me how politicians who tout the benefits of education and say they’ll leave no child behind would vote to cut federal student aid at a time when college tuition rates continue to skyrocket.
Between tuition, housing, books, supplies, fees and those petty incidentals like food, clothing and transportation, one can’t attend college without some kind of outside aid, unless they come from the upper echelons of wealth—or have a very generous distant family member.
What also galls me is these are the same people who voted to uphold a five-year, $57 billion tax-cut program, which will help the rich stay rich. I suppose that makes sense, given this administration seems to think "haves" and "have-mores" are the only people who truly matter.
I know several students at my college, Howard University, who apply for scholarships, Pell Grants and student loans and still come up short. One of my classmates works two jobs to support himself. Another one of my classmates works 40 hours a week and carries a full class load simply to stay out of the red.
I am a senior, and I’ve had to take out loans despite receiving scholarships and grants. Right now, I’m applying to several grad schools and I’ve got to say, seeing my so-called representatives cut and freeze federal spending on education is disheartening, to say the very least.
Sen. Frank Lautenberg, D-N.J., has it right. This budget bill should really be called the far more accurate (not to mention hilarious) "Moral Disaster of Monumental Proportions Reconciliation Act."
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