One of the major demands that almost all congressional Republicans have made about deficit reduction is that wealthier Americans and large corporations shouldn’t have to pay any more in taxes. “The House has taken a firm position against anything having to do with increasing taxes or raising tax rates,” said House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) at the onset of negotiations over the budget deficit in May.
Yet as the Daily Beast’s Howard Kurtz reports, one group that Cantor is apparently fine with making pay more is American college students. Cantor, at the White House for budget negotiations, apparently proposed that students who take out student loans should immediately start paying interest, rather than getting to make payments after graduation:
As Monday’s White House budget talks got down to the nitty-gritty, Eric Cantor proposed a series of spending cuts, one of them aimed squarely at college students. The House majority leader, who did most of the talking for the Republican side, said those taking out student loans should start paying interest right away, rather than being able to defer payments until after graduation. It is a big-ticket item that would save $40 billion over 10 years.
According to Kurtz, Obama rejected Cantor’s proposal out of hand, saying that he didn’t want to “screw students.” Cantor’s proposal comes at a time when American students are already overwhelmed by student loan debt. In 2008, the average debt that a college student graduated with was a whopping $23,000. American students continue to pay more than most of their developed world neighbors for a college education, and Cantor apparently wants to make it even more difficult for them while not touching the richest Americans.