Under pressure from President Obama and Senate Democrats, House Republicans unveiled their plan to prevent a scheduled hike in interest rates on federal student loans Wednesday, but they probably won’t be counting on the support of Missouri Rep. Todd Akin (R).
At a debate over the weekend, Akin, who is running for Senate, said involving the government in the student loan process has given the government a “stage three cancer of socialism”:
AKIN: America has got the equivalent of the stage three cancer of socialism because the federal government is tampering in all kinds of stuff it has no business tampering in. So first, to answer your question precisely, what the Democrats get rid of the private student loans and take it all over by the government was wrong, it was a lousy bill, and that’s why I voted no. The government needs to get its nose out of the education business.
Akin isn’t the first Republican to come out against student loans recently, nor is he the first to make the false claim that the government “took over” the student loan process. The reform plan passed by Democrats as part of the health care overhaul did not take over the private student loan industry — as Akin surely knows, there is still a large private student loan industry. Instead, it removed banks from the process that was already managed by the federal government.
Obama used a speech at the University of Iowa to mock Akin yesterday. “You’ve got one member of Congress who compared these loans, I’m not kidding here, to a stage three cancer of socialism,” Obama said. “Stage three cancer? I don’t even know where to start. What do you mean? What are you talking about? C’mon. Just when you think you’ve heard it all in Washington, somebody comes up with a new way to go off the deep end.”