According to Rep. Roscoe Bartlett (R-MD), federal student loans are the start of a “slippery slope” that could eventually lead to a Holocaust. While speaking at Maryland’s Allegany College on Wednesday, Bartlett invoked this horrid comparison while arguing that government loans are unconstitutional:
Not that it’s not a good idea to give students loans, it certainly is a good idea to give them loans. But if you can ignore the Constitution to do something good today, tomorrow you will be ignoring the Constitution to do something bad. You could. There are more people in our, in America today of German ancestry than any other [inaudible]. The Holocaust that occurred in Germany — how in the heck could that happen? And when you start down the wrong road, it can be a very slippery slope.
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As ThinkProgress Ian Millhiser has noted, federal spending on education is plainly constitutional. And at the moment, constantly rising costs are a major reason why nearly half of American college students drop out of school before completing their degree, making federal aid more important than ever.
Two-thirds of American students currently go into debt in order to get a college education, with 10 percent of those borrowers owing $50,000 or more. But Bartlett and House Republicans still voted this year to eliminate Pell Grants for more than one million students, and the GOP has promised to undo the student loan reform signed into law by President Obama, which would take federal education funding away from students, giving it to bank middlemen instead.