Obama Pits Indebted Students Against Millionaires

June 9, 2014 - 6:23 AM

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President Barack Obama speaks at Ohio State's commencement on May 5, 2013. (AP File Photo)

(CNSNews.com) - President Barack Obama, framing the student loan argument on Saturday, said Congress has a choice: “Protect young people from crushing debt, or protect tax breaks for millionaires.”

In his Saturday radio address, Obama announced his intention to “keep doing whatever I can without Congress” to help “responsible” young people pay off their student loans.

He noted that Senate Democrats are working on a bill that would help more young people refinance their student loans at a lower rate.

“And we'd pay for it by closing loopholes that allow some millionaires to pay a lower tax rate than the middle class.

“That's the choice that your representatives in Congress will make in the coming weeks – protect young people from crushing debt, or protect tax breaks for millionaires. And while Congress decides what it's going to do, I will keep doing whatever I can without Congress to help responsible young people pay off their loans - including new action I will take this week.”

On Monday, Obama was announcing the expansion of a program that lets borrowers pay no more than 10 percent of their monthly income in student loan payments.

Right now, the “Pay As You Earn” program is available only to those who started borrowing after October 2007 and kept borrowing after October 2011. Obama plans to allow those who borrowed earlier to participate, potentially extending the benefit to millions more borrowers, the Associated Press reported.

Obama on Saturday noted that over the past three decades, the average tuition at a public four-year college has more than tripled; and the average undergraduate who borrows for college ends up owing almost $30,000.

“And I've heard from too many young people who are frustrated that they've done everything they were supposed to do -- and now they're paying the price.”

Obama promised that, “as long as I hold this office, I'll keep fighting to give more young people the chance to earn their own piece of the American Dream.”