It's deceptively easy to slip into the liberal mindset and dismiss all conservatives as right-wing idiots. One of the major benefits of this blog is that I've learned not to dismiss the right so easily; since sometimes they happen to be right.
[Or, in the case of Occasional Professor Tom, all the time - Editorial Bear]
It's also worth noting that even dyed-in-the-wool conservatives have to capacity to surprise you; as my amiable nemesis CK did in this post: I, a conservative, agree with Barack Obama (I think.)
The issue CK was discussing was an recent bill Obama passed which turned responsibility for student loans over from private companies to the government: Socialism in it's purest form.
I will admit that I was astonished to see CK advocating such a position; although he was undoubtedly right to do so. As he eloquently explained in his post, the 'deal' with student loans in America is absolutely absurd.
Unlike mortgages, medical bills or credit card debt, student loans are 'teflon.' They stick with you for life. Even if you file for bankruptcy, you're still left owing whatever you borrowed to go to college (and with a law degree costing at least $100,000, that's not chump change.)
Formerly, banks gave students the loans, and collected interest and profit on them. If the loans defaulted, however, the federal government stepped in to cover the debt with taxpayer's money. Basically, it was a risk-free loan for the banks; a license to print money. Unlike mortgages or personal loans, which could be wiped clean by bankruptcy, there was no way to wriggle out of your student loans and even if you could, the government was there to cover the shortfall.
Which was an absurd situation. Since the government was covering the risk, why did arbitrary banks get to make a profit off of it?
President Obama, who has established education as the cornerstone of his presidency, simply corrected that absurdity. The government now gives out, owns and collects on student loans; which means more students will be able to have access to them and profits will be used to ensure that taxpayers aren't left bailing out the defaulters.
As I said above, it is socialism. The government took a private enterprise (student loans) and nationalized it. The fact that CK agreed with this act astonishes me; but it also enthuses me. It's living proof that conservatives do have their heads screwed on and liberals would be well advised not to dismiss them as idiots quite so easily.
[Especially not while we have Joe Biden as Vice President - Editorial Bear]
Perhaps it's also the first step towards making sure that the next generation of young Americans are smarter and better educated than their Japanese, Indian and Chinese peers; which is the only hope we have for keeping America's position as the #1 economy in the world.