Last week the U.S. House of Representatives voted overwhelmingly to pass the Student Aid and Fiscal Responsibility Act. The Student Aid Act is a common-sense reform that will generate an estimated $80 billion in savings by bypassing for-profit lenders in the loan process, and will instead provide loans directly to students. This reform makes the government more efficient and invests the savings in the education of young Americans without raising taxes or adding to the deficit.
The bill’s champion, Rep. George Miller, D-Calif., explained the reform simply, “We were paying these exorbitant subsidies to bankers who were taking government money, loaning it to somebody else, getting government guarantees that the loans would be paid back and then taking all these profits.”
It’s no wonder such common-sense legislation passed with broad bipartisan support. However, it was not supported by the Kansas Republican delegation in Congress. The reforms come at the expense of some of the Kansas Republicans’ most reliable donors — commercial bankers. If members of Congress like Lynn Jenkins and Todd Tiahrt had spent less time talking to well-heeled bankers and more time talking to the Kansas students and families struggling with the skyrocketing cost of college, then they might have found a reason to support the Student Aid Act.
The legislation now moves to the Senate where neither Kansas Sen. Pat Roberts nor Sen. Sam Brownback have committed their support to this common sense reform. What possible virtue can they find in allowing bankers to line their pockets with the money of Kansas students and families? It’s unfortunate they won’t commit their support to legislation that will make government more efficient and effective, will allow more Kansans to pursue higher education and will allow Kansan families to keep more of their money.
it doesn’t get any better with more discussions.”
The other item on the agenda to discuss is increases in the basic water rates for Manhattan consumers.
The current rates are not high enough to cover the costs of operations. According to the agenda, the losses are with consumers who use 401 to 40,000 units and 40,000 or more units of water. This accounts for 26 Manhattan area consumers. In 2008, the city spent about $900,000 more than it charged to provide water to these consumers.
The meeting will be held in the City Commission room at City Hall located at 1101 Poyntz Ave., and it will be televised on local cable channel 3.
A copy of the agenda can be viewed on the city’s Web site at ci.manhattan.ks.us under the “city commission agenda” tab.
-Colin Curtis and Gina Burrows, Presidents, Kansas Young Democrats , College Democrats of Kansas