Sen. Ron Johnson Blames Student Debt Crisis On Young Wisconsinites

from that invigorating email inbox comes this presser from the College Democrats of Wisconsin:

March 26, 2015
RELEASE: Sen. Ron Johnson Blames Student Debt Crisis On Young Wisconsinites, Says It Is Too Easy To Get Student Loans

When asked about the rising cost of a college education at an event this past Saturday, Wisconsin Senator Ron Johnson blamed the problem of student debt on young Wisconsinites and argued that it was too easy to get student loans. Sen. Johnson, who has repeatedly voted against legislation to tackle the problem of student loan debt, claimed that students think “it’s kind of free money, young people don’t necessarily understand finance.” According to Sen. Johnson, “it’s pretty easy to get a federal loan, college is fun.” In response to Sen. Johnson’s comments, College Democrats of Wisconsin Vice Chair Phoenix Rice-Johnson released the following statement.

“Sen. Ron Johnson’s recent remarks are on par with Mitt Romney’s ‘47%’ comments in terms of ignorance and elitism. Rather than address the problem of student loan debt, Sen. Johnson has chosen to shamelessly insult the intelligence of Wisconsin students. Across the state, students work multiple jobs in addition to attending class, only to graduate with an average of $22,400 in debt. The average student borrower pays nearly $400 a month for almost 19 years. The problem is not young people’s understanding of finance – the problem is out-of-touch politicians like Sen. Johnson who have let Wisconsin’s student debt crisis spiral out of control.

Sen. Johnson’s previous votes against common sense student debt reform have already shown his lack of commitment to college affordability. These recent comments give students across the state crystal clear proof that Sen. Johnson neither respects us nor values our concerns. In 2016, young Wisconsinites will remember his words.”

Watch the video of Sen. Johnson’s remarks:
Read about his comments in The Hill:


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5 thoughts on “Sen. Ron Johnson Blames Student Debt Crisis On Young Wisconsinites

  1. Liberals, Conservatives parents, the Economist, everywhere have realized the last 20 years that this is giant mess where by the colleges have porked up their systems with student loan money. 1.3 trillion with 11.4 % in default. 20 year old kids cannot be able to just borrow 50,000 dollars and live the high life in college when most of us worked our way through. They think that every body does i,t as many have told me, then the reality clips in after they have to start paying the bills.

  2. Con guy, do you have sources from a link to support your assertion or is this more of your bad digestive disorder?

    “I read it in a magazine somewhere” doesn’t qualify as an authoritative source.

    1. Nah, the new writer for WI Con is correct in there is bipartisan recognition that student loans function as a massive subsidy and it’s been written about extensively in the Economist, Matt Taibbi for Rolling Stone, the Wall Street Journal, and the New York Times. College Presidets green light tuition increases because they know the students can borrow it and most of the money has gone to administration, buildings, centers for this and that. Meanwhile very little actually went to improving teaching. Kick away the subsidy and watch tuition come barreling down. WI Con is wrong about who has the power to do that – only the federal government can end their own subsidy.

  3. I graduated from a UW system university in the early 80’s. That was when the Wisconsin state legislature contributed a lot more to the UW system than they do now and it was possible to work your way through college and I did. That was when tuition was $400/semester and you could get through school with part time and summer jobs and sometimes some small student loans. This is no longer possible and I feel sorry for young people who graduate with so much debt, even though they also lived on ramen noodles for 4.5 years as I did.

    1. Morticia is 100% correct. As state support for the university systems have declined, particularly at UW, tuitions have shot up. The only thing bipartisan about it is that governors from both parties are guilty!

      I predate Morticia by a few years…when I could work in a factory for minimum wage or just over minimum wage as I gained ‘experience’…and could pay for a whole school year. This was in the late 60s and early 70s when 15 – 18 credits cost $150 for a semester and books for all 5 or 6 classes was another $100.

      Beyond the lack of support for state schools…the issue is the ridiculous interest rates being charged to students for their loans…when a back can currently borrow for essentially 0%…student loans are 6 to 12%. That is almost usurious.

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