Obama is “Completely Wrongheaded” on Education policy, FRC fellow says

President Obama is “completely wrongheaded” when it comes to his higher education goals for America, Christopher M. Gacek, senior fellow for regulatory affairs at the Family Research Council, said Thursday at an FRC event on student loan debt.

The “Save Me from College Debt” talk was held in order to discuss ways for students and their families to avoid the increasingly common problem of massive student debt. The discussion, which was moderated by Gacek, featured talks from Andrew Gillen, senior researcher at American Council of Trustees and Alumni, and Sophia Ephraim, founder of Haven Financial Counseling Services.

Gacek believes Obama’s push to have a national graduation rate of 60 percent is focusing on the wrong issue. “[They say] everybody should go to college, maximize the number of people in college,” Gacek said. Referencing the student debt crisis, he added, “It’s just sort of — they’re oblivious to what’s happening.”

The problems are not limited to the Democrats, according to Gacek. Neither political party is doing enough to help resolve the issue of student debt, he said, calling current education policy discussions “rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic.”

“You have this sort of romanticization of what [education] is,” Gacek said. He believes focus needs to be given to online classes and universities, which can help combat the increasingly high cost of education.

During his talk, Gillen said the increased cost of education is not due to changes in institutions’ costs and revenues, but instead due to the correlation between a college or university’s spending and its reputation. “The way you increase your reputation is by spending more money,” he said. “You can bring in star faculty; you can recruit better students; you can build better football stadiums.” He said students need to be provided with more concrete information about schools’ performance in order to understand the real value of their education based on their financial investment.

“We basically tell young students, ‘Go to college,’ and we don’t put any qualifications on it,” Gillen said. “We don’t say, ‘Go to a college you can afford’.” He noted this could make getting a college degree “potentially dangerous” to students who do not understand the realities of college debt.

Ephraim stressed planning ahead as the key to achieving the goal of getting a degree. She said parents need to save for college as soon as their children are born, instead of waiting until their kids are in junior high or high school. Families should also sit down together and figure out a college plan, such as a child’s area of study and the best ways to afford it, Ephraim said. “The family has to take back the whole process of running off to college,” she said. Much of the good in society comes through the family unit, Gacek also said, but debt can hinder that progress, and there is little people can do to bail themselves out of a debt crisis.

“Individuals can’t act as their own Ben Bernanke,” Gacek joked.

The FRC has launched a website, savemefromcollegedebt.com, to help raise awareness for the issue of student debt.

Comments

Polititainment

Billy Joel: Obama smoking story 'untrue'

After a report emerged from a source for The Hill newspaper that Joel on a trip to Washington, D.C., claimed that he recently smoked a cigarette with President Obama, the musician is now denying the story.

Pharrell: Brown's actions 'bully-ish'

Musician Pharrell Williams said in a recent Ebony magazine interview that President Obama "should have gone down" to Ferguson to address the situation.

Billy Joel smoked with Obama

According to one of The Hill's sources, Obama invited Billy Joel to have a cigarette with him when the musician made a recent trip to the White House.

Beckham's catch = Obama's executive act

You know it is.

'SNL' remakes Schoolhouse Rock
“Saturday Night Live” hit today’s political process right on the nose during the show’s cold open. Spoofing Schoolhouse Rock’s “I’m Just a Bill,” Kenan Thompson as the bill tried to explain how he becomes a law. But before he can make his way  to President Obama’s desk to be officially signed into law, Obama beats him […]

White House

White House claims Obama is ‘not a media critic’

The White House doesn’t really seem to have a problem contradicting itself, so maybe this latest whopper shouldn’t surprise us.

Obama uses turkey pardoning to joke about his executive action on immigration
This is one executive action President Obama is sure won’t ruffle Republicans’ feathers. In fact, he’s so sure of that fact that he decided to make a joke during the annual turkey pardoning referencing his unprecedented use of executive action to grant amnesty to 5 million illegal immigrants. “I’m here to announce what I’m sure will […]
Poll: Americans split on Obama’s immigration order
Americans are sharply split on their reaction to President Barack Obama’s recent executive actions on immigration that will essentially give amnesty to about five million undocumented immigrants,according to a new poll. The latest Quinnipiac University survey released Tuesday found that 45 percent of voters support the president’s move, while 48 percent opposes it. Support for […]
Eric Holder stresses that federal investigations in Ferguson are not over

Attorney General Eric Holder released a statement Monday night assuring rioters that the Justice Department still has two investigations to complete in Ferguson.

Obama appeals for calm after Ferguson decision

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama appealed for calm and understanding in Ferguson on Monday after a grand jury decided not to indict in the death of Michael Brown, pleading with both residents and police officers to show restraint.

Congress

Pelosi and Obama versus Schumer and America

This is like one of those times a member of a professional wrestling posse turns heel on national television and sets off the drama.

Rand blames 'politicians,' drug war in Ferguson

Sen. Rand Paul’s Time op-ed on Ferguson Tuesday blamed politicians for creating “a culture of violence” through the War on Drugs, and urged Ferguson protesters to “channel your frustration in ways that will make a positive change.”

Why are House Members exempt from ethics training?
Two U.S. representatives are questioning a curious practice on the Hill that exempts House Members from ethics training. But it doesn’t look like they are getting much support from their colleagues that enjoy this perk. Reps. David Cicilline (D-R.I.), and Scott Rigell (R-Va.), are urging congressional leaders to end the House exemption on the annual ethics […]
Paul calls for formal declaration of war on ISIS

Sen. Rand Paul wants Congress to formally declare war against ISIS.

The fallout from Boehner not owning a dog

President Obama's offer to smooth over an immigration reform compromise with Speaker John Boehner has turned out to be a case of barking up the nonexistent tree.