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

WH responds to 'Deport Justin Bieber' petition

Despite the pleas of more than 270,000 Americans to deport Justin Bieber, the White House has chosen not to weigh in on the issue. However, the Obama administration did use a petition calling on the White House to revoke the pop artist's green card to plug President Barack Obama's plan for immigration reform.

Secret Service once threatened Mr. Met's life

Mr. Met sure has a lot of fans in New York. But the larger-than-life mascot definitely doesn't have one in the Secret Service, who threatened to shoot and kill him if he approached President Bill Clinton, according to a firsthand account.

Jill Biden on Joe: "I fell in love with the boys first"

Second Lady of the United States Dr. Jill Biden didn't marry Vice President Joe Biden for his sense of humor -- instead, she "fell in love" with his two sons first.

Joe Biden's first Instagram photo

Ladies and gentlemen of this great nation, rejoice! Vice President Joe Biden has joined Instagram -- and his first post is everything you ever dreamed it would be.

Celebrate Tax Day with this ditty

What better way to celebrate curse Tax Day than with a little toe-tapping, finger-snapping ditty that perfectly describes how we all feel about the Internal Revenue Service?

White House

PETA is peeved with Michelle Obama and used little girls to tell her about it

First Lady Michelle Obama has earned the ire of three young girls. But they're not upset with her less-than-filling "Let's Move!" school lunches. Instead, these youngins are upset about the real eggs used in the White House Easter Egg Roll.

Jay Carney: “Never been a more transparent administration”

Despite consistent objections by journalists that the White House overly restricts press access, Press Secretary Jay Carney believes that there has "never been a more transparent administration."

Jay Carney: Toughest interview for Obama in 2012 was with Jon Stewart

Give comedian Jon Stewart a gold star sticker. The host of The Daily Show was President Barack Obama's toughest interviewer during the 2012 election cycle, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said on Thursday.

The most powerful selfie in the world

Joe Biden — he's just like you, and he takes selfies, too.

Obama: Republicans a threat to the right to vote

President Barack Obama slammed Republicans on Friday for supporting voter identification law and labeled the GOP as a threat to the right to vote.

Congress

Rep Black: GOP budget makes a path to a bright future

Our nation is $17.4 trillion in debt and out of control Washington spending has no end in sight. In fact, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office estimates that on our current trajectory we will return to $1 trillion annual budget deficits by the year 2022.

Cruz: Impeach Holder

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) pulled no punches when criticizing Attorney General Eric Holder on Thursday, as he called on Congress to impeach the Department of Justice head.

Pelosi: GOP not acting on immigration because of race

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) pulled the race card when speaking about Republicans' inaction in passing comprehensive immigration reform and said "race has something to do" with the GOP not bringing such legislation to the House floor.

House passes Ryan's budget plan

The House on Thursday passed a 10-year Republican spending plan drafted by Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan.

Read more at The Washington Examiner.

Harry Reid's Koch-fueled meltdown

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) has been in a Koch-fueled rage, seizing moments left and right (mostly from the left) to bash Charles and David Koch.