DFL48 | Restoring Common Sense Minnesota Values

TAG | student loan debt

By Ken Martin, chairman, Minnesota DFL

LimoWith a $2 billion budget surplus, legislators should be focused on investing the money to grow our economy and provide opportunities for all Minnesotans. Instead, Republicans are prioritizing corporations who cannot vote in elections and multi-millionaires who can fund Republican campaigns.

The biggest winners of the Republicans’ tax bill are the Canadian owner of the Mall of America and other big corporations. The Republicans plan to permanently eliminate the statewide business property tax, giving corporations a multi-billion dollar tax cut.

Republicans also passed huge tax cuts for the heirs of multi-million dollar estates which will benefit “the 1 percent of the 1 percent” – about 800 Minnesotans. When totally implemented, this $171 million per biennium tax cut is more money than the entire Republican increase for Minnesota’s education budget.

So who are the losers under the Republican budget?

Our kids lose. The Republican education bill will lead to teacher layoffs and larger class sizes. For every $15 in tax giveaways Republicans provide to special interests, they spend $1 on education. While Gov. Mark Dayton called for free preschool for all 4-year-olds, a proven economic development tool, Republicans provide very little investment in early education, leaving thousands of young learners behind.

Our college students lose. After a successful two-year college tuition freeze at all state colleges and universities, Republicans are underfunding higher education. This is estimated to mean tuition increases for 40,000 college students. This is distressing news for a state that ranks high in student debt. 

Working Minnesotans loose. The Republicans’ health and human services bill eliminates MinnesotaCare, throwing 100,000 working Minnesotans off their health care. Considering the top 25 counties per capita for MinnesotaCare enrollees are in Greater Minnesota and the plan cuts rural hospital funding as well, this is a huge blow to rural communities. 

Small business owners lose. While large businesses are catching the breaks, Republicans are putting the brakes on small business owners’ ability to grow the economy. Cuts to job creation funds that help small business owners create and expand jobs and underfunding the state’s broadband infrastructure will have a direct impact on small business owners, particularly in rural communities.

The good news is that the people of Minnesota still have a voice, but time is running short. Conference committees are currently working out the differences between the Republicans’ plans to give the state budget surplus away to special interests and DFL plans to invest this money in initiatives that will grow our economy. I encourage you to contact your state legislators today and tell them to prioritize kids over corporations and MinnesotaCare over multi-millionaires and create a Minnesota where everyone can prosper so that our state can have economic success for years to come.

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The Student Debt Time Bomb

Dollar Sign,jpgOn March 11, 2015, nationalmemo.com posted the an article with the above title by Nick Collins.

In the above article, Mr. Collins states “there’s a generational time bomb ticking — and the student debt crisis is the trip wire.”

He goes on to state that adults under 35 years of age “disproportionately bear the brunt of escalating inequality.”

The statistics:

  • 40 million Americans have student debt totaling $1.16 trillion (that’s with a “t”, not a “b”)
  • the above number should increase to $2 trillion by 2022
  • 1 in 5 US households have college debt
  • this debt exceeds all credit card debt

This much debt keeps our younger generations from:

  • starting families
  • buying homes and
  • starting new businesses.

And, all of this makes income inequality that much more extreme.

You can read the full post here.

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BaylorStateDivestmentwebfig2Elizabeth Baylor at AmericanProgress.org posted on that site on December 3, 2014, an excellent review of what’s been taking place on this country’s colleges and universities over recent years along with information on why it’s important to the United States to invest in post-secondary education in the international marketplace.

In addition, the debt load people graduating from college is a massive amount nationally that will impact those graduating financially for years, if not their lifetime.

It’s a long read, but worthwhile.  Here’s a link to the online post.

The PDF has more charts. You can download that here.



McFadden silent as Senate gets ready to debate student loan bill

Student groups tell McFadden to shoot straight with them: How would you vote? 

mc-fadden-w-250x187Investment banker Mike McFadden’s silence on whether he would vote for a bill to help students manage their ballooning college debt leaves his support for the measure in doubt as the Senate gets ready to begin debate on the legislation today.

The Bank on Students Emergency Loan Refinancing Act, introduced by Sen. Al Franken, would give Minnesotans with outstanding student loan debt the chance to refinance their public and private student loans at lower rates. 550,000 Minnesotans would be able to benefit from the lower interest rates in the bill. The bill is paid for by enacting the Buffett rule, which would ensure millionaires and billionaires pay their fair share in taxes.

McFadden has refused to tell students and their families if he would vote in favor of the legislation. College Democrats at the University of Minnesota, College of Saint Benedict/Saint John’s University, Hamline University, St. Olaf College, St. Cloud State University and Macalester College called on McFadden yesterday to tell them how he would vote on the bill.

“Ballooning student debt is crippling Minnesota graduates and their families as they struggle to pay off their loans. Students and families deserve to know if investment banker Mike McFadden would support this commonsense fix to help ease their burden if he were in the U.S. Senate,” said DFL Chair Ken Martin.

The last time McFadden was asked how he would have voted on a bill in the U.S. Senate he told reporters that since he’s not currently in the Senate he shouldn’t have to answer:

MIKE MCFADDEN:  Well, once again, I think it’s the wrong question.  The right question is how we get…

REPORTER:  But that’s the question you would have been asked if you were in the Senate yesterday.

MCFADDEN:  But I wasn’t in the Senate yesterday.

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©2014 DFL SD 48. Prepared and paid for by Senate District 48 DFL, Sharon Borine, Chair, 18285 Croixwood Ln, Eden Prairie, MN 55347