Ron Paul defends eventual end to federal student loans
October 30th, 2011
12:44 PM ET
11 years ago

Ron Paul defends eventual end to federal student loans

(CNN) – Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul said Sunday his proposed plan to phase out federal student loans would lower the costs of a college education, making it more affordable for those wanting to attend.

“Anybody who’s ambitious enough will get to go to college,” Paul said on CNN’s “State of the Union.”

The Texas congressman, who is making his third presidential bid, said federally funded education assistance raises the price of education while not improving the caliber, a cycle that will “backfire.”

Paul’s plan would eliminate the Department of Education but keep the features that handle student loans for the time being, ensuring there are no cuts to those currently receiving assistance or who will in the near future.

In a USA Today editorial Friday, Paul said eventually transitioning away from government-backed student aid would “give us better educational opportunities at a better price.”

“Why should people who are laborers who never get to go to college, why should they be taxed to send some of us through college?” Paul said Sunday on CNN. “So it’s not even a fair system when it works. But obviously it doesn’t work and that’s why it’s coming to an end.”

Paul has long advocated for cuts in spending and the national debt while calling for numerous government agencies to shut their doors and a renewed emphasis on individual responsibility. His responsibility platform also extends to education, he said.

“The responsibility is on the individual and the family to take care of their needs, not the federal bureaucracy. It just doesn’t work,” Paul said.

When asked if he would agree that some people in the United States “need federal help,” Paul told CNN Chief Political Correspondent Candy Crowley that there are “always some needs, the market isn’t perfect.”

“It will not be perfect, but what we have now is this catastrophic mistake where people have a pseudo education and no jobs,” Paul said. “We’ve indentured them.”

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Santorum: 'They're trying to Huckabee me'

Watch State of the Union with Candy Crowley Sundays at 9am ET. For the latest from State of the Union click here.

Filed under: 2012 • Ron Paul • TV-State of the Union
soundoff (101 Responses)
  1. John

    Yeah those laborers should stop getting educated and keep in their place. What a joke. I choose progress, not regression.

    October 30, 2011 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  2. GreenLiberIndeRepubliCrat

    Even if the cost of higher education comes down (which it won't) by 10%, 20%, even 30%, there will still be many families that will not be able to afford to send their kids to college. Fewer colloge-educated Americans will mean that companies will need to start outsourcing some of the higher paying jobs overseas, and even fewer decent jobs available for Americans. Yeah, this is exactly what we need at a time when more and more jobs require a college education.

    October 30, 2011 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  3. REG in AZ

    Ron Paul consistently offers interesting contrast with his proposing a non-evasive, permissive style of government but when checking history “deregulation”, “open markets” and lax enforcement have always produced endless cycles of costly crisis, where the few with opportunity constantly take advantage. Human nature actually dictates that given the opportunity, run-away greed, gross dishonesty and self-indulgence will simply take over. The only way “small government” could ever really work is when kept big enough to include good regulations, diligent oversight and necessary enforcements to prevent the problems we have seen repeated with savings-and-loans, banks, dot.coms, investment, financial and mortgage industries as well as seen with corporate corruption, Enron style – to really have a “level playing field”, government has to literally keep working it smooth. The trouble is that when you let things seek their own natural level, there are those who will always take advantage as “power corrupts and total power totally corrupts”. This country is constantly being pushed towards becoming a two-class society with the few, the “power”, competing to have everything and the majority struggling to survive. Ron Paul likely would just be giving the few “Carte Blanche”.

    October 30, 2011 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  4. JB

    He got through college by working his way through. BECAUSE the Feds hadnt started giving student loans yet and the prices of college werent as high. Ron Paul is absolutely right. Everything the government gets involved in, becomes inefficent and expensive. Healthcare and college are two examples.

    October 30, 2011 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  5. midwestmoderate

    His plan to dismantle the Dept of Education will not result in decreased cost of attendance. Colleges have increased their price of tuition because the cost of energy, living, food, etc has increased. By eliminating Federal Student loans you are forcing students to acquire loans through private lenders who will charge higher interest rates and will make a profit at the expense of the student. But then again isn't this the M.O. of all Republicans... do whatever they can to allow their rich republican friends to make even more money. This plan will only prevent more students from attending college.

    October 30, 2011 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  6. steven harnack

    Just amazing. The man lives in a world of make believe. What part of loan doesn't he understand? Does he think that that laborer gladly pays his and his families health insurance and retirement?

    October 30, 2011 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  7. K Nol

    How many graduates have jobs right now? How long is it going to take for them to pay off those loans? You have to be a go getter personality anyway or you won't get a job. Its time for a clean slate ladies and gents. Ron Paul and Obama can work together.

    October 30, 2011 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  8. ThinkAgain

    Ron Paul needs to go live in a country, such as India, that does not collect income tax.

    Or perhaps a country, such as Somalia, that doesn't have a functioning government.

    Or perhaps a country, such as (pick your favorite in Latin America) where the top 2% own and control everything, and where if you weren't lucky enough to be born into wealth, you don't get an education.

    Ron Paul lives in a bubble of his own imagination, thinking that just because he (as a White male) made it, then everyone else should be able to.

    Frankly, I'm sick of his dog-eat-dog mentality, his love for the likes of the sociopath, Ayn Rand (after whom he named his son), his desire to dismantle our country as we know it.

    October 30, 2011 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  9. Dean

    Good idea. It is only makes sense. Any time the government gets into a business it gets screwed. I paid my student loans and if I had it to do over again I would have done anything but take a student loan. They don't tell the stories of getting behind when the economy is bad. Get our government out of the business of business.

    October 30, 2011 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  10. ThinkAgain

    Get rid of the Department of Education? And then what? No national standards for education, just a willy-nilly mix of whatever the local school board thinks should be taught?

    What if you happen to live in an area where the school board thinks that science is wrong and only Biblical "teachings" should be offered? How would students graduating from that system compete in this global economy?

    Think it through, folks. Don't let your frustration with things allow you to be convinced to scrap everything instead of working to improve it.

    If you want to completely turn us into a third-world nation, then vote for Ron Paul. (That is, if he's still around in another 13 months. They guy is OLD.)

    October 30, 2011 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  11. Jimmy Dean

    It is so sad to see so many people again someone who is for our Constitution and who is get us to take responsibility for our lives. Really people – you need loans to go to school? If we had a federal loan program for cars, cars would cost five times what they do, and the same people posting on this forum would be screaming that we can never discontinue the program because they would have no transportation. Maybe we need a loan program for anything over $100. Don't we understand we are completely flat busted broke and we are watching our country implode? We need less credit, not more, in all areas. Ron Paul crazy? Umm. no. It is this idea that more debt is good or in any way sustainable that is not sound.

    October 30, 2011 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  12. Redriot

    RP is correct. The government does not have the right to take taxpayer money to loan it out to anyone. I had to work very hard to pay for college, my family did not have the money to pay so I had to, just like Ron Paul did. It's this dependency on the welfare state that causes many many problems, under the guise of a morality. WE HAVE TO SERIOUSLY CUT SPENDING OR THIS NATION WILL FAIL. Revolution 2012

    October 30, 2011 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  13. ron

    i have to agree with Ron Paul. why should some people be forced to pay for others to attend school- theres no 'right ' to college education. Too many people just want college as long as someone else is paying for it. If you want to help send underprivileged kids to college, fine, send them your money. I flipped burgers for minimum wage all thru college, and used to hate watching my dormmates partying it up all while i was at the restaurant, cuz they were getting 'free' tuition without working they had no incentive to get a p/t job. Where was the fairness in that scenario?

    October 30, 2011 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  14. Juan

    This fool will never get elected because of his views. Obama/Biden 2012!

    October 30, 2011 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  15. ThinkAgain

    When Paul was practicing medicine, he refused to accept Medicare payments and demanded that his medical partner do the same. Which the guy did, even though he had huge medical school debt to contend with.

    This may have flown 50 years ago, but today, when family medicine practices have so many elderly patients, how could anyone in good conscience ask a doctor to not accept Medicare, when he/she has just graduated from med school with $250,000 (or more) in debt? What would happen is the elderly would go untreated and die at a rapid rate.

    Which I guess is OK, since the doctors have exercised their "freedom" by taking the Ron Paul anti-government stand.

    Remind me again how this squares with Ron Paul's "pro-choice" stance?

    October 30, 2011 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  16. tanner

    Americans do not see the severity of your countries financial situation. Americans must elect who will fix the economy and not sugar coat things, Americans must elect someone willing to take unpopular steps in order to stop you from becoming the next Greece. Deal with the problem now!!! every corporate President you elect is just delaying the pain and sweeping the problem under the rug.

    October 30, 2011 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  17. ThinkAgain

    Ron Paul had a staffer who didn't carry medical insurance, and then died from complications from pneumonia, leaving his mother with $400,000 in debt.

    How is this being responsible for yourself? Who absorbed these debts? If the mother did, unless she was very wealthy, it probably wiped out her retirement savings.

    By Ron Paul's reasoning, she should be allowed to die also, without benefit of governmental assistance (even though she or her husband probably worked and paid taxes), because life is full of risks and this is just the way the cookie crumbled for her.

    Think it through, folks, think it through. Ron Paul is a cold-hearted nutjob, who values money over everything.

    October 30, 2011 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  18. swolfson929

    The country Ron Paul wants is not the country I want to live in. I have never heard him say that with his plans we the people will pay less in taxes...have I missed something here? No services and high taxes...could he really be selling this?

    October 30, 2011 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  19. hey hey

    Hey logic in LA, I hear you, but if you're bright don't you think a scholarship would be in order? That is what scholarships are for after all.

    October 30, 2011 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  20. Jimmy Dean

    Ron Paul is correct. I got student loans, and it was the worst mistake I have ever made. We are broke and its time to take responsibility for ourselves. We need less, not more, credit in this country.

    October 30, 2011 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  21. skarphace

    Think of it this way: when you want a car or a house, how do you pay for it? Does the Federal Government give you a loan? No. Is this unfair that people with lower incomes cannot afford the best houses? Maybe, but it is the cost of capitalism.

    The way Paul envisions it, we would get a loan for school the exact way we get a loan for a house or a car or any other large expenditure. Will the rates be higher? Probably.

    However, and here is the catch, would we be able to get out from under those loans if we graduate and cannot get a job and find we cannot afford to pay back the loans? Yes. It is called bankruptcy, and under the current system we cannot get out from under our student loans like we can our other loans. Could our diplomas be invalidated if we do so? Probably, but again this is the cost we pay for such decisions.

    Bottom line: the Federal Government should not be in the business of continuing education. This should be left up to the old system of supply and demand, which is of the market, not government.

    October 30, 2011 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  22. Alex

    Government brings up the price of everything when they get involved. Health care, education, etc......

    October 30, 2011 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  23. GJ

    He is wrong and he is not a serious candidate for the presidency. This will be his third failed attempt...he should move on with his life because this is not the job for him. Right idea on some issues, wrong execution on most.

    October 30, 2011 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  24. Little Wilson

    No matter what your circumstances, you can go to college if you plan, save and you are committed. Do we realize we have indebted the next generation with this horrible loans to the tune of 1 trillion dollars?! That exceeds credit card debt.

    October 30, 2011 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  25. ammon ammon

    And what about the people who are not from rich families, not sharp enough to get full scholoarships, not poor enough to get government support, and have to work one or 1.5 jobs while trying to get good enough grades to pass their courses? If you are in the middle you are forgotten in this country. The cost of improving yourself and your society should not be so expensive! SOMETHING needs to change!!

    October 30, 2011 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
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