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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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. Jason T.

    For all you people here who don't understand simple economics: when a third party subsidizes the cost of a good or service the price of the good or service rises. This is why the price of college has drastically increased relative to peoples' incomes since the federal aid has been put in place.

    Paul is not saying that when federal aid ends colleges will lower tuitions out of the goodness of their hearts. He is saying that the decreased demand of the population for education due to a decrease in subsidization will automatically create lower prices. Colleges will be forced to lower prices.

    October 30, 2011 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  2. fernace

    I'd like to see the math behind his statement! No student loans means lower tuition? How did he reach that conclusion? What it really means is we'll go backwards, leaving behind the implements that have helped even the educational field! I'm an adult student right now, but could never have been had it not been for the loans & grants available to me! Education should not be treated as a luxury, it's a vitally important tool that must be affordable & available to all citizens! America is already lagging behind other industrialized nations when it comes to education! His idea will insure that we continue to do so, while wealthy parents in developing countries will send their kids to take advantage of our great, but expensive American schools!!

    October 30, 2011 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  3. Lisa

    When government gets involved in subsidizing anything, costs go up, quality goes down and the taxpayer gets stuck with the tab. The only reason college costs have risen so much faster than inflation is due to government intervention, just like housing. We're seeing the college bubble now. Phasing this program out is exactly what needs to happen. People who don't understand this need to read about free markets. And Paul has said that he won't completely do away with the program until costs are under control. As it stands right now, students are on the hook for over a trillion in government loans - loans that can't be written off even in bankruptcy.

    October 30, 2011 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  4. Jason

    I really can't follow Paul's logic on this. Let's see people get education with help of student loans, people unable to find decent jobs in a down economy. Therefore, the cause is the student loans. He's basically saying that if these people weren't educated in the first place, they wouldn't be complaining about working at WalMart or have student debt.

    October 30, 2011 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  5. sharon

    Maybe none of you are aware that the kids going to college now graduate with enough debt to have paid for a house but DON'T have the house OR a job. Ron Paul wants to make it so kids can afford to go to school without be bogged down with college debt for years. You should educate yourselves on him before you go mindlessly posting stuff without a clue what you are talking about.

    October 30, 2011 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  6. JJ

    Federal loans mandate the interest rate at 6.8%, which is WAY higher than it would be if taken through a private institution. Ending federal loans would HELP students.

    October 30, 2011 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  7. matt howell

    man worked his way through college 1..... 2 unlike your idiot professors ..hes a REAL DR. 3. when he went to school it didnt cost nearly as much because there was no dept of education ....thats the problem deciding what you need to learn there is no reason that you need 4 yrs of school to learn how to be an engineer a banker a pilot or frankly anything else kids are forced to take bs classes like art and liberal arts to get a degree which is crap and a total waste the problem is gov intervention heck there is no reason the gov should be involved in high school i meanwhy cant you teach a high school kid how to be an electrician or a carpenter or a computer programer for that matter SCHOOL SHOULD BE PRIVATIZED AFTER 8th GRADE at that time you can read and write now forget all the nonsense you will never use go get training in a craft ... like community college it wont be that expensive prob 2k a yr and thats a hell of alot cheaper than th 13k a yr the state pays a yr ... there will still be scholarships and there's always the marine corps im just sayin why do you need college i got a masters online payed next to nothin and make 70k a yr ....why im an engineer i can actually build something ... a liberal arts degree isnt worth the paper its printed on

    October 30, 2011 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  8. sharon

    You should also educate yourselves on basic economics. Our system is broke and soon there won't be money for ANYTHING including your student loans!

    October 30, 2011 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  9. Wall Street Crime Victim

    Love Paul's opposition to the wars, including the one on drugs, but this is where he loses people. He still is a member of the "capitalism uber alles" cult and he cannot honestly recognize its flaws and the role government play in checking what would otherwise be unlimited corporate abuses. In this case, no way is the "free market" gonna help poor kids earn college degrees.

    October 30, 2011 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  10. MR. T

    He is right, but any change is painful. College tuiton is so high because it is federally subsidized. If those willing to attend can't pay, college admission will DROP. Universities will have to cut the crap and lower prices to levels that are sustainable. Many colleges offer BS programs that really don't get a decent paying job for. No sense paying 100,000 grand for an education that only pays 25,000. Right now, teachers are in a tough spot. Politicians want to strip their rights to bargain for a competive salary, forcing pay cuts, only to have to pay a rediculous amount to get the degree to get the job!. College costs have risen at a huge % over the increase in pay for the job that requires the degree.

    October 30, 2011 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  11. josh

    @ logic in LA – He actually worked and paid his own way through both undergrad and Duke Medical School

    October 30, 2011 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  12. Grow up already...

    That's how it worked for the GI bill? You just had to be ambitious enough? Bull....

    October 30, 2011 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  13. Steve

    He worked his way through college, DUKE he made enough working part time to pay for his own tuition, medical school! Before government backed loans, college had to be affordable. seriously 49K a year in tuition per student per year? the books have been wrote the buildings have been paid for. why does it cost over 40K a year for a kid to listen to stuff that has been read over and over before? It is because they can get away with it! College is becoming a scam. Students are packed 300-500 per class at 49 thousand dollars a year each; one teacher, 49K per student X 300 students, you do the math.

    October 30, 2011 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  14. Darrell

    Buford T Justice...he is not right. I am perfect example how federal money helped me get a college education. Yes, I paid back all of my college loans. Also, I own two small consulting firms that is contributing money back to the federal government so that other kids will have a chance.

    The system works. It helps us develop the minds of our young people who can later on contribute back to our country.

    So, Congressmen Paul is dead wrong....I speak from direct experience.

    October 30, 2011 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  15. Len

    Here I will give an explanation for those of you who do not understand why Ron Paul is right. Ok, when a hurricane comes, what happens to prices of things people need? They go up. Same for education, there is a surge in demand for college degrees and in combination with students able to get easy, cheap money from student loans, the price of these universities goes up as well. Universities do not have to adjust for market conditions, they can charge whatever they want, because the US government will just keep handing out more.

    Remember the housing bubble or the tech bubble? When there is cheap money then there is a surge in demand for certain goods.

    October 30, 2011 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  16. Ed

    Mr. Paul, are you aware of the high cost of college education these days? Without assistance only the rich will be able to attend. Then we'll have a have and have-not society and talk of "class warfare" today will become an acute reality then. Get real!

    October 30, 2011 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  17. Caleb

    Ron Paul is right. I paid my way through college by working, and by performing and getting academic scholarships. I took classes at community colleges to shave off another ten grand. It is simply irresponsible to attend a college you can not afford. Why should I pay taxes for students who attend these expensive universities who clearly have no fiscal responsibility?

    October 30, 2011 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  18. lynnej

    Mr. Paul is cracked.

    Letting the banks do it. Oh you think it is bad now, guess what? We haven't seen anything yet. The worst thing that happened in the early 90s was letting middle men, the banks, become involved in the college aid program. That should never have happened.

    Privatization doesn't work. When it comes to the basics, like food, clothing, shelter, eduation, health and transportation,
    the government should keep their mitts on. Why do you think that that tuition at some of these colleges are high? The banks. Get them and any other middle men out of equation. So not needed.

    October 30, 2011 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  19. Nate

    End the Fed manipulation of the currency and we would fix the cost of education. Removing subsidies will lower costs because schools will actually compete to attract students on with cost/benefit instead of of knowing that ever student can put themselves in debt for a sub par education.

    October 30, 2011 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  20. Sandy

    Being a scrooge to our young! Some of the brightest are the poor. We have to make sure they can go to college. These kids are our future!

    October 30, 2011 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  21. MastersDegree

    This guy will never get his party's nomination, the young vote, or elected to the presidency! If someone's parents aren't filthy rich, they don't have A1 credit or the perfect grades to get scholarships, tell me how will they ever afford a college education without help from the federal government? This guy is an idiot.

    October 30, 2011 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  22. To Brain Dead In LA

    "How did he get through school?"

    He worked his way through school as it was much more affordable back then.

    October 30, 2011 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  23. Gern Blanston

    Socialized education, socialized medicine, socialized housing. Common thread – government intervention. 25 years ago I paid $450/semester at UW Madison. CPI inflation rate would put today's cost around $900/semester. I wonder why its $5000/semester instead? The 99% need to wake up!

    October 30, 2011 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  24. Buford Rose

    If he were to get rid of student loans the people like myself who wants my degree but can't afford to pay for it myself would be out in the cold. Beside now you need a college education to get a job these days. College is becoming a requirement for all jobs just like having a diploma was a few years back and now you have to have it in order to get at least some type of ok pay. This man is so out of touch with the American people it's not even funny.

    October 30, 2011 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  25. Real Logic

    When the federal gov't gets involved in trying to dole out money to individuals who would be far better suited in garnering a loan from a family member, credit union, gaining a scholarship from an institution or even the state, then prices will go up since the school decides that they can now charge for anything and everything as long as it goes on the government's (or student's) 'credit card.'

    With a shift away from the gov't doling out loans and shift towards individuals giving loans and possibly even persuading our own to go to a vocational school and even possibly allow for some to go into the unskilled work dep't (sounds harsh, but those jobs truly are there) then we can bring down the cost of a higher education.

    October 30, 2011 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
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