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OPINION

Student Loans Bail-Out Nation

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Townhall.com.
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The State of the Bailout as of this month is a net gain of $80 billion, which will be sold to the public as some kind of win for taxpayers. However, considering the way these companies put themselves at risk and the return on investment, it is like a high-wire artist who takes a plummeting fall and lives to take a bow.

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TARP OUTFLOWS: $615 billion
39.9% of total

Banks and other Financial Institutions
$245B
30.5%
Fannie and Freddie
$187B
13.0%
Auto Companies
$79.7B
11.0%
AIG
$67.8B

Toxic Asset Purchases
$18.6B (3.0%)

Other
$16B (2.6%)

TARP INFLOWS: $670 billion

Refunded
$390B

Revenues
$280B

TARP INFLOWS: $670 billion

Refunded
$390B

Revenues
$280B

Most Americans know about the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP), but there were additional bailout schemes. In fact, all the programs (added together) cost eleven trillion ($11,000,000,000,000), including the $195 billion purchase of student loan debts from private lenders (they had an offer they couldn’t refuse). I still think we have a net loss on all that money, but who can figure it out, as the temporary program continues to live and fund things such as solar projects.

But, the news is about to get worse.

Save the Banks and Non-Banks

Americans are getting the shaft again from ill-fated bailouts. Over the last couple of days, we have seen the banks that bailed out during the financial crisis come through with worrisome news. Barclays is selling its wealth adviser unit, which is really the surviving part of Lehman to Stifel Financial, while HSBC is said to lay-off 50,000 employees. However, two very politically driven bailouts are still problematic.

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General Motors (GM) needed $49.5 billion to stay in business and taxpayers eventually took an $11 billion haircut. Now, Fiat is recruiting hedge funds to help the two companies merge, which is a euphemism for GM being taken over. While Fiat could not make it in the United States with its own vehicles, Fiat could finish the year by owning two of the three America automakers we were told had to be saved.

General Electric Capital (GE) needed $139 billion in taxpayer funds. Not a problem, as it is in the process of being dismantled with a big piece sold yesterday to the Canada Pension Fund for only $11 billion. I’m not sure how much the rest of GE Capital is worth, but the fact of the matter is that $139 billion looks like a massive waste of time. The company immediately rewarded Americans by moving, even more jobs offshore.

(Between 2001 and 2011, GE’s Jeff Immelt, who was also the chair of the President’s Jobs Council, shed 34,000 jobs in the USA, while creating 25,000 outside the USA.)

The media and administration has pushed hard on the notion that bailouts worked. We made money, but in the end, they did nothing for Main Street. When it’s all said and done, maybe GE and GM capital won’t even be American companies anymore. These are lessons that must be talked about over and over again, as this is an arrow in the government’s quiver, which must be removed to cure corporate risk-taking and to protect taxpayers.

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Unfortunately, the next bailouts are here and it is all about keeping power.

Student Loan Forgiveness

How often have you read an op-ed in the New York Times that was a harbinger of major news coming out of the White House? This happens too often for my taste and this latest op-ed is even more troubling than usual. Over this past weekend, Pulitzer Prize-Nominated author Lee Siegel wrote that he “Chose life” when he decided to default on his student loan and “Never looked back.”

Since he has been in office, President Obama has made promises, and even pushed through a few schemes to lower or even forgive student loans. But, I’ve always felt that this big move would be something akin to an executive order to forgive all student loans.

The first move could be the beginning of massive student loan forgiveness by the Obama administration; it would cost taxpayers hundreds of billions of dollars. It also would send tuitions even higher and maybe buying the White House for the democratic nominee has begun.

Yesterday, U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan announced that the administration is developing a process that will allow students who took out loans to attend the now bankrupt Corinthian Colleges full forgiveness of their loans. It is estimated this will cost taxpayers up to $3.5 billion. It is not a tiny sum, but look at what is looming on the horizon.

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Of the $1.3 trillion in student loan debt, outstanding taxpayers are on the hook for more than $800 billion after president Obama kicked out the private sector and launched the direct student loan program or (DL).

To me, this is a bold-faced attempt to buy votes, even at the expense of a lot of people who haven’t gone to college...I guess this is the definition of fair.

Here’s the key… we will look back and know that it opened Pandora’s Box: “Developing a process.”

Moreover, there is no doubt this mechanism will be used to forgive loans to non-for-profit schools, even for Ivy League loans. By using the key and rouge, bankrupt formerly publicly traded companies, also known as the Trojan horse, will get into position.

Another bailout and this one could pay dividends for years…for Democrats.


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