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Ron Paul: The truth about my student loan plan

Anytime someone dares to seriously address the major problems posed to us by a government program, many in the news media accuse that person of wanting to hurt citizens in a reckless manner.

Though everyone knows Social Security has major solvency issues, simply trying to save the program for those who rely on it, or finding better solutions for younger Americans, is portrayed as somehow attacking Social Security.

Though everyone knows Medicare is rife with major difficulties, trying to protect it for those promised particular services by offering a different approach is portrayed as attacking Medicare.

The demagoguery makes solving our problems even harder.

My "Restore America" budget plan would eliminate five federal departments, including the Department of Education. But the aspect of that department that deals with student loans isn't eliminated — it's simply handled elsewhere in the budget. Yet the many headlines that came out after my interview Sunday on Meet the Press exclaimed that I wanted to "end" or "phase out" all student loans. In the long term — just like Social Security for people under the age of 25 — this is technically true. But to portray my budget plan as immediately getting rid of student loans is simply dishonest.

Transitioning to a better system

When host David Gregory asked me whether or not we should abolish federal aid for education, I replied: "Eventually, but my program doesn't do it; there's a transition in this." To read many of the headlines this week concerning my budget plan and student loans, you would think there was no transition.

The accumulated total student loan debt in this country is over $1 trillion.

Think about that for a moment.

Our entire national deficit for this year is $1.5 trillion, and the cost of college education alone is two-thirds of our country's entire budget shortfall.

This is staggering.

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http://www.usatoday.com/news/opinion/forum/story/2011-10-27/...



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