Sunday, July 31, 2016

Hillary Clinton said she would "liberate millions" from student loan debt. But the Clintons and the Democratic Establishment have been crushing people with debt for at least 20 years.


Above: In this video clip, after she talks about free college, Hillary Clinton says: "We will also liberate millions of people who already have student loan debt. It's just not right that Donald Trump can ignore his debts, and students and families can't refinance their debts." The crowd roars in approval, completely oblivious to the role that the Clintons and the Democratic Establishment have played in turning millions of Americans into debt slaves. Video provided courtesy of PBS.

At the 2016 Democratic National Convention, Hillary Clinton said she would liberate millions of people from student loan debt and that it wasn't fair that so many people can't refinance their debt. However, Hillary and other top Democrats have, for years, worked very hard to keep people in escape-proof debt. Therefore, her statement rings hollow. Sadly, millions of Americans (including many of Hillary's supporters, judging by the applause in the video above) don't know this history. Consider these examples of how top Democrats have eagerly worked to keep Americans in the stranglehold of debt:

Bill Clinton facilitated the garnishment of Social Security to pay student loan debt

From the U.S. Senate Committee on Finance: "On April 26, 1996, the President signed the Omnibus Consolidated Rescissions and Appropriations Act of 1996 (Public Law 104-134), which included the Debt Collection Improvement Act of 1996 (DCIA). The DCIA made a significant change that allowed for Social Security, Railroad Retirement and Black Lung benefits to be reduced in order to collect federal debt, such as student loan debt. The 1996 change greatly eroded the strong protections in the Social Security Act against
garnishment and the changes were never fully debated in Congress. Recently, many are concerned
that more and more people with disabilities and seniors are having their Social Security benefits
garnished due to student loan debts" (http://www.finance.senate.gov/imo/media/doc/Restore%20Act%20one%20pager1.pdf)

Hillary Clinton voted to make it harder for struggling families to declare bankruptcy

The financial industry has long supported Hillary Clinton with millions in cash. She has often returned the favor by supporting their efforts to swindle, defraud, and victimize the public. In 2001, she voted to make bankruptcy more difficult for people trapped in debt - a vote that pleased her Wall Street backers, and ensured that they would continue to pay her millions of dollars for years to come ("The Vote for Bankruptcy Reform that Haunts Hillary Clinton," New York Times, February 6, 2016).

In partnership with President Bush and Republicans, Joe Biden voted for the 2005 bankruptcy law that has devastated millions of Americans

Political commentator Bob Cesca writes: "this law is easily one of the most disgraceful aspects of the Bush and Biden legacies. The harm it did to middle-class Americans, especially during the crushing events of the recession four years later, is immeasurable. The bill made it nearly impossible for average families to file Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection, also known as 'clean slate' bankruptcies intended to discharge nearly all debts, a matter of a few years before they’d need it the most... Put another way, the Bankruptcy Bill was great [for] Biden and his Delawarean benefactors [Corporate America], but a financial atrocity for millions of families, made worse by the financial crisis and crippling recession that followed. While thousands of financial institutions received billions of dollars in relief during the recession, ordinary Americans who were hammered by medical and mortgage debt, not to mention record-smashing job losses, were more or less screwed.." ("Joe Biden's Greatest Betrayal," Salon, October 21, 2015)

The Obama Administration has often sided with abusive creditors and unethical debt collectors 

For example, the Obama Administration misled the public on student loan fraud, and Obama has praised former DNC chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz (a pawn of the predatory loan industry) as a "strong, progressive leader."

Above: President Roosevelt signs the Social Security Act on August 14, 1935, with Frances Perkins, the prime architect of the act, standing behind him. In 2005, Professor of Law Linda Green, wrote in the New York Times: "The original Social Security Act, in 1935, had barred any attachment of Social Security payments, as a way of protecting [Social Security recipients] from debt collectors." That part of the law has changed, thanks in part to our current, Wall Street-bought Democratic Establishment. Now they say they will liberate us. How ridiculous is that? Photo courtesy of the FDR Presidential Library and Museum.

How would Hillary Clinton "liberate" us?

If you look at the Clinton Campaign's explanation of what Hillary would do as president for student loan debtors, you will see that it's a mixture of policies that either already exist (e.g., income-based repayment and rewarding public service), don't do a whole lot for those struggling the most (e.g., refinancing), or are incredibly naive (e.g., "Push employers to contribute to student debt relief"). Nowhere do you see bankruptcy relief. Why? Because Hillary's Wall Street puppet-masters don't like that idea too much.

If, after all I've described above, you still believe Hillary, her administration, and the Democratic Establishment will "liberate millions" from student loan debt, well, I have a bridge I'd like to sell you.

Presidential contender Jill Stein has a better idea

In the spirit of President Roosevelt's Second Bill of Rights, which called for "The right to a good education," Jill Stein frames education "as a Right" and would "Abolish student debt to free a generation of Americans from debt servitude." Doesn't that sound better than Hillary's insincere and weak policy proposals - proposals that she's unlikely to fight for anyway?

The worshipful followers 

Sadly, most Americans don't know their history very well, even their recent history. So Hillary Clinton and the Democratic Establishment can keep pretending that they care about people drowning in debt, and millions of their supporters will cheer, roll in the aisles, raise their hands to the heavens in tearful joy, and take the comical declarations of the Democratic Elite as gospel.

Isn't that pathetic?

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