Home > Commentary, News, Policy, The Problem > Paul Ryan – Stripper?

Paul Ryan – Stripper?

This is a couple of weeks old, but I just happened to see it today.  Apparently, Paul Ryan (R-WI), thinks that instead of receiving Pell Grants, students should rely on even more student loans and then work three jobs to pay them back.  Here is Ryan’s exchange with student Matthew Lowe at a town hall meeting in Muskego, WI:

LOWE: I come from a very middle-class family and under President Obama, I get $5,500 per year to pay for school, which doesn’t come close to covering all of the funding, but it helps ease the burden. Under your plan, you cut it by 15 percent. I was just curious why you would cut a grant that goes directly to the middle- and lower-class people that need it the most.

RYAN: Cause Pell Grants have become unsustainable. It’s all borrowed money…Look, I worked three jobs to pay off my student loans after college. I didn’t get grants, I got loans, and we need to have a system of viable student loans to be able to do this.

Amazing.  Apparently Ryan’s solution to the problem of the insane cost of higher education and the consequent crushing debt load is to cut the one, small bit of free government help to which middle- and lower-income Americans have access and replace it with yet more loans.  And then ask them to work three jobs to pay those loans back.  The best part about that latter statement is that with an unemployment rate above 9%, people are lucky to get one job, let alone three. 

And I’d love to know how much debt Ryan had and what exactly those three jobs were and how many hours he worked.  Because I held two jobs last year – a full-time professional position and a gig as an adjunct professor – and I made a whopping $62,000 – not bad if it weren’t for the fact that my student loans are $180,000.  I wonder what extra job he would have suggested I add on to my 60-70 hour work week that would have added anything substantial to my income.  Wait a second – was Paul Ryan a stripper?

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