An advocate for helping students who face crushing college debt said on Tuesday that the Obama administration's proposed reforms to the higher-education loan system will only impose more long-term costs on graduates entering today's tough job market.
"The problem with the president's plan is that it's simply a subsidy that masks the problem," Corie Whalen Stephens of Generation Opportunity, an advocacy group for millennials, told Newsmax TV
"It's kind of like Obamacare in that sense," Stephens told "Midpoint" host Ed Berliner on Newsmax TV
. "Obamacare is not lowering costs, but they put a taxpayer subsidy on the table and say, hey, 'The problem is fixed.' Well, it's really not."
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The Obama plan
— which includes pushing college loan services to lower their fees — adds another layer of federal bureaucracy to an already over-managed system, Stephens argued.
Stephens said Generation Opportunity wants to help lenders "innovate in this market and bring costs down, and empower students as consumers, rather than masking this [problem] with more and more federal debt that, frankly, is going to end up on my generation's plate at the end of the day, anyway."
She said the Obama student loan strategy is of a piece with Washington's long-running "war on youth."
"There's a lot of policies coming down from Washington that really embody this," said Stephens. "First of all, student loans. Also, the general pervasive generational theft in government policy: whether you look at our bankrupt entitlement programs that won't be there for my generation without reform; whether you look at them piling on with more national debt — $17 trillion — not to mention $120 trillion in unfunded liabilities on top of that."
Asked about the stereotype of her generation, as uniquely entitled and self-absorbed, Stephens said, "That's not really entirely true when you see what we're now faced with."
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