Last week President Obama announced new reforms to the student loans system that will make it easier for more than 1.6 million students to manage their student loan debt. College students and campus publications across Iowa are beginning to take notice of the benefits provided in the "Pay As You Earn" plan. Here's a few excerpts from an opinion piece from a former Iowa Summer Organizer and current Drake University student, Casey Erixon, which was published in Monday's The Times-Dephic, Drake University's student newspaper.
"President Obama understands that having an educated population and workforce is vital to restoring our economy and rebuilding our middle class. That is why he has worked his entire presidency to reform our education system, by encouraging innovation with his Race to the Top program and through major investments in school construction and tuition assistance.
This plan is representative of Barack Obama’s long record of advancing the interests of students and young Americans. Everything from infrastructure spending and reform to education innovation is very much focused on building a new national future. As much as Barack Obama has made tough decisions to help repair the economy today, he has always had a much longer view of policy that took into account the long-term effects of our current policy debates.
And now, with his American Jobs Act he is balancing the need to take immediate action to spur economic growth with the need to make major investments in the future of our economy, our workforce and our infrastructure.
Unfortunately the one thing that has consistently served as an impediment to this progress has been the Republican leadership in Washington. At each every step of the way, President Obama has presented fresh and innovative ideas to reform our system and bring about positive change, and every time he has been shot down by obstructionists in Congress who are solely interested in protecting the wealthy and the corporations.
While this gridlock has made for entertaining political theater, it does nothing to help the millions of jobless Americans who are bearing the consequences of the last decade of deregulation and tax polices that coddled the wealthy. These millions cannot wait for Congress to get its act together. They need help, they need reform, they need action, and they need it now.
I applaud President Obama for taking the initiative and using his executive authority to provide some assistance to struggling Americans. I only hope that there were more politicians with that kind of political courage."