By Charlene Crowell
An adage counsels, “The more things change, the more they stay the same.” When it comes to consumer debt, that advice is also a truism. After years of mortgage borrowers complaining about servicing – or the lack thereof – it appears that problems student loan borrowers face are remarkably similar.
With student loan debt topping the trillion-dollar mark, another looming credit crisis could emerge just as the housing market is showing signs of recovery. According to the Survey of Consumer Finance, today one in four American households are headed by someone under the age of 35 with student loan debt. Private student loans account for more than $150 billion of outstanding debt. Moreover, more than 850,000 of these loans are in default and even more are delinquent.
By Leonard E. Colvin
New Journal and Guide
After a whirlwind day of campaigning in the Norfolk, Virginia area, President Barack Obama conducted a series of telephone interviews with members of the media across the state, including this reporter. It was his first time speaking to a member newspaper of the Black Press of America during his re-election bid.
Instead of talking about the sound bites of the day and Romney’s days as head of Bain Capital, this reporter briefly steered the President’s talk about the barriers the GOP has placed before his legislative agenda, improving the image of the healthcare legislation and ideas for policies he will pursue during a second term.
The President spent the day at crowded rallies in Virginia Beach and Hampton, lunched with military personnel and spouses, and made unannounced stops at several local sites. At a shopping mall, a woman in hair curlers caught the President’s attention when she ran out from a beauty salon to greet him.
The presidential motorcade powered through area streets that were blocked off for security reasons, as people-Black and White-cheered and urged him on.
President Obama’s path to re-election runs through Virginia, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Colorado and other states where he is tied in the polls with presumptive GOP nominee Willard Mitt Romney.
Romney’s campaign had its own show in place locally with former New York Governor Rudolph Giuliani in the area to deliver his message of why the GOP wants to remove Mr. Obama as the nation’s chief executive.
The President said he wants to build on what he has already achieved and if he wins a second term, he hopes the GOP will stop obstructing him and work to remedy the nation’s economic and social problems.
As a presidential candidate in 2007 and 2008, Mr. Obama said then he hoped that once he took office, he would help cultivate a change that would foster greater cooperation between the Democrats and Republicans.
During his first two years in office, he had a majority in the U.S. House and Senate, and he got a lot done, including the Recovery Act which kept the nation’s economy from going into a depression; his Healthcare Reform Act; ending the war in Iraq; and removing the ban on Gays serving in the military.
But after seizing control of the House in 2010, the GOP began an orchestrated plan of obstructing him from adding more entries on his list of accomplishments and little, if any, of the President’s agenda has passed the U.S. Congress since January 2011.
A bill now in Congress would pay for a one year extension of current interest rates to keep student interest rates low. However, it comes with deep cuts to the Prevention and Public Health Fund, which supports vital preventive community health care services, especially for women and children.
In response to H.R. 4628, the Interest Rate Reduction Act, sponsored by the Republicans, Congressman Robert C. “Bobby” Scott (D-VA-03) pointed out the dangers of cutting the health fund.
“Since its creation, the Fund has invested millions in state and local public health infrastructure to prevent chronic illnesses, provide immunizations, and better detect and respond to infectious disease outbreaks, potentially saving millions in health care costs,” said Scott. Scott questioned the bill’s intent, noting Republicans have not supported maintaining low interest rates.