Commentary: Cutting loan program would hurt, not help

Branden del Rio, Editor in Chief
Branden del Rio, Editor in Chief

Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul promised that he would cut the federal budget by $1 trillion if he is elected president.

He has promised to cut his own salary to approximately $40,000, a commendable effort on his part that sends a serious message about cutting back on government spending.

Paul’s libertarian roots and strict adhesion to the Constitution are what make him a strong candidate, despite the fact that critics on both the left and the right say that his ideas are too outlandish.

As strange as his ideas may be, I usually find myself agreeing with the seasoned Republican presidential candidate on issues like big federal government.

Recently, however, Paul said that his plan to slash the budget also called to eventually cut the Department of Education and the federal student loan program. This issue hits home because my education here at La Verne is dependent on federal student loans.

Paul said that the program indentures students who are expected to pay off the loans after they graduate and but cannot find jobs.

While it is true that students do have a difficult time finding work and paying off their loans, that is a gamble I am willing to take.

In addition to the federal aid and scholarships I receive, I need federal loans to continue my education here at La Verne.

What Paul should be doing is taking the route that President Obama proposed and allow for some forgiveness of student debt. This encourages students to continue their college education and further it in grad school more degrees thereafter.

I understand that Paul’s main goal is to decentralize government and that means keeping the federal government out of the private sector, but this could end up hurting the country in the end.

Paul claims that those who wish to attend college will find their own way when the federal loan system is gone, but there are plenty of students who want to attend college and cannot do so by relying solely on merit scholarships.

This idea is an extremely poor one, especially in the current state of the economy. Many families cannot afford tuition on their own as it is and tuition is increasing annually at virtually every institution in the country.

Fewer families will be able to send their children to college and only the financially privileged will be able to afford higher education, which could possibly open the gap between the rich and the poor, even more.

Branden del Rio, a junior journalism major, is editor in chief of the Campus Times. He can be reached by email at

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