Rep. Eric Cantor (R-VA) has been a bit of a pain in the arse lately.  He has acted as one of the chief spokemen for the GOP in the debt ceiling talks and rumor has it that Rep. Bonher is less than happy with him.  Cantor’s main problem seems to be combating that old problem of just looking mean.  According to the Daily Beast:

As Monday’s White House budget talks got down to the nitty-gritty, Eric Cantor proposed a series of spending cuts, one of them aimed squarely at college students.

The House majority leader, who did most of the talking for the Republican side, said those taking out student loans should start paying interest right away, rather than being able to defer payments until after graduation. It is a big-ticket item that would save $40 billion over 10 years.

President Obama responded: 

“I’m not going to do that,” Obama said. “I’m not going to take money from old people and screw students,” not without some compromise on the tax-increase side.

And screwing students is exactly what that move would be.  How can a student pay interest  when he or she is still in school and in all probability does not have a job?  Where is the common sense here?  Does Cantor just speak to hear himself talk?  There are some very realistic cuts that can be made in the economy.  Student loans aren’t the place to start curbing the deficit.   Do these people really believe half that comes out of their mouth?


37 Thoughts to “Let’s pick on Eric Cantor for picking on students”

  1. Starryflights

    Eric Cantor is an idiot.

  2. I don’t know if he is an idiot or not but he sure seems to favor politics over common sense.

    Why on earth would someone go after students but fight to the death to protect millionaires from any tax increase? It makes no sense to me. Penny wise and pound foolish.

  3. punchak


    Cantor went to a private school with ca 1500 students in K-12, where tuition in 2008
    ran to almost $20,000 for highschool students. (K was in the middle 18,000s).

    His arrogance is beyond belief. “I want what I want”

  4. Starryflights

    It’s just another example of the widening gap between the rich and poor in our society.

  5. Collegiate School in Richmond

    Lower School
    Kindergarten-Grade 4 $16,870

    Middle School
    Grades 5-8 $18,560

    Upper School
    Grades 9-12 $19,800

    $165-$800, depending on the grade level

    Optional five day per week lunch plan – approximately $83 per month for Lower School students and $88 per month for Middle/Upper School students. Optional 3 day per week lunch plan for Lower School only – approximately $50 per month.

    *Tuition cost includes activity and lab fees. There are often additional field trip expenses.

    There is financial aid but I don’t expect the congressman needed it. He came from a family real estate business and actually worked in it for 10 years before being elected to Congress.

    His mother was a teacher.

  6. Good find, Punchak. I can’t imagine why he would come up with that kind of ‘savings.’ Why would students have interest money to pay when they were in school. Most kids who have student loans also have jobs to support themselves. Kids have enough time affording college. Often parents simply don’t have the money necessary to just write a check, especially after the Great Recession. More than one family I know had to dip in to those funds to make ends meet. Also funds were lost during the stock market crashes.

    I would be outraged if interest on student loans was no longer deferred so millionaires could be protected from paying higher taxes be it through closed loopholes or bracket increase.

  7. Elena

    Go Obama! Did Eric Cantor pay his school loans while still in school? Did he even HAVE school loans or did mommy and daddy pay for him?

  8. Elena

    thanks Punchak,
    I guess when mommy and daddy pay for everything, including an elite private school, it really does skew your world view.

  9. Juturna

    Really sick of private school slamming. Who knows the reason parents make these decisions for their kids. What the difference between that and the rich Dad buying his kid a spot on the baseball team. Frankly, if the public schools are going to continue to sink by lowering the bar over and over again and make carefully thought out decision like, um, he let’s quit teaching cursive – everyone with any brains (public or private) shoudl want better for their kids.

  10. Dan Cooper


    Go Obama??? Who paid for his school?

  11. I don’t think that this is private school bashing as much as it is pointing out that Eric Cantor needs to look at the costs of things. He was entitled to a very posh private school education. Collegiate has always been considered fairly exclusive.

    College costs strain many families. They don’t need to start paying interest while they are trying to put a kid through school. The kid has no money and the parents are often strapped also. Perhaps Cantor needs a reality check on what it is like for a lot of kids to even go to college.

  12. Handwriting…is that a local thing or universal? Do most schools now teach keyboarding? How do people sign their names? You can’t just print your name.

    My biggest beef with public schools now is all the fancy fusion equipment that most teachers don’t utilize. There is absolutely no reason a sick kid cant long on and get their exact assignment that day.

  13. @Dan maybe his grandparents or his mother.

  14. El Guapo

    Because many teachers are labeled as “liberal” by conservatives, an all-out assault on education is underway. They demonized the Wisconsin teachers as “greedy”. Satisfied that the ditto-heads are against K-12 educators, they’ve been attacking higher education.

    Many columns conduct a cost-benefit analysis comparing the average increase in earnings to the cost. The average increase in earnings includes all majors including English, social work and other majors that don’t have a high earnings potential. They often assume five years or more of college in the cost side (and they don’t assume that two of those years were at a less costly community college). Then with a broad brush (including degrees such as engineering and accounting) they declare that college is a poor investment.

    Almost every column uses Bill Gates as an example of someone who didn’t complete college yet “made it”. You don’t have to go to college to be successful, they argue. They found one guy who is putting up ten grants of $100k each for young people who refuse to go to college. The $100k is to start a business. Two years from now maybe three of those start-ups will be eeking along while the rest of the would-be entrepreneurs will be wishing they’d gone to college.

    They conveniently leave out the millions of people who, after their business ventures failed, ended up in dead end jobs wishing they went to college.

    1. Very excellent points, El Guapo.

      I would be one of the first to say that not everyone needs or should go to college. There are plenty of technical jobs that we need to find workers for. However, many should also, if for no other reason than exposure to higher level thinking skills.

  15. Dan Cooper

    Or maybe someone else Moon, most elderly grandparents or single mothers that can’t even take care of their own children can afford Harvard.

    Doesn’t matter though, if asked he would probably lie about it anyway. Which is one of the things he is best at. Just like he lies about how his own father came to the US for school. He has claimed over and over again it was a direct result of JFK’s program to ‘air lift’ young people from Africa to come to the US for higher education and that his owes his existence to the Kennedys. Just another lie, it was a direct result of an evil rich white guy who sponsored BHO (the father) and paid for him to go to school via a favor from his evil rich white employer.

    Just another example of how Obama takes everyone for fools when he spews his many lies. His father went to the University of Hawaii in 1959, a full year before the Kennedy family even got involved in the program in July 1960. Why does nobody call this buy out on this stuff.

    Just look up on youtube is 2008 Selma speech where he tells this lie in his best MLK impression. On another note, why does he talk like that. He is a guy who was raised by old upper middle class white people in Hawaii, but put him on a stage in Selma and he talks like MLK. I don’t get it, never have.

    1. Obama’s grandparents weren’t ‘elderly’ when he was in high school. Secondly, his mother had remarried. She wasn’t single. I thought you meant prep school anyway, since that is what we were talking about.

      He probably did get financial assistance to go to Harvard. However, and this is a huge however, Obama isn’t the one trying to screw kids by making them start repaying interest immediately. That would be Eric Cantor.

      Please take the character assassination of the President of the United States to another blog. I don’t want your crap here.

  16. Censored bybvbl

    College may be the first encounter most students have with “free thinking”. Can’t have that now, can we? That makes college/university a target for those who wish that non-thinking acceptance of the status quo prevails. We’re past that. Bill Gates and a few dozen entrepreneurs may be exceptions but the average Joe/Jane is better off with a college degree if only to have a more accurate bullshit detector.

    If more students are having to extend the time to attain a BS or BA to five years because of the cost, where are these extra funds to start quicker repayment?

  17. punchak


    This is not private school slamming. I was interested in Cantor’s background.

    It shows that he went to a rather exclusive and expensive school Nothing wrong with that at all. He went to George Washington university, also a rather expensive school. After lawschool he was able to enter his father’s business, thus never had to look for employment. Most likely, his father paid his son fairly well. (I know I would have paid MY son well in similar situation)

    Surely, a person with such a background has a different outlook on student loans than someone who has had to scrounge and borrow to get a degree. These days college grads have a lot of trouble finding jobs. How can they start paying interest right away without a job?

  18. marinm

    To be clear is his proposal that students pay interest from day 1 or is it principle and interest?

    If it’s only interest then for the most part we’re only talking about really small payments here, right? Or, am I missing something?

    1. I believe it is interest from day one. And the interest will compound. Think of a mortgage. You could be paying some pretty big bills.

  19. marinm

    So, Mr. Cantor is the bad guy because his idea is to have students pay from day 1 the 3-5% interest on a student loan from Day 1 instead of giving them a grace period of 4-10 years?

    Sounds like a smart move if you ask me.

    But, if I were asked I also don’t think the govt should be in the student loan business to begin with.

  20. Starryflights

    With factories closing and moving abrad, most well-paying jobs today require college educations. The ability to pay for college is now the primary factor in determining if someone goes. Fewer college grads means a continuously-shrinking middle class. Once the middle class is gone, it will be the end of this great nation.

  21. @marin, in a nutshell, YES. He is a bad guy. If you need a loan, you obviously need money. Where does the payback come from? It sounds illogical. I believe that the govt. is setting the rules for student loans, not providing the money. It is govt backed.

    It is an investment in America to have an educated population. Most people don’t see America as a one horse show like you do, Marin. Helping young people get a college education is one big plus of this country. Students come from all over the world to attend our colleges and universities.

    Starry is correct. I will apply his principles to even those going to college and not graduating. Every course entrenches one more in the middle class.

  22. marinm

    It’s also in America’s interest to have homeownership levels high. That shouldn’t mean that the govt should step in (when they subsidize the loan) and say because your poor we’re going to hold back on charging P&I until you can get settled in to your new life.

    Back in my younger days I had a student loan. A private one where I had to make the interest payments from day 1. I don’t see an issue with that. I would leave it to the discretion of the loaner and loaned on forbearance. I don’t think the govt should be involved at all.

    I don’t think there is any question that education is important. Mr. Cantor isn’t debating that. It’s in America’s Corporate best interests to have an educated workforce. But, this isn’t about that. This is simply on the idea that students getting subsidized federal student loans should begin to pay interest from day 1 just like students do in the private market. This will increase federal revenues in the near term.

    1. Why is it in America’s interest to have home ownership high? We assume that when people buy a home, they have a job and their goal is to own a home and support their family. Owning a home is a place to live. You can substitute this behavior by renting. You still have a place to live.

      When one goes to college, one assumes the goal is to acquire knowlege by attending classes. One doesn’t assume that a college student who is taking out a loan has a lot of spare time or a lot of spare money. There is no substitute for going to college. There are different ways to take classes but thats about it.

      Mr. Cantor was born with a silver spoon in his mouth and perhaps doesn’t understand the sacrifices many families make to send their kids to college. I doubt he had to take out college loans and I doubt if he understands just how short money is for some students. They can’t afford to pay back until they have gotten out of school and are in the work force.

      This isn’t the private market. This is getting an education–public or private. It doesn’t matter. What your comments reek of is a sense of elitism, where only rich people go to college and get an education. That isn’t MY America.

  23. Elena

    Canor is the bad guy because he clearly has no understanding of what it means to be a struggling college student, payiing your tuition, books, expenses etc. I can understand, I paid for all my college expenses, undergrad and grad.

    It would have been much more difficult to finish both my degrees had I been required to pay the interest on the loans. As it was, my favorite food was peanut butter and jelly, or sometimes, cream cheese and jelly on bread.

    here are some great stories about college debt

    The Problem: Privatized Student Loans.
    Just ten years ago, private loans accounted for only 4 percent of the student loan industry. Today, these loans account for 20 percent of the volume.

    The increase is phenomenal mainly because it is typically cheaper to get a loan direct from the government versus a private loan. The interest rate that some private lenders charge can be astronomical-the top allowable rate is 18 percent.

    Such high rates leave many students saddled with debt they cannot reasonably afford to pay back before the age of 40, while the lenders who provided the loan make money hand over fist.

    The other problem with the privatized loan system is the conflicts of interest and campaign finance abuses that the system itself elicits:

  24. marinm

    “It doesn’t matter. What your comments reek of is a sense of elitism, where only rich people go to college and get an education.”

    Is false and I won’t waste my time on that quote.

    “One doesn’t assume that a college student who is taking out a loan has a lot of spare time or a lot of spare money.”

    That’s pretty broad. What if I have a job and just can’t afford the initial outley of a junior college tuition? But, I can afford the loan + interest payments from day 1? Your vision may be acccurate in the supermajority of cases but Mr. Cantor isn’t talking about access to school or who should or shouldn’t go. He’s simply saying that if interest payments are accelerated (as in a grace period isn’t given) and the government isn’t paying those interest payments for the student (taxpayers on the hook for P+I) that could save a lot of money and is more akin to financial loans in the straight private market.

    Why should the middle class be taxed higher to make those student interest payments? Why not have the student pay it?

  25. Not Me, Bubba

    Eric Cantor is an Ass. There, all settled.

  26. @marinm

    You are buying into elitist thinking. Cantor really is talking about access to institutes of higher learning. If you can’t afford to go, then that pretty much settles it. And you pretty much proved my point. He obviously doesn’t see that not deferring interest will knock a lot of people out of the arena.

    Private loans can charge whatever interest rate they want.

    Why not have the student pay it? WITH WHAT? Does that student have a job? Many students work several jobs to pay for school. Even those with some parental support don’t have endless money. That $100 bucks interest payment a month could mean the difference in food, affordable, safe housing…all sorts of things. And how about those folks who go back to college at night? Single parents might really be relying on the student loan system to make it happen.

    The bottom line is, America profits from an educated society. They contribute to k-12. Now the populace gets an opportunity to contribute to higher education.

    I actually think you need a reality about who makes up the college student population and the sacrifices that must be made. They aren’t all little rich Northern VA kids sending Mommy and Daddy home the bill.

    Finally, making college totally unaffordable is denying access. He probably opposes the dream act also and doesn’t get the stupidity of that also.

  27. marinm


    I’m not buying into elitist thinking. It’s not about ‘access’ on the front end. You could argue that it’ll impact on the back end because when interest payments are taken into account a student may have to choose between the school s/he wants and one that is more affordable. And of course nothing rules out JC for those testing the waters.

    On the back end it may also mean that students won’t be able to take full loads and will need to take 3/4 loads to fit a P/T job in with studies and a social life. For getting the taxpayers off the financial hook I see that as reasonable.

    I understand that society wants a more educated society. No one is really arguing that. What we’re debating is if middle class taxpayers should be on the financial hook for those interest payments or should students. It’s just that simple.

    Mr. Cantor isn’t making college unaffordable. In point of fact Yale or Harvard through their endowments could allow an entire freshman class to attend for free and it wouldn’t impact them much.

    Higher education is a business. Let’s not forget that. And right now the govt is giving them a huge subsidy. What if the govt stopped doing that? Would tuition costs drop as less students would enroll?

    1. @Marin, I think you and I just have very different thoughts about education and who is entitled to what and who profits in the long run.

      I don’t know why you have singled out the middle class. Doesn’t the upper class also pay taxes? I also am not talking about the rich schools. I am talking about people who borrow money to attend NoVA and other state schools. If Mr. Cantor’s were to pass, he would be making college unaffordable because of how repayment must be made. There can be costs for housing, tuition, fees. That is just part of the story. If you can’t afford to make payments while you attend, then the school is unaffordable.

      This happens with houses too. While the interest rate is low, people can afford to buy a bigger, more expensive house than when interest rates are high.

      I agree, higher education is a business, and probably more than most people want to believe. Most undergrad schools exist to rake in money to support graduate schools and all the BS encompassed there. Meanwhile, a whole bunch of kids get to go to undergraduate school and come out with a commodity, education, that someone values. So it really doesn’t matter that higher education is a business. Actually the students get a subsidy, not the colleges.

      No, tuition would not drop. Lower caliber students would be admitted. That cheapens everyone’s diploma.

  28. marinm

    “@Marin, I think you and I just have very different thoughts about education and who is entitled to what and who profits in the long run.”

    Agreed. I think no one is entitled to a loan or an interest free loan paid for by the taxpayers. I think that if you can get a loan and a school accepts you. That’s great. But, I don’t like the word ‘entitled’. To me that speaks of elitism.

    If the middle class pays the majority of taxes and the government is paying the student loan interest then it means that the middle class is paying that student loan interest. If those interest payments didn’t exist the taxburden would be less for the middle class (and the upper class).

    “If you can’t afford to make payments while you attend, then the school is unaffordable.”

    True. And I can’t personally afford MIT. But, I may be able to afford to goto a small in-state college. It may be that students will need to adjust their expectations on where they can go. I may want to be in a 6,000 sq ft home but I can only safely afford a 1,300 sq. ft town home.

    There was a good article in the WSJ about how law school (profit center) is able to keep the less profitable centers (liberal arts programs, as an example) open. The transfer was in the neighborhood of 30%. Not too shabby.

  29. Cargosquid

    Since people are talking about college, here’s a link about the College Bubble:

    The talk on the web now is about the idea of college attendance, etc being a bubble and the discovery that many are finding that student loans are a bad deal.

    1. I guess what I would say to that is, what would be a good deal if one doesn’t have the money to attend college?

      Is someone out there trying to say that going to college is no longer needed?
      It sure is a bubble that has been around for a long time, especially here in Virginia.

      Would you say the same thing about the GI bill? Student loans require repayment. The GI bill does not.
      The GI Bill transformed the educational landscape in America. Those millions of men returning from the European and Pacific theaters were all eligible to get govt. money to finance college. Many of those people were the first people to graduate from high school in their families.

      My father got his MA as a result of the GI Bill.

  30. Cargosquid

    They are finding out that some student loans are a bad deal because they have been told that “such and such” a degree will result in huge salaries, ie…a law degree. Now those students are finding out that they can’t find a job, much less one that will pay back those loans. And one cannot get out of those loans nor do they want to modify the loans. The lenders actually make more money from the penalties. Since you can’t declare bankruptcy, the lenders can garnish wages, etc. Some people have moved out of the country because of overwhelming debt.

    The law bloggers have been examining law school claims of guaranteed employment. They have found out that even prestigious schools include part time jobs at McDonalds as fulfilling that promise.

    Now, the need for a degree has gotten worse. Employers are demanding a degree PLUS experience, like an internship, for starter positions now. Its gotten crazy.

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