With the passage of the Senate Bill 365, “The Budget Control Act of 2011,” I have heard from my party loyalist friends on both sides of the aisle praising the compromise. Democrats are praising the compromise out of loyalty and Republicans are praising because they avoided the possibility of adding new taxes or eliminating Bush era tax cuts for the wealthy.
After analyzing this bill myself, I came to the independent conclusion that it is a failed attempt to move the economy forward and once again, it seems that President Obama conceded too much. The most disturbing aspect of this bill would be what it does to graduate students. Under the Budget Control Act of 2011 graduate students will no longer receive federal subsidize student loans which delays interest payments until six months after graduation.
With rising cost in tuition and already insurmountable student loan payments under the belt of recent graduates while in an economic downfall, how can anyone ever repay Uncle Sam? Once again the burden is being passed along to future generations and we are already paying the price for Bush tax cuts, which continues to be reauthorized even under a Democratic President.
I don’t know about you but graduate students and future graduate students should be outraged.
Other important components of the bill included cuts to the Low Income Heating Assistance Program, the Women, Infant and Child Nutrition program, Health Centers across the country and Legal Aid, which serves underprivileged communities.
All of the above programs benefit the middle class, a group severely burdened due to our staggering job market and failed economic stimulus package. I could go on to mention that it also cuts important investments in AmeriCorps, Head start, NASA and the much needed and once highly debated High Speed Rail funding, which was part of the Presidents Economic Stimulus package.
If we continue in this direction without considering the elimination of Bush-era tax cuts for the wealthy, the economy and our nations budget will stagger for decades to come, resulting in a drained Social Security fund and this would be the American nightmare we don’t want to wake to in 10 years. Sound the alarm.
Curtis D. Young works in the Government Grants Department for the International Education and Resource Network and is a frequent contributor to the political podcast “Don’t Worry About the Government” available on ITunes.