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Cong. Tom Garrett and the Student Security Act of 2017

Couple of good great patriots who DO read this blog (good was raised to great BECAUSE they read this blog!) were concerned about the Student Security Act of 2017, sponsored by Cong. Tom Garrett (R-Va. 5) so I went to the bill to look at it.

The bill appeared to swap Social Security benefits for student loan forgiveness and I was right but my knowledge was incomplete.  So I went to the source:  Rep. Garrett.  he spoke with me about this.

This bill (here is the text) would in fact swap $550 in monthly student loan debt for one month of social security benefits (the recipient of the forgiveness would have their retirement age under SSA increased by a month).

Garrett estimates it would save the Federal Government over time – it takes much more than $550 off the books as a future debt for the saving now.  Since most millennials don’t think Social Security will even be there when they turn say 69, they’re not giving up much.  These are Garrett’s comments (not necessarily given on the floor but probably some speech was made) in the Congressional Record.

Garrett in this debate cites items – over ten years this bill will save $700 Billion (that’s not a misprint – Garrett cites the Social Security Administration) and that Cong. Brat supports it.

I think this is the kind of creative thinking we need more of in DC (and in Richmond); I have written about Garrett’s courage in the past – taking on a powerful state senator and Speaker Ryan.  This seems like a good idea especially is Cong. Brat is for it.  (Garrett has also been at least once a reader at this blog!)

The Republican Party has to start standing for the little guy/gal or victorious elections will be elusive.

About Elwood Sanders

Elwood "Sandy" Sanders is a Hanover attorney who is an Appellate Procedure Consultant for Lantagne Legal Printing and has written ten scholarly legal articles. Sandy was also Virginia's first Appellate Defender and also helped bring curling in VA! (None of these titles imply any endorsement of Sanders’ views)

9 Responses to “Cong. Tom Garrett and the Student Security Act of 2017”

  1. Bob Shannon says:

    I can not disagree more with the conclusion reached by my good fiend Sandy Sanders. The reasons for my objections are two fold.

    The first is the obvious shifting of debt, Social Security is approaching insolvency on it’s own and this idea of a way of resolving that by ” trading debt” wouldn’t work. We all know what would happen down the road when the sob stories would begin to appear on the MSM outlets, the poor 66-68 year old who now can’t support himself/herself because they lost all of their SSI payment because of the deal they made with the devil some 3 decades back. Congress would back pedal faster than a street pickpocket and create either new programs or a class of ” new exemptions” where for whatever purpose these SSI recipients would then be entitled to receive either full benefits or a enhanced benefit for the purpose of keeping people from ” starving–freezing–losing their homes etc etc etc” In other words a future Congress would show America that as a nation we have a heart and simply can’t throw our fellow citizens under the bus.

    Look at this very moment the glaring signs of past and recent experience that demonstrates this truth. Here we are discussing this month the Republican budget proposals that throw republican spending caps out the window. and we all recognize it is for political purposes as the mid terms approach. Everyone wants to spend more, no one wants to be an adult and answer how we are going to pay for this increased spending….no one. Garrett’s proposal is bad economic policy but it is also bad social policy, here’s why.

    Congress avoids addressing the underlying cause of the ballooning student debt, namely that university and college education blows through increasing amounts of money every single year, ignores the number of students ( some say as many as 35-40% ) that do not belong in college, born out by the recent statistics that show after 6 years, not 4 but 6 years, we still have a graduation rate nationally around 53%. This one piece of data alone makes the point abundantly clear—too many kids are going off to college who have no business going to college. College has become a public sector jobs program financed by taxpayers , fed by the immense subsidies that come in a variety of forms, resulting in debt levels that are absurd. What other American industry would survive with the very dismal results we have today as testimony to how badly flawed the whole education system is, from public school K-12 to higher education. It is almost humorous to use language like that , calling such an abysmal failure higher anything.

    Some real reform can begin with regard in who we lend to ( via student loans) and this has been discussed at great length/detail in past King William T.E.A Party meetings. Tie the loan amounts available to the major a student chooses, tie the maximum amount available to majors selected, tie it to an ongoing monitoring of a students G.P.A and clean up the bogus nail/hair salons, bogus technical and trade schools that have graduation rates that are abysmal, and amend the repayments giving the students the option of either making an agreed upon payment/schedule—-or—-allowing a student to voluntarily agree to allow the lending institution to receive a % of their future income until the loan is repaid.

    Data show student who borrow the most and are pursuing advanced degrees, MBA’s PhD’s have the highest loan balances and are most successful in repaying their loans and staying on time with repayments. These are serious students pursuing challenging degrees in fields where their are ample employment opportunities along with salary levels that afford them the incomes to pay back the loans in a timely manner. Where in the hell is the wisdom of loaning $100,000 to a Philosophy or History major ?

    On the social element no discussion is being had on the problem with the entitled mentality of the last two generations. The person receiving the education expresses little appreciation to their fellow citizens who are making this money available for these loans. Many former students who are in arrears during media interviews have expressed a very lousy attitude towards the obligation they took on.

    I have read and listened to several interviews conducted with former students who are not making their payments, often not even trying to make their payments, instead purchasing new vehicles and larger homes, bigger apartments over repaying the debt they willingly took on. They wax philosophically about how they are entitled to a ” new car, or a bigger apartment”, and screw the taxpayers who are on the hook for this monster 1 trillion, with some 36% of the loans now in arrears. It is a disturbing and disgusting attitude on display.

    Serious reform of higher education across the board is in need, lets not fool ourselves with ” bandaid solutions “.

    We have had ( and I have documented it ) explosive growth rates in the administrative staffing levels across the entire education spectrum. Enormous amounts of six figure salaries abound, assistant public school Superintendents in a system with 4 schools ? Do we really need an assistant Superintendent in a system with just 4 schools ? In the private sector consolidation would occur , but in the public sector and particularly in higher education cost control efficiency’s are not pursued or instilled because the SAP taxpayer still has a dime or two in his pocket. We are sick of it.

    You have professors earing $300,000–$400,000 salaries teaching a single class. Adjunct professors with political connections receiving extremely bloated pay ( think Virginia State Senator Norment at William & Mary ).

    Garretts bill, like so many political remedies only treats the ” symptoms” and does nothing in addressing the cause.

    Congressman Garret can surely come up with some reforms, before he starts simply shifting debt around……..that game has went on for far too long in DC, and we didn’t send men like him there to simply add another layer to the silliness.
    Bob Shannon Founder King William T.E.A Party

    • Galen Fischbein says:

      Mr. Shannon-

      Please run for Delegate or Congress. We beg you.

      The real reason Tom Garrett sponsored this legislation was “pay back” to the snowflake millenials who worked on his campaign ( Elliott Harding’s gang along with Steven Brodie Tucker ) who are apparently up to their eyeballs in student debt and too lazy to work hard for a living like the baby boomers and Gen Xers did to pay it all back. Elliott was a staffer of Garrett’s. Apparently wrote this bill for himself. But don’t assume this bill is anything but a campaign promise- there is no “virtue” in it. Just like Garrett’s support of legalization of pot for all his pot smoking campaign workers.

      Too many young people are going to college and LAW SCHOOL like Elliott did who can’t afford it- get out unemployed or unemployable with debt they can never repay. Join the Army, Navy or Marines son.

      Attorney/Author John Grisham’s new book The Rooster Bar explains the for profit law school mills and the corruption of the student loan trap. A real education.

      • Sandy Sanders

        Galen, first thanks for coming by and second both you and Bob Shannon make a good point: We do not need this student loan business. Ought to get out. But until we elect a Congress full of Ron Paul-style libertarians and a similar President, we’ll have to deal with it. And the GOP needs new ideas to win millennials.


    • Louis Almeda says:

      A Question for Libertarian Sanders:

      Which enumerated power gives the federal gov’t the right to be involved in the student loan business! This is a huge gov’t created problem with a whole new fuzzy math gov’t program of a fix that will make it worse and lay it all on taxpayers…as usual!

      30 – 40 years from now these Snowflakes will all be back with their hands out for help because they have no social security and all the representatives that vote for it will be long gone …This is the kind of a tricky idea I would expect from dems and I believe it is the first step to free college. Bernie Sanders the Socialist’s platform.

      Next we will be addressing the 30% of the $1.3 Trillion in subprime auto loans out there. As a conservative I believe in personal responsibility. Those who have assumed responsibility for paying their way get royally screwed! A HUGE moral hazard here …with Congressman Garrett’s bill and shame on Dave Brat if he is in support of this irresponsible piece of legislation.

      • Tyler McPherson says:

        There is a huge gaping flaw in Garrett’s proposal—people who become disabled before they become eligible before retirement age. There is currently a large incentive for people who have a medical condition that restricts their employment to go straight to SSA and file for benefits. The benefits they receive are as much as 85% of what they would get by working. Due to how decisions on disability are made, mental conditions and “pain” claims are increasingly being approved. So, even if someone voluntarily sets their retirement ahead in the future, it would not prevent them from filing for benefits earlier due to a claim of disability. There goes your savings.

      • Sandy Sanders

        Louis: Thanks for coming by and I think you are right – education is a state and local issue. Not a federal one. And this is an example of how one trying to solve one problem creates constitutional compromises. Garrett is a good legislator and so is Brat. I could say: You make mistakes in this business. Or I could say: You have to do something. It’s tough. I’ll probably never be elected to any office anyway. Maybe fewer such issues at the state level.


    • Gene The Populist says:


      1) No doubt Sanders, Garrett, and Tucker would be on your list of should not have gone to college? Right?
      2) The trump admin will never go along with any substancial cuts or changes in the “student loan scam”. Instead, trump and republicans will try everything possible to raise the cost of higher education, not lower. Think more, Bob. Not less. Just like they tried to stick it to loanee’s in trumps taxcut for the rich program.
      3) Why are we talking about Social Security. Even under Obamanomics, SS was fully funded for nearly 20 years. Now, with the increased revenue under trump and the republicans, with their higher GDP, tax cut for the rich plan, Social Security should now be OVERFUNDED. Right, Bob? Besides, SS cannot be insolvent without the US government being likewise. Why is the deficit an issue with the trump economy and increased revenue? Unless……more lies? THE SOCIAL SECURITY TRUST IS OWED ABOUT $2.9 TRILLION, AND THEN THERE IS $3 TRILLION ON TOP OF THAT IN OTHER INNER-GOVERNMENT DEBT.
      4) Any president could fix the economy by printing money as trump is doing.
      5) Why isn’t Mexico paying for the wall like Trump promised? If illegal crossings are really down to 1972 levels, why is the wall at the top of anybody’s wish list?
      6) Pipelines everywhere, fracking deregulated, Alaska parks opened for drilling, and the price of a barrel of crude oil has INCREASED $15-20 bucks under trump, Bob.
      8) Lies, lies, and more lies.


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    Tom White Says:

    Nothing is more conservative than a republican wanting to get their majority back. And nothing is more liberal than a republican WITH a majority.

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