President Obama last week announced his “Know Before You Owe” plan would allow some college graduates to limit federal student loan repayments to 10 percent of discretionary income starting in January, two years before the cap was due to take effect under federal law.
The Obama administration has said that 1.6 million Americans will benefit from the lower monthly payments, and upwards of 6 million can take advantage of the loan consolidations, which will lower interest rates by up to 0.5 percent. Most of those affected will be current students or recent borrowers whose income is sufficiently low upon entering the workforce that monthly payments are a significant financial burden.
According to a White House fact sheet, a teacher $25,000 in debt and earning $30,000 a year will see their payments reduced to about $114 a month.
Last week’s , Do You Think the Occupy Wall Street Movement Has the Potential to Change Public Policy?, resulted in just about a dead heat. Forty-nine percent said yes; 48 percent answered no, and 1 percent did not know.
The poll drew almost 100 comments.
From Earl M. McGuire: “I don't fully understand the ‘Occupy Wall Street Protest,’ but see… banks holding off raising ATM/Debit card fees to five dollars. That I know is small potatoes for the little working guy, none the less a rare victory for the ‘99%.’ To the protesters, thank you, maybe I do get it. The working American cannot get ahead. Another point on this OWS theme... ‘Talk about a raise. According to a new study from the Economic Policy Institute, the wealthiest 1 percent of U.S. households saw their inflation-adjusted incomes skyrocket 224 percent from 1979 to 2007, while the bottom 90 percent of households grew just 5 percent during that time.’ ”
Chad D. Walz said: “The 99% movement is dead. They are just lazy people who don't want to work so they protest. As soon as the cold weather comes they will be gone. They don't have the true grit to really protest.”
Russ Harrison responded: “Chad, do you sincerely believe that all the protesters are unemployed? That they are ‘lazy people that don't want to work’ so they protest? That is precisely the attitude that is fueling this movement, and so far removed from reality that it's ludicrous to even entertain it as fact. Sure, there are some hardcore lazy ones as well as some anarchists mixed in the group. But the majority of protesters are over 25, have or have had decent paying jobs, and have had enough of whatever perceived wrongdoing they are currently protesting. (There's a LOT of different issues within the movement.) As for the disappearing as soon as it gets cold, I'm pretty sure a lot of them have winter clothes suitable for this climate.”
Will the OWS movement change public policy? “Only if they produce a viable party candidate,” said Jessica Rosenberg.