Do you ever wonder where in the hell Dem Congressmen get their talking points from? Like, do they just wake up in the middle of the night and think, “you know, people are starting to catch on that American non-profit universities are full of aging hippies and undercover Communists, and with the economy being as it is, people are choosing, instead to attend trade schools and career colleges instead of four-year Dem-voter indoctrination programs. These trade schools make a profit. Let’s try to screw them over!” Or does such madness come from legitimate sources within their own brain trust: scholars with some measure of real-world experience who are gainfully employed to come up with nonsense like that day in and day out?
Thankfully, you can count on Tom Harkin to provide the answer. Turns out, he did have that bright idea to punish career colleges by proposing restrictions on grants students can get to go to trade schools. And he got that bright idea from a dude whose other bright ideas have caused a lot of trouble for average Americans.
Recently, the Administration and Education Secretary Arne Duncan proposed that career colleges and other for-profit educational institutions, be governed by the so-called “gainful employment rule” – a rule that limits or ends federal grant and student loan money for students at for-profit institutions with low graduation rates or low post-graduation employment…The rule has met with overwhelming opposition from a number of organizations and communities, and much of that criticism has been leveled at how the Administration came up with the “gainful employment rule.” Recently, it’s become apparent that [noted short-seller] Steve Eisman’s testimony motivated the Administration’s actions, even if he’s reticent to admit it.
Not really just “motivated.” Steve Eisman, most famous for making a boatload of cash betting against the housing market outlined the Administrations’ and Harkin’s bright ideas in a PowerPoint presentation (which you can find at the link) he delivered back in May when met with the Department of Education to discuss whether student loans were totally the new Fannie Mae. Instead of taking his advice on the subject and, you know, making up something that didn’t repeat Eisman’s suggestions verbatim, Harkin and his staff just cribbed from the PowerPoint. The best part is, they totally tried to deny it…until Big Government busted them.
This is all a little tricky, of course. Big Government’s been after the issue for a while, and they discovered that Steve Eisman actually has an interest (and by that I mean, a financial interest) in seeing career colleges get hammered by Tom Harkin and the Obama Administration: he’s betting on their stocks’ failure. While that might not necessarily be a bad thing, objectively, the fact that the administration and short-sellers might be working together to screw America’s students seems a bit…yeah. And Tom Harkin appears to be very willing to participate in the boondoggle. There was supposed to be a hearing on this in February, but Harkin has called it off because a “key witness” can’t make it. Kinda makes you wonder if the key witness is a certain Wall Street fellow Harkin’s been cribbing from all along.
Well, at least we can all be comforted with the knowledge that these bright ideas are actually born out of a complex relationship between the Administration, Congressional Democrats and allies in the private sector looking to make a buck any way they can…or at least we know what our nightmares will be about as we roll into 2012.