Judge Nap: Obama's Student Loan Plan Is a 'Shrewdly Concocted' Executive Order
In a push to alleviate the student loan debt, President Obama expanded a program on Monday that allows borrowers to pay no more than 10 percent of their income every month.
"I'm only here because this country gave me a chance through education," Obama said. "We are here today because we believe that in America, no hard-working young person should be priced out of a higher education."
An existing repayment plan Obama announced in 2010 lets borrowers pay no more than 10 percent of their monthly income in payments, but is only available for those who started borrowing after October 2007. Obama's memo expands that program by making opening it to those who borrowed anytime in the past.
Obama also announced he is directing the government to renegotiate contracts with federal student loan servicers to encourage them to make it easier for borrowers to avoid defaulting on their loans. And he asked Treasury and Education departments to work with major tax preparers, including H&R Block and the makers of TurboTax, to increase awareness about tuition tax credits and flexible repayment options available to borrowers.
"It's going to make progress, but not enough," Obama said. "We need more."
To that end, Obama used the East Room appearance to endorse legislation that would let college graduates with heavy debts refinance their loans.
The bill's chief advocate, Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, joined a half-dozen other Democratic lawmakers as Obama urged Congress to pass the bill.
"This should be a no-brainer," Obama said.
The Senate is expected to debate the legislation next week, but it faces significant opposition from Republicans, who disagree with the Democrats' plan for how to pay for it.
On Your World, Judge Andrew Napolitano blasted the plan as a power grab by the president and bad policy.
“Basically what he’s doing is saying we, the taxpayers, are prepared to step in your place, […] and we will add to the $17.4 trillion debt that we have, the $1.2 trillion in unpaid student loans.”
Judge Napolitano saw the move as a step to bring young people with student loans into the Democratic camp during the 2014 elections. Calling it a "shrewdly concocted executive order," he said it's also a step to spread the burden of debt.