I am the Rhode Island State Coordinator for the Progressive Democrats of America. My primary interest is Rhode Island's economy and what we can do to fix it.

18 responses to “Congressman Cicilline stands with Sen. Warren”

  1. cailin rua

    In Warren I see leadership that is in stark contrast when compared to others in her party.  I found her exchange w/ Jack Lew last week inspiring.  Good for Cicilline.

  2. leftyrite

    Contrast Elizabeth Warren, her bill, and her leadership with the sleazy political response (so far) to the payday loan issue in Rhode Island.
    Elizabeth Warren stands in sharp contrast to the opportunistic grabbing that defines the Rhode Island legislature and the Treasurer’s office.
     
     

    1. cailin rua

      We shall see how far she gets.  She’s human just like everyone else but she demands answers to questions that more “discrete” politicians seem to avoid even asking.

      You know?  I didn’t even realize that John F. Kennedy contributed to Richard Nixon in his Senate campaign against Helen Gahagan Douglas until the other day.  I don’t know if I understand  politics better than I think I do or not at all.  Why would Kennedy support a Red Baiter like Nixon?  If, at the same time I ask why he went after U S Steel when Roger Blough raised prices in 1962 after promising not to, the conclusions about Kennedy I come too are in conflict.  I haven’t seen anyone stand up to Big Business to make them accountable, since.  Elizabeth Warren seems to hold promise.  Only time will tell how sincere she is and how much she will be able to accomplish.  If what she is doing is regarded as little more than tilting at windmills by the public it will be a pretty good indication of how deep the trouble is we are in because of the plutonomy that exists according to Robert Rubin and  his people at Citi bank, insurance and everything else they are now.  According to Ron Suskind,  Rubin gives Obama his marching orders.  

      One thing is for certain, we shall see what we shall see.  I’m not too optimistic.  At least, I haven’t been prevented from saying so . . . yet.

  3. DogDiesel

    I don’t disagree with the bill but what makes you think Warren is not just another sleazy politician. Oh, I get it, she’s on your side. The Cherokee and the liar  agree on a bill so she’s a super star. Pardon me while I puke.

  4. jgardner

    Wasn’t the housing bubble fueled by artificially low interest rates, that because debt was so cheap people acquired it by the truckload, causing housing prices to climb exponentially? And haven’t we seen the cost of higher education follow that same track?
    Offering students cheaper ways to take on a mountain of debt won’t make higher education less expensive; in fact just the opposite is occurring, and politicians like Warren, Cicilline and Langevin, can’t see it or won’t acknowledge it.

    1. cailin rua

      That argument appears in a lot of places.  If you google Reagan and the California college system, though, there is page after page documenting what Reagan and his anti government forces accomplished in dismantling the public education system, first in California, then in the rest of the country.  I don’t know what kind of a feed you would get with that kind of search box entry on your computer but this is what I am coming up with.

      www.google.com/search?client=safari&rls=en&q=reagan+and+the+california+college+system&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8
      It seems to me, interest rates don’t matter when you don’t have to borrow money in the first place and don’t matter as much when you are not borrowing as much as students are forced to today.  
      Aren’t we currently spending more on prisons than higher education in Rhode Island now?  What do low interest rates have to do with what we’re spending on prisons, a quasi colonial foreign policy that relies on huge military expenses and  the militarized law enforcement we have had since these “small government” types rose to power during the Nixon years?
       
        

      1. jgardner

        “Aren’t we currently spending more on prisons than higher education in Rhode Island now?”
         
        True or not, what does that have to do with interest rates on student loans?
         
        You are right though, interest rates don’t matter when you don’t borrow, but the government subsidizing student spending (either via grants or loans) is not free, nor will it drive the cost of education down. If it did, we’d already see lower tuition costs as subsidies for students has significantly increased over the last 10-20 years.

        1. cailin rua

          “Aren’t we currently spending more on prisons than higher education in Rhode Island now?”

          I’m going to edit that sentence, now.
           
          “Aren’t we currently spending more on prisons than higher education in Rhode Island?”
           
          You say the fact that the government subsidizes interest rates is the primary reason college costs continue to rise astronomically?

          What’s making health care costs skyrocket, then?

          I am aware of the scandals involving financial aid officers and the banks.  We come back to the banks again, don’t we?  The banks are a big problem.  It seems to me there are many other factors involved in tuition inflation, though.  

          The trend since the sixties has been to back out of the commitment the states and the federal government made to provide affordable access to public higher education.  In the meantime, we have seen private institutions like Brown thriving as they never have in the past while the prison population and the costs to manage it have skyrocketed.  I see strong correlations in all this along with things like the shift in wealth concentration between the top 20% and the bottom 80% in this country over the last thirty years.  
           
          I think Warren’s modest gesture will provide some much needed relief even if much more needs to be done.  
           
           
           

           

          1. jgardner

            “You say the fact that the government subsidizes interest rates is the primary reason college costs continue to rise astronomically?”
             
            I never said it was the *primary* reason. Just as it was more than low interest rates that drove the housing bubble, it’s more than low interest rates driving the education bubble. Low interest rates have helped fuel demand for college though, and increasing prices is a faster response to higher demand than the delayed and expensive investment needed to increase capacity, which is why many schools have gone that route.
             
             
            “while the prison population and the costs to manage it have skyrocketed.”
             
            You keep mentioning prisons as if it has some relevance to this conversation. What does the prison population have to do with college education?

            1. cailin rua

              “You keep mentioning prisons as if it has some relevance to this conversation. What does the prison population have to do with college education?”

              Money. The percentage of money out of state budgets going to prisons leaves less available for education, especially when tax rates are cut for those who are most able to afford to contribute.  Even at zero percent, students today would have a lot to pay back.  I seriously doubt raising interest rates would keep the cost of college down for long.

              “If Greenspan’s policy had been wildly inappropriate, inflation should have shot up like a rocket. Instead, after flirting with deflation in 2003, prices settled within shouting distance of the Fed’s then-unofficial 2 percent inflation target.” 

              www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2012/03/happy-birthday-alan-greenspan-the-housing-bubble-wasnt-your-fault/254089/

              Why aren’t low interest rates contributing to a housing bubble now?

              Is this Politifact?  

              You haven’t offered a reason why healthcare costs continue to skyrocket. 

              1. jgardner

                “Money. The percentage of money out of state budgets going to prisons leaves less available for education”
                 
                OK. You could say that about any other budget line item not going towards education; that doesn’t make it relevant.
                 
                 
                “I seriously doubt raising interest rates would keep the cost of college down for long”
                 
                If it’s expected that any increase in interest rates is only short term (i.e. until the next election), then you’re absolutely right. But take the politics out of loans and interest and make them purely business decisions — which means the gov’t would have to leave the student loan business —  and maybe the change has its intended effect, depending on the demand elasticity for college education for the people taking out those loans.
                 
                 
                “Why aren’t low interest rates contributing to a housing bubble now?”
                 
                As I’ve said before, interest rates are only part of the equation. For example, what good is cheap money if I don’t qualify for the loan?
                 
                 
                “You haven’t offered a reason why healthcare costs continue to skyrocket.”
                 
                Not that it’s relevant to this discussion, but the list of factors includes demand for services, supply of providers, and insurance (public or private, as it’s currently structured).

  5. Steve Ahlquist

    I agree that low interest rates are only a partial answer. Massive increases in Pell Grants and more direct subsidies to students and schools are also required here.

  6. leftyrite

    Rough day so far.
    Just slipped in a pool of dog puke on Benefit St.
    Own up to your Dogs, Providence!!

    1. DogDiesel

      Benefit Street? That had to progressive dog puke. ;-)

  7. leftyrite

    Exactly. It was the puke of progress, the antidote to puking alone.

  8. davidc

    Just to be clear, the difference in payment between a 10 year loan at 0.75% and 3.4 % is only about 15% for the monthly payment.
    Also, does Senator Warren’s bill provide this ultra low interest rate for all federal student loans, even those which are not need-based?  From reading it, I think so, and that would be a boon to many upper middle class families who would use it as a source of cheap money.

  9. cailin rua

    Well, I just see what Warren is doing as a very small gesture aimed at making things more manageable for students overburdened by the enormous cost of obtaining a college education.  Education in the U S turns students into debt slaves.  Where is the freedom in that?  I would prefer we chose as our model the European social welfare state, a state similar to Denmark, where even the cost of advanced graduate degrees are provided free.  The banks don’t even belong in the education business to begin with.  
     
    Can you imagine a country where 75 percent of the people belong to trade unions, where no one lives with the fear of being made destitute by a market that throws away its old, its tired and makes them destitute because they can no longer meet the unyielding demands of a marketplace that is revered as some sort of deity. Until that day comes, I will take the interest rate subsidies and remain bitter about the extortion involved in obtaining a college education.  

    1. cailin rua

      I don’t know how I did this.  I meant my comment to be a direct reply to jgardner.  My apologies.

Add Comment Register

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.