Potterman deconstructs BOTH Jack Kelly AND Jerry Bowyer. The topic? The high cost of higher education:
Let's acknowledge the obvious: Whatever else these guys are, they're conservative ideologues, and they aren't writing in a vacuum. After all, even Phyllis Freakin' Schlafly has begun asking questions about whether a college education is worth it. And when folks like Phyllis Schlafly start expressing concern for the poor and indebted, you know something is up.So, yet again Potter shows us all how it's done.
One gets the sneaking suspicion, in fact, that what really bothers Schlafly & Co. is not the cost of education per se, but the fact that Barack Obama has done something about it. Back when giant for-profit enterprises like Sallie Mae were raking in fees, massive student indebtedness was, presumably, just the free market at work. Now that Obama has cut the banks out of student lending, you'll hear conservatives begin to wring their hands about whether those poor first-years are getting their money's worth.
(I mean after all, when Kelly complains that "it is virtually impossible to discharge student loan debts in bankruptcy," he might have felt obliged to mention the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act. That 2005 measure, passed by a Republican-led Congress and signed by a Republican president, made it difficult to discharged loans even when they were issued by Sallie Mae and other for-profit lenders.)
So I can't blame those who wonder about Kelly's motivation here. Does his concern stem from the fact that college campuses are among the few places where liberal ideas are not roundly dismissed ... where they even predominate? Is it any wonder that Kelly -- a global warming denier in the face of strong scientific consesnsus -- doesn't see the value in book-larnin'?