No free stuff here: Romney comments on student debt

Republican Presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney speaks at Flagler College in St. Augustine, Fla., Monday, Aug. 13, 2012. (AP Photo/Phil Sandlin)

When a college student asked former Gov. Mitt Romney what he expected to do about student debt if elected, he response was not surprising. He’s not promising any free stuff.

His solution to the student debt crisis is not to give out money, but give out jobs. Romney said he’d rather see recent graduates employed so they can pay off their debt than offer assistance. He added he’d like to “get the government off your back” so students can keep more of what they earn, presumably to pay back the loans. Paul Ryan added that candidates do need to address rising tuition costs. That certainly is a step in the right direction, since student the cost of college has skyrocketed as federal funding for public schools has decreased. With more than 37 million Americans in debt with student loans, this clearly can’t be ignored much longer, and is likely to be a topic of debate for the candidates in the coming weeks, though the battle has begun. With ammunition after Romney suggested students borrow money from their parents, President Barack Obama asserted that  this isn’t possible for most American families.

Despite the disagreement, both candidates have some common ground. They agree on extending the discounted interest rate on subsidized federal loans, which had been set to increase from 3.4 percent to 6.8 percent on July 1.

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