"A politician looks to the next election. A statesman looks to the next generation."

healthcare imagesSenator Ben Nelson (D-NE) released a statement tonight saying that he would vote against the House's reconciliation package. While he lauded the "historic health reforms that will insure 220,000 more Nebraskans and 30 million Americans," the major tough point in the reconciliation bill, according to Nelson, is student loan reform. He said, "Perhaps most troubling is adding unrelated student loan reforms that have never been debated in the Senate and would result in a government takeover of student lending. It's not clear why we would, on the one hand, jeopardize more than 30,000 private sector jobs, while, on the other we are promoting job creation in every state to aid our economic recovery."  Well, Ben, if you can't understand why it's a good thing to take student lending away from private banks, let me lay it out for you.  First, the US is one of the few industrialized countries in the world where college isn't free or close to it.  In Denmark and several other Scandanavian countries, not only is it free, but the government pays students a stipend of a few hundred dollars every month for housing and other expenses.  Why?  Because it's the smartest investment a country can make in its own intellectual infrastructure, in its future, to educate its young people.  They're more productive as adults, they earn more - and thus pay more in taxes, returning to government the cost of educating them - and the country as a whole is better off with an educated populace.  But you want some of your bankster buddies to be able to make a profit off the fact that college isn't free in America.  That's disgusting and immoral.  Here's the bottom line, Senator Nelson.  You're a politician.  As the old saying goes, "A politician looks to the next election.  A statesman looks to the next generation."  Senator Nelson, you are so far from being a statesman that you're frankly not worthy of service in the United States Senate, a fact I hope the citizens of your state wake up to when you're next up for reelection.


LeMoyne (not verified) 14 years 12 weeks ago

Senator Nelson's opposition to the HCR bill becase of the student loan cleanup actually made me chuckle - these Blue Dog Democrats are a real piece of work - real DINOs. The HCR portion of the bill is weak at best and it actually does mandate universal serfdom to for-profit insurance companies. However, as an education reform the reconciliation bill does remove the banksters from national student loan programs where they have been gouging students with exorbitant interest and fees 'helping' them starting their careers in 4 and 5 figure debt. And the HCR reconciliation package incudes billions for Pell Grants - nice.
Last night I had just reconciled myself to the HCR bill as a solid step forward in education when I found this declaration by Ben Nelson. It was so striking that we on the left can find validation by always disagreeing with these so-called key Democrats that it made me laugh.

SoloPocono (not verified) 14 years 12 weeks ago

There's another aspect to this that I have yet to hear anyone speak about-unless it's someone who has been in medical school, (me for 3yrs) OR is Hoping to GO to Med School. One of the biggest problems with this health insurance reform, was the shortage of physicians-namely, Family Practice or General Medicine. This assistance for students will at LEAST lessen the burden for students hoping to continue on to another 3-4 yrs of school After their 4yr degree-and then several years of internship & residency. My future daughter-in-law is in her 3rd year of pre-med, and although her single Mom is a teacher, and even with her own scholarly achievements while working full-time; her options for assistance for tuition, books, labs, etc, are few while the cost is just overwhelming them! I've also read that several Med Schools are going to be offering 3yr Family Practice Programs, which will obviously be a HUGE help to the storage we will undoubtedly feel in 4-5 years. As an aside-my son is also in college, and ironically works full-time on their financial aid program. He sees and knows, first-hand of the financial burdens that trying to get a degree in these times and the strains it can have on families-especially with more than one child in College...

Ron Rutherford (not verified) 14 years 11 weeks ago

It still was not discussed in the Senate. Do you like the way the system works or only when it abides by your ideological slant.

knows that answer…

Ron Rutherford (not verified) 14 years 11 weeks ago

Isn’t it so bad that your favorite bank along with your fascist promoter on your forum is against such propsals:


Thom's Blog Is On the Move

Hello All

Thom's blog in this space and moving to a new home.

Please follow us across to hartmannreport.com - this will be the only place going forward to read Thom's blog posts and articles.

From The Thom Hartmann Reader:
"Right through the worst of the Bush years and into the present, Thom Hartmann has been one of the very few voices constantly willing to tell the truth. Rank him up there with Jon Stewart, Bill Moyers, and Paul Krugman for having the sheer persistent courage of his convictions."
Bill McKibben, author of Eaarth
From The Thom Hartmann Reader:
"Thom Hartmann is a creative thinker and committed small-d democrat. He has dealt with a wide range of topics throughout his life, and this book provides an excellent cross section. The Thom Hartmann Reader will make people both angry and motivated to act."
Dean Baker, economist and author of Plunder and Blunder, False Profits, and Taking Economics Seriously
From Screwed:
"Once again, Thom Hartmann hits the bull’s eye with a much needed exposé of the so-called ‘free market.’ Anyone concerned about the future of our nation needs to read Screwed now."
Michael Toms, Founding President, New Dimensions World Broadcasting Network and author of A Time For Choices: Deep Dialogues for Deep Democracy