Mitt Romney on the cost of college: "Shop around."

If you’re like most people with student loans, you’re probably eating Top Ramen in your eleven-year-old underwear right now. And whose fault is that, according to Mitt Romney? Yours, you deadbeat college grad. Yours.

Cute-enough-when-you’re-drunk Republican candidate Mitt Romney made some choice remarks about the rising cost of college this week.  His nuanced position on what we should do about the rising cost of a degree for young Americans? Suck it up.

“It would be popular for me to stand up and say I’m going to give you government money to pay for your college, but I’m not going to promise that,” Romney said, to inexplicable applause from the crowd at the Town Hall meeting. And if you still have silly dreams of paying Sallie Mae off before retirement? 

“Don’t just go to [the school] that has the highest price. Go to one that has a little lower price where you can get a good education. And hopefully you’ll find that. And don’t expect the government to forgive the debt that you take on.”

Never mind that Romney went to the private university Stanford, where it now costs $50, 576 a year to go to school. But Romney went there a long time ago — you know, before he decided to take a leisurely two-and-a-half year Mormon mission trip in France. If only we could make this stuff up. 

Commentarium (15 Comments)

Mar 09 12 - 1:08pm
ring rifersi

I'm not exactly sure what you're arguing about... if you can't afford to go to a particular school then you go to a cheaper one. If you can't afford a BMW you buy a VW.

Mar 10 12 - 8:43pm
Evan

And when the cheapest thing on the market is a BMW? What should one do then?

Mar 11 12 - 5:31am
yeah

Last time I checked "cheap" state schools are still upwards of $17,000 per year. The issue is not about owning a car it's about why the nicest cars are reserved only for the people who already have them. Access to upward mobility is being cut off to the people who need it the most. We all know state schools and private schools are not created equal.

Mar 09 12 - 1:24pm
dave1976

I agree with ring rifersi. I'm no fan of Romney, but this is a case of Romney delivering a sound message; albeit wrapped in an entitled and privileged cloak (what is this, about the 20th time Romney has done that in 2012?). Way too many students are going to colleges that are too expensive, and/or getting degrees that have very little chance of paying down their loans in any sort of reasonable time frame.

Of course, Romney could have phrased his remarks in a better manner (and wiped the caviar off his chin while he delivered them)...but that's par for the exclusive course to which only Romney is a member.

Mar 09 12 - 1:42pm
He worked

hard and earned his money. Why does that piss everybody off? And ring rifersi is correct: I wouldn't expect the government to buy me a first class ticket if I can only afford economy. People need to stop thinking that they are entitled to anything and everything whether or not they can afford it.

Mar 09 12 - 3:07pm
ASDTW

Yeah, it's hard out here for sons of millionaires. Because there's no entitlement whatsoever in sons of millionaires becoming CEOs, sons of presidents becoming presidents, sons of governors becoming governors, etc. (and before you say it, of course that applies to freaking Al Gore). It's all straight-up merit, is what it is. They work so hard. Soooooo hard. ring rifersi is right. But Romney hasn't worked for shit.

Mar 10 12 - 2:16am
And what would

the 99% do with the money that they want the government to hand them in the form of loan amnesty? Nothing. Mitt took what was given him and made millions more and, yes, he worked his ass off doing it.

Mar 10 12 - 2:28pm
nope

Buy homes. Raise children. Go further in their education. Pay their goddamned medical bills. Are you really that classist or are you just being difficult? There is no class of people in America that doesn't work their ass off.

Mar 09 12 - 2:11pm
spinster

The author didn't have a clear argument for sure. But I certainly know plenty of people who've gone broke putting themselves through "cheap" state schools. Thirty-five years ago, my stepfather was able to put himself through a decent state school. He paid for it by working at McDonalds. Who can do that in 2012?

Mar 09 12 - 9:00pm
nope

Yeah, state school is not exactly free, which seems to be conveniently forgotten by many people. Hell, even community college is pretty damn expensive.

Mar 10 12 - 1:12am
GAC

The economics of higher education are completely broken. The student loan system is part of the problem. Colleges can charge any damned thing they want, almost without regard to their quality ... or the student's quality ... because the loans are absolutely guaranteed by the government and by the laws covering private lenders.

One word fix: bankruptcy.

If student loans could be wiped or reduced in a bankruptcy, lenders would be substantially less likely to give loan money to students in high-risk fields (English, philosophy, comparative literature, journalism) which would reduce the number of students in those majors. Not that there's anything wrong with being an English major, but the weeding-out process will begin before debt is incurred, not after.

"But people need to find themselves in college!" People need to find themselves as college-age individuals. They do not need to be incurring debilitating lifelong debts while they do so.

I majored in journalism undergrad. Class of 2000, state school, GI Bill, no debt there. I've been a successful news reporter. Now I'm doing other things that make more money. My story is unusual. That said, I would have paid extra money to bar half my journalism class from the major, just to keep the bastards from pissing in the talent pool.

Mar 10 12 - 1:19am
dj

Or maybe one day people can go to school to learn. If you think college is job training you should not go to college.

Mar 10 12 - 2:31am
CM

I'm going to a "cheap" (state) school that has some of the best academics but I'm doing everything I can to not be broke after I graduate. Yet I still need to take out loans because it's still damn expensive. Both of my sisters went the cheap route and yet they have monetary problems because of how crappy the economy is and the lack of jobs.
It's good advice to "shop around" for college but it sucks not getting enough financial aid to go to the school of your dreams when it costs $56,000 per year. However, going to a cheap school does not assure financial success later anyways.

Mar 11 12 - 12:35am
JS

Yeah, the one thing keeping a lot from going full -on Bolshevik in this country is the delusional hope they will climb up in status through education and wealth. Let's take that away by boldly saying "go to community college and suck it up, future wage slaves."

I guess Romney is just trying to play it safe by keeping the money where it should be: with the already rich, privileged white males

Mar 11 12 - 2:29am
hnaaas

What an idiot.