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article imageOp-Ed: Obama campaigns on student loans as jobs dry up

By Larry Clifton     Apr 26, 2012 in Politics
President Obama, along with his political entourage, are using Air Force One as a campaign vehicle, criss-crossing battleground states talking to college students about student loan rates.
Meanwhile, gas prices remain historically high, the nation has gone three years without a national budget and recent jobs reports show a stalled economy.
However the president assures the media, through spokespersons, that he isn’t using taxpayer money to campaign. Unfortunately for Mr. Obama, his taxpayer-funded campaign through battleground states is about the only transparent policy in his administration.
“This is beneath the dignity of the White House,” House Speaker John Boehner said Thursday, calling on Obama's campaign to reimburse the government for taxpayer-funded travel this week. “It doesn’t even pass the straight test, are you kidding me?”
Republicans in the House and Senate say President Obama is flying his entire political entourage to colleges throughout battleground states in what amounts to campaign stops charged to taxpayers.
“If the President was more interested in solving this problem than in hearing the sound of his own voice or the applause of college students, all he’d have to do is pick up the phone and work it out with Congress,” said Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell.
There is bi-partisan support for keeping student loan rates down, however Republicans say President Obama has decided to campaign on the issue rather than resolve it.
Meanwhile, the Democrat-controlled Senate has failed to produce a budget, unemployment claims have ramped up and the country has added nearly $6 trillion to the deficit during President Obama’s term.
Many think the president should take time off the campaign trail to deal with economic issues including the student loan issue instead of politicizing it hoping to snag more of the youth vote. Still more say it is wrong to use millions in taxpayer dollars to campaign despite having raised tens of millions of dollars privately for that purpose.
Mitt Romney has raised a fraction of the cash Obama’s campaign has, but Romney is already even with Barack Obama in the race for the White House, according to most national polls. The college-gate campaign scandal may wind up costing Obama more votes than it gains.
While Obama campaigns on student loans, U.S. payrolls expanding by just 120,000 in March, less than half the average figure for the previous two months. The downturn in hiring could spell trouble for Obama when the national unemployment rate bumps up accordingly later this year. Most credible analysts say the economy needs to be creating 250,000 jobs per month just to break even. Not happening.
Meanwhile, gas prices are in high gear and sky-is-the-limit spending on entertainment by GSA officials serving under an Obama appointee has many taxpayers fuming.
Adding to the administration’s scandals are fresh allegations that Secret Service agents had sex with strippers in El Salvador in 2011 prior to Obama’s arrival as fallout continues about prostitutes that presidential Secret Service agents took back to their hotel in Cartagena, Colombia, just days ahead of President Obama's recent trip there.
Boehner and other Republicans have said Obama should reimburse for the costs of using Air Force One and other government resources when he makes the case for lower interest rates on student loans at colleges in battleground states at taxpayers’ expense, as he is doing this week.
The White House dismissed the criticism, saying Obama is not campaigning and travel is part of the president’s job.
There are no national polls that suggest the American people consider student loans the top priority over jobs and the economy. Obama’s intense student-loan campaign using Air Force One to hop-scotch through battleground states is misguided at best, and a president who can’t produce a budget shouldn’t try to fudge it.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
More about Obama, Mitt Romney, Unemployment rate, US jobs
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