As Gary Johnson, the libertarian candidate for president, begins to deliver his platform, he has some definite opinions. In his July 3, 2016 CNN interview with Brianna Keilar, Johnson discusses what it will take to get the 15% to be included in presidential debates, so he can spread his agenda.
Johnson’s Educational and Student Loan Plan
Johnson served as the governor of New Mexico from 1995 to 2003, so he has a large amount of experience in the field of education. On June 6, 2016 Johnson spoke up about his views with Ashley Rae Goldenberg of MRCTV.
He stated that he would consider decreasing student loan interest rates if elected to be president. This statement veers a bit from of the more extreme comments he made in 2011 at his Online Town Hall session where he stated; “My plans don't include doing anything when it comes to student loans. The reason for the higher cost in higher education rests with the fact that there are those student loans available. Because those loans are guaranteed, kids are graduating from college, literally strapped with [the equivalent of] a home mortgage. I'm a believer in free markets. I suggest that if student loans did not exist - and I am not advocating that--tuition would be a lot lower because colleges and universities want to deliver their product, and if there weren't as many kids going to school because it costs too much, they would find ways to lower their price. They haven't met that necessity; they don't see that as a necessity because all students can get student loans. Hence the high cost of college education, where you see the costs of other goods and services dropping. “
With the Goldenberg interview he was more receptive to interest rate considerations when he referenced Bernie Sanders and announced, “Well, what he's right about is that students have been sold a bill of goods, so as president of the United States, at the end of the day, I get to either sign or veto legislation that Congress sends me, I would really take a hard look at how students might, I don't know, receive some sort of benefit or reduced interest rate. I mean, if we can - if the Federal Reserve can bail out all the big banks, it seems to me that we might arrange lower interest rates for these loans to get paid back. “
Bernie Sanders’ Side
Beyond repairing the student loan dilemma, Johnson does have another motive for leaning towards Sander’s views of student loans. With Sanders out of the presidential race, Johnson can align with his fans and pick up more votes. At the Goldenberg interview with MRCTV, he states that he agrees with 75% of what Bernie Sanders believes. He then re-directs his comments back to student loans and says, “But students have been sold a bill of goods, and the bill of goods is that, you know, there's no excuse for you not to go to college because of guaranteed government student loans, and because of that, in my opinion, college tuition costs twice as much as it would have cost if there would have been no government guaranteed student loans. “
Take all this information of June 2016 with a grain of salt. In 2011, Gary Johnson was advocating for the elimination of all student loans and the Department of Education. His 2011 comments are more in line with the Libertarian philosophy on education which George C. Leef discusses in Why On Earth do We Have a Student Loan Problem ? “ Intervention in the free market always leads to problems, and politicians invariably try to solve those problems by ratcheting up the degree of intervention. Here we have a perfect illustration. As the result of the College Cost Reduction and Access Act and the Ensuring Continued Access to Student Loans Act, the federal government is more deeply involved than ever in the business of college subsidies. The foolish notion that the government needs to help as many people as possible get college degrees has gotten another boost. Taxpayers will be shorn of more of their money so that no student who feels like getting a degree is left behind.
Most people now see college as an entitlement to be provided largely at “public” expense. It shouldn’t be. If we hadn’t made the blunder of getting government involved in college education, it would today cost much less and deliver more value. That’s because it would be subject to the test of the market. Instead, it’s like an overweight gorilla that has been stuffing itself on taxpayer dollars for many years. “
You Decide Before You Vote
You have to decide, do you believe the Gary Johnson of June 2016 or do you believe the Gary Johnson who adheres to the Libertarian philosophy he touts in 2011. Then you can see if the Libertarians will get your valuable vote or not .