Christine O’Donnell’s Student-Loan Lies

In response to revelations that her LinkedIn profile features false claims about attending Claremont Graduate University and the University of Oxford, Republican candidate for the United State Senate Christine O’Donnell issued a statement through a P.R. firm alleging that other, unknown persons created her false LinkedIn profile back when she was a little-known cable news commentator/ex-anti-masturbation activist, and, moreover:

Perhaps a more important educational issue for Americans is the government takeover of the student loan industry, passed as part of the Obamacare law. This ill-conceived, unconstitutional government monopoly has thrown into jeopardy thousands of jobs in the private student loan industry. Even worse, now college students have nowhere to go for their student loans except the same people who brought them TARP and the embarrassing federal BP oil spill response. Will my opponent condemn his party bosses for threatening private sector jobs and eliminating student loan choice and competition for Delaware college students?

This is, of course, a pack of lies. The government “took over” the government student-loan program created by the government 45 years ago, when there was no private student loan industry. It didn’t take over the current private student-loan industry, which is still going strong. (Click here if you want a private student loan from Chase, here for Sallie Mae, or here for Citi.) The student-loan reforms are “ill-conceived” if you think transferring tens of billions of dollars from corporate welfare to low-income students is a bad idea. The student-loan reforms are “unconstitutional” if you live on the planet Mars. The TARP bank bailouts helped stave off Great Depression II and netted the taxpayers $7 billion in profit. I’m pretty sure the Department of the Interior doesn’t administer student loans.

I go back and forth on whether it’s even worth saying any of this. While I know many readers of this blog don’t agree with me on every issue, I assume that none of them suffer from any kind of debilitating mental incapacitation and as such recognize Christine O’Donnell’s opinions on student-loan policy for what they are. Then again, bloggers don’t always have the luxury of responding to subtle, finely wrought arguments, fun though that would be. Even the most transparently egregious falsehoods can take root in the collective consciousness, particularly when they’re endorsed by representatives of major political parties.

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