Consider the parallels. Just as in the payroll tax cut battle, there’s a looming deadline: On July 1st, interest rates on federally funded student loans is set to double. Barack Obama and Democrats, confident that the politics are on their side, are signaling that they intend to remain on offense on the issue.
Meanwhile, Mitt Romney and other Republican leaders, apparently sensing that this a losing issue for them, have voiced varying degrees of support for extending the low rates. And just as in the payroll tax fight, they insist their only issue is about how to pay for the extension. Yet they won’t say what spending cuts they would favor to offset it.
This well-worn ground look familiar? It should.
Meanwhile, House conservatives — just as during the payroll battle — are beginning to signal that they oppose the extension, period, full stop. Check out this quote from GOP Rep. Todd Akin, who is running in a GOP primary for the right to take on Dem Senator Claire McCaskill of Missouri:
Akin said the government should be out of the student loan market altogether. “America has got the equivalent of the stage three cancer of socialism because the federal government is tampering in all kinds of stuff it has no business tampering in,” he said.
For Akin, federal help with student loan debt is an ideological nonstarter. If we start seeing more of this kind of thing from House conservatives, it could limit the maneuvering room GOP leaders need to reach a deal with Dems on how to pay for the extension they say they favor, in order to resolve this issue and put it behind them.
And this college tour and Fallon performance all but seal the deal on this. The dopes, they are getting their ropes completely a-doped by POTUS once again. They can't help themselves and have to mash on the A NEW POUTRAGE HAS APPEARED! button like a guinea pig getting a crack pellet. If this plays out like the payroll tax cut issue (and there's every indication that it will so far) then the GOP will shoot themselves in the foot with yet another group of voters who will learn there's no percentage in voting GOP unless you're the one percent.