MADISON, Wis. — Gov. Scott Walker – the worst governor in the nation on the student loan debt crisis – will host Donald Trump – owner of a scam for profit “university” and whose administration is currently repealing consumer protections for student loan borrowers at an event today at the Waukesha County Technical College. According to One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross, Walker and Trump may be a perfect match for each other, but over 43 million Americans with student debt, including nearly one million in Wisconsin, deserve better than the policies of this duo.
“Walker and Trump have pursued shameful policies on higher education and have shown nothing but antipathy to borrowers who worked hard to get an education and took on the personal responsibility to pay for it,” said Ross. “These guys may deserve each other, but the rest of us sure deserve better.”
Earlier this year Trump settled a class action lawsuit for $25 million for fraud claims brought by students of his Trump “University” alleging they were misled on what they would be taught and subjected to unscrupulous, high pressure sales tactics.
Now his administration’s Department of Education, led by right-wing billionaire Betsy DeVos, is set to change the rules to allow debt collectors to charge borrowers exorbitant fees on top of their loan payments. Rules requiring companies that service student loans to prioritize helping borrowers and abide by basic consumer service and protection standards in order to win federal contracts are also being repealed.
In addition, according to the one page memo outlining Trump’s tax scheme to slash corporate tax rates and provide a windfall to the wealthiest, including himself and his adult children, the federal tax deduction for interest paid on student loans would be eliminated.
Ross noted that with his regressive policies, Walker has earned his place at Trump’s side. As Governor, Walker imposed the largest cuts to public education in state history, including a reduction of $70 million in state support for the Wisconsin Technical College System. He has also imposed double digit tuition hikes and so woefully underfunded financial aid that every year tens of thousands of technical college students eligible for help receive none. As a member of the state legislature from 1993 to 2001, career politician Scott Walker voted for budgets that increased technical college tuition by over 56 percent.
Gov. Walker has also shown he is no friend of technical college graduates who worked hard to get their education and took on the personal responsibility to pay for it. Since it’s introduction in 2013, Walker has opposed the state Higher Ed, Lower Debt Act to help borrowers refinance student loans, just like you can with a mortgage.
Instead, Gov. Walker has offered advice to student loan borrowers that would be laughable, if the debt crisis were not so serious, counseling them to “call a bank.” But even he has not taken his own advice, as evidenced by his latest financial disclosures showing he has not refinanced over $100,000 in student loan debt at an interest rate in excess of seven percent.
He concluded, “Donald Trump has been sued over his for profit ‘university’ scamming students and Scott Walker has been sticking it to Wisconsin students and student loan borrowers with policies forcing them to pay more for their education and their loans. Actions like these, not staged campaign events, tell the real story about these two on education.”