Fresh off his “let them eat rice and beans” solution for hunger in America, Sean Hannity now has an answer for graduates swimming in student-loan debt: Count your blessings. According to Hannity and his all-conservative panel, being in debt and then paying it off is a great thing. “You feel empowered… These are things that make you feel good at the end of the day!” Panelist Jedediah Bila insisted.
During his Great American Panel Thursday night (4/26/12), Hannity distorted the current controversy over student-loan debt by saying, “Just like in Greece, …American students demand debt-free degrees,” Hannity sneered. “How did we get to this point?”
While it’s true there’s an Occupy Movement calling for free higher education, it’s also true that student-loan debt affects the economy. The Christian Science Monitor reports:
Student loans pose a significant financial challenge for America, some economists say, but in a way that's different from the big buildup in mortgage debt that ended in a housing bust and deep recession.
…(T)he debts resulting from college are a high and rising burden that now totals more than $1 trillion, by one official estimate. For a graduate, the burden can be like paying a second rent check each month. And the job market is still in poor shape, meaning that many grads face the loan payments while unemployed or underemployed.
The result is additional weakness in the economy. "People are delaying marriage," postponing having children, and taking a pass on home purchases, (economist Chris) Christopher says. "They're living with their parents. They're not spending as much as they otherwise would have."
But multimillionaire Sean Hannity and his guests seemed to think it was worse if students were not in debt.
Musician Jack Blades told us about a “dear, dear friend” who went through medical school who, at age 38, just paid off his student loans “a few years ago.” Blades added, “And he told me he felt so good about that.”
“A sense of accomplishment,” Hannity chimed in.
“You feel empowered!” panelist Jedediah Bila enthused. “Self-sufficiency, personal responsibility. These are things that make you feel good at the end of the day. I did this. I worked hard. I achieved this. I feel like those values are being lost and instead you have young people saying, ‘What do you owe me?’”
Hannity asked, “But isn’t that the insidious side if you give people too much and they become dependent? I believe every human being has talent. You take care of ‘em cradle to grave, womb to the tomb, and whatever talent they were born with, they’re never going to discover it.”