Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Johnson's Opponents Blast Her for Budget Vote

Shays, Johnson Support Controversial Measure--Simmons Does Not

The House of Representatives just passed, by the very narrow margin of 216-214, a budget cutting bill which has been the subject of much controversy for its cuts of student loans, Medicare and other programs. Rob Simmons (R-2), who is generally the most conservative member of the House delegation, actually changed his vote from aye to nay eariler today, citing the bill's many troubles. Shays and Johnson voted yes, ensuring the bill's passage.

Johnson's two declared opponents, Chris Murphy and Paul Vance (who is apparently still out there), were both quick to issue releases calling on Johnson to explain herself.

Murphy:

“Now, every time a high school graduate can’t get the loans she needs for college, or a parent can’t get the medical care he needs for a child, they will know who to blame: Nancy Johnson. ... This budget would not have passed without Nancy Johnson’s support, and she needs to take full responsibility for its devastating effects.”

...

“By voting for this budget, Nancy Johnson voted to gut some of the federal government’s most vital and most successful programs.” (Murphy for Congress Press release, 2/1/2006)

Vance:

“Some politicians learn from their mistakes, but not in the "land of steady habits". Nancy Johnson and Chris Shays today showed their true colors in a close vote voting to put federal student loan program on the 'chopping block'. Our supposed “independent” Congresswoman again forgot about local concerns and voted with the Bush majority to cut nearly $13 billion from the student loan program – and thousands of families from across the Fifth District want to know why. Again Johnson stands hand-in-hand with President Bush and decides that tax cuts for the rich are more important than opportunity for the middle class.” (Vote Vance Press Release, 2/1/06)

So there it is. No word yet from Diane Farrell, but it shouldn't take long. This vote is sure to come up again and again in the 5th and 4th districts.

Update Farrell's response is posted over at My Left Nutmeg.

51 comments:

Quinn said...

God forbid that an investment like an education could be financed by the private sector, like say, my college loan.

If it can be done by the private sector, does the Federal government need to do it? Sure, interest is a significant factor, but its not like there is a dramatic difference.

Its a great place to cut bloated government spending (not as great as chopping certain highway bills) and I commend my congresswomen for having the guts to take a necessary step here.

Gabe said...

Speaking for myself, for the ~$45,000 in loans that I am in the process of accumulating, and for the baby that is due any day now, may I suggest that "its not like there is a dramatic difference" is in the eye of the beholder.

"Its a great place to cut bloated government spending" - right there is where we will never agree. A great place to cut government spending is on the backs of the next generation. Tax cuts for the rich are more important than financing the future. Forgive me if I don't do cartwheels.

Let me commend your congresswomen for making it just a bit easier to beat her at the polls in November.

Anonymous said...

Gabe said he has accumulated $45,000 in debt and now has a baby on the way any day now. With that great economic planning, he has decided to criticize tax cuts for the so-called “rich”. Funny, how the Democrats view the world. BTW, nothing personal and sincere congratulations on your baby.

DeanFan84 said...

So Gabe didn't have a rich daddy to pay his education bills? And you want to talk down to him because of it?

Come out of the shadows you anonymous Republican jerk.

And yeah, it's a matter of priorities. I'd rather this country was about free educations and not third and fourth homes, $85,000 Mercedeses, and private yachts.

And if you come back spouting economic darwinism, I'm going to introduce you to the law of the jungle...

Anonymous said...

vance is sending out press releases? does he really have the money to be doing that?

ticked taxpayer said...

quinn,

"Its a great place to cut bloated government spending..."

Okay. You'd at least have a legitimate argument if the student aid cuts were indeed reducing federal spending. (I'd still disagree, but at least you'd have a point.)

The thing is, the so-called "savings" from the student loan cuts is being produced by forcing students and their families to pay artificially inflated interest rates. The way it works is this:

1) The lenders are guaranteed a return on the loans they make that is pegged to market interest rates.

2) The federal government is now setting the interest rates for student loans at a significantly higher fixed rate. (Same for parent loans.)

3) The difference between what the interest rate is set at and the guranteed return to the lenders comes out to around $20 billion.

4) The government is folding $8 billion of that money back into the student aid program.

5) The remaining $12 billion in excess interest payments is going straight into the treasury.....

Voila! $12 billion in "cuts" or "savings" that smell suspiciously like a stealth tax on families trying to send their kids to college.

You call Congresswoman Johnson's vote an example of "guts to take a necessary step." I call it a kick in the teeth to every family that is locked into the student loan program because they lack the financial resources to obtain a private loan.

Anonymous said...

I'm a bit confused.

CT has the highest incomes in the country.

In most of the 4th and 5th CD 100K/yr for a family with kids is extemely middle class. 200K is far from "rich"

CT alreafy pays more to DC and gets back less than any otehr state.

and the solution as per Vance, Farrell and Murphy is to 1) raise taxes, 2) do it in a way that will hit CT worse than any other state 3)include some very middle class people who work hard and save in the class warfare pogrom and 4)cause even more money to leave the state economy

And this is a good idea...why?

CT05 Admin said...

Johnson sold out long ago. Her self-interested dealing has been going on for over ten years, going back (at least) to her actions as chair of the House Ethics Committee, when she infamously protected then Speaker Newt Gingrich, who soon slunk out of the House to pontificate from the well-appointed offices at AEI on - get this - health policy (amongst other things).

More current, however, is her protection of indicted Abramoff partner Tom DeLay, who recently slunk out of his post as House Majority leader to an increasingly likely defeat at the polls in Sugarland, TX. Not to mention criminal prosecution.

Johnson personally sealed the deal on this budget, just like she did with the boondoggle Medicare giveaway, in clear opposition to the interests and views of the citizens who live in this district.

Anonymous said...

Dean fan: anonymous Republican jerk? I always find it amusing that when a Democrat can't effectively make his or her point how they always resort to name calling. Then again, you are a Howard Dean fan so just to make you feel at home.....yeeeaaaaaaah!!!!!!

DeanFan84 said...

Yeah, an anonymous Republican jerk.

Try to stereotype, (name-call) Dean all you want, but he was honest and straightforward...

You, sir, are hiding in the shadows. Rowland is getting out of jail soon. Do you embrace him? Or disown him?

And again, I'm suggesting that you are cowardly and chicken-shit...

Gabe said...

Gabe said he has accumulated $45,000 in debt and now has a baby on the way any day now. With that great economic planning, he has decided to criticize tax cuts for the so-called “rich”. Funny, how the Democrats view the world.

Anon. - Nothing personal and with my sincere belief that you didn't mean anything by it, but you have no idea what you are talking about.

My going to law school and accumulating 45k in debt over three years is good economic planning; I will be reaping the benefit of it for the next thirty years. Its called investing for the future - you may not recognize it after 5 years of GWB's tax policies, but there it is.

My wife and I spent six years working, planning, and saving so that we could make this work and still raise afamily.

But hey, I'm sure you didn't just jump to the conclusion that I was 22 and irresponsibly knocked someone up while I wasn't in the position to pay for a baby. Funny how the Republicans view the world.

Take your "sincere" congratulations and, sincerely, stick them somewhere.

Let me say my point more simply than before: Cutting funding for student loans hurts the people who are planning for their future. My 45k in loans just got ~2% harder to pay back. Thanks, Nancy Johnson.

Anonymous said...

Gabe, there is a surplus of lawyers and you believe the government should subsidize the surplus by below market financing?

What is this..GM's "Red Tag sale"?

Gabe said...

Interesting economic analysis. If there are a surplus of lawyers, why do lawyers continue to get jobs? Why aren't their thousands of out-of-work lawyers roaming the streets looking for work?

Also, the ABA sets limits on schools for the number of students they can admit, just to prevent lawyer surpluses.

Are you arguing that only those rich enough to pay the $50,000 - $150,000 over three years up front should be lawyers?

Finally, are we pretending that student loans only go to law students, or that I am so self-absorbed that I can only see my own situation? If the latter, I can assure you that without student loans, I wouldn't have my undergraduate degree either.

Anonymous said...

Gabe, after you go job hunting you will realize the $125K salaries go to a handful of white shoe firms hiring from a handful of elite schools.

Ask a TAC what they make. Or look at state job posting for the pay scale for expereinced lawyers Me thinks you will wait a long time for a ROI.

Thank (choice of supreme being) Alan Greenspan and not someone with your tude was running the monetary supply over the past two decades

Gabe said...

Are capable of writing a post without letting your assumptions type?

What in what I said above led you to believe that I have any interest in working for a white shoe firm? Or that I don't already have a job lined up for when I graduate?

Why don't I worry about my future, and you continue to defend tax cuts being more important than student loans and Medicaid. That way, you don't have to get upset about my "tude" and the subject doesn't change from where Nancy john's consolation party will be...

fed up with Republicans said...

Johnson & Shays not only voted for it - they cast the deciding votes. Couldn't have gone through without them. Also, I'll take the liberty of posting my comments on this from a previous thread:

The budget bill is a nominee for most censored story. Both Johnson and Shays voted for the bill (and Simmons probably only voted against it after getting permission from leadership - in fact he voted for the bill a few weeks ago). And the bill means higher education costs (reduced student loans), more uninsured kids and families (Medicaid cuts and increased premiums and copays for families), more deadbeat dads and abusive parents victimizing kids (cuts to child support enforcement and foster care), more unfunded mandates on states, and more suffering for poor people (cuts to cash assistance).

The House bill was particularly mean-spirited, as cuts were aimed almost entirely at low-income people, unlike the Senate spending bill. And the cuts will not reduce the deficit by a penny. They will be used to pay for tax cuts for the wealthy. More on the budget bill here and here.

Farrell, Murphy, and Courtney should hang the Republicans on their votes, and I encourage everyone to make a contribution to their campaigns tonight.

Anonymous said...

Let's see Gabe, you've lined up a job that won;t pay enough money to pay off your student loans quickly and it's all Nancy Johnson;s fault.

Thanks for the clarification

Gabe said...

Right, that's what I said.

Thank goodness Alan Greenspan and not someone with your reading comprehension "was running the monetary supply over the past two decades."

Misconstruing what I said does not deflect the fact that the Republicans in the House voted to cut money from students, the elderly, and the uninsured to "lower the defecit" while passing a bigger tax cut for the rich and corporations.

Defend that.

Anonymous said...

URGENT...URGENT......this unfathomable vote on the budget is going to be queen nancy's final nail in her coffin if we can get a real candidate to run against her!we need new candidate if we are going to beat QUEEN NANCY. ...i read that dianne farrell raised $300,000 in last 3 months against pope chris the pious while courtney raked in $500,000 against silly simmons. but to knock off queen nancy will take a heck of a lot more than the paltry $125,000 raised by chris murphy. we need BILL CURRY NOW!!!! BILL, IF YOU'RE LISTENING, PLEASE GET IN AND DETHRONE THE QUEEN....I read and hear that your thinking about it....did you see what johnSon has in her campaign??? $2.2 MILLION DOLLARS!!! Put in the first string ...no knock against murphy, but he aint no A-team. What happens when murphy's leftovers from farrell and courtneys fat cats dry up? BIll, are you there??Bill?? Bill??

Anonymous said...

What did Vance raise for money last quarter?

the wandererrr said...

Gabe: I scanned your back and forth with the anonymous Rove KGBer and the only thing I wanted to comment on was Also, the ABA sets limits on schools for the number of students they can admit, just to prevent lawyer surpluses. because I think it is important to note. The AMA does the same thing with doctors but as faras I know the NEA does not do it with teachers nor do engineering societies do it with engineers. I wish the AMA and the ABA would let the free market work becaus in some cases from time to time they have created surpluses -we actually have a concentrated surplus of doctors in the country right now and it's driving up the cost of healthcare but the AMA won't admit it.

I can't find the damn article I scanned in the Times (NY) this morning on the college loan issue but the headline was higher interst rates but more money would be available - if I find it I'll post it.

Republican jerk? said...

Note To Gabe: 45K in debt with baby on the way? Next time, keep your zipper up and become financially secure before you consider fathering a child and you won't have to blame Nancy Johnson, George Bush or any other Republican for your irresponsible behavior.

Genghis Conn said...

Clarification, wandererrr,

The NEA is a union, not a professional association. The National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education does some (but apparently not all) of the accreditation work and establishes some standards for education departments. That's interesting about the ABA and the AMA... fortunately, the ALA (American Library Association) has no such quotas, although there's hardly a mob breaking down the doors to become librarians.

anonymous/"Rep. Jerk",

Most Americans have a lot of debt. Mortgage debt, student loan debt, car payments, credit card debt and so on. My wife and I, for example, manage our small amounts of money very well, thank you, and we still have a ton of mortgate, car and student loan debt. I don't know many people who are debt-free when they have kids. In this day and age, it's nearly impossible to do without being independently wealthy (which is a problem not of irresponsible behavior in most cases, but of stagnant wages and rising cost of living). That isn't any kind of partisan statement, just the facts as I've observed them.

There's no reason to attack Gabe for investing in his future, or for being worried about an increase in the interest rates. If you have something concrete to say, say it. If not, knock off the nasty personal attacks.

Anonymous said...

Relax guys, knock off the personal attacks and get back to work.
Does anyone know what Vance raised for money last quarter?

the wandererrr said...

G.C. Agreed in fact since the NEA is recognised by the NLRB and the ABA and AMA are not. But in every other aspect the AMA and ABA act like unions. I think you got my point is that rather than have these organizations control who will enter the job market to compete with their current members sometime in the future, I'd like to see the free market work. If somebody wants to study law, medicine or butterflies and somebody wnats to teach them at an agreed upon prices let it happen.

Paul Vance said...

Anon 10:39 pm, I am glad that it is free to post on this blog! Your post made me crack up!

I did not have a rich daddy to float college costs (although my union member father and non-union member mother-- in the interest of disclosure did work a lot of hours to help me- and my 2 sibs with tuition and expenses). I used student loan programs to get my English degree, a law degree and a masters in public administration- with a focus on economics (so that I could not need talking points when talking about a budget). I am lucky to have taken advantage of these programs and these programs allowed me access to great schools that my working class family could not afford.

I coach basketball at a high school here in Waterbury and I know the kids that these cuts will affect. I am not trying to be overly dramatic, but we are in an increasingly global economy and many other nations make education access a higher priority. If we continue to make this about rich and poor, we will have an economy completly based on service jobs. This is not about rich and poor, this about allowing those with ability the access and the tools to compete. If we are going to be the leader of the free world, we need to cultivate our abilities.

Paul Vance said...

And No, it is not Nancy Johnson's fault that I have student loan debt-- but if she would like to contribute towards the bill, she is more than welcome. lol.

the wandererrr said...

More power to CT government workers who increasingly do better than their private sector counterparts and shame on the elected leaders who allowed this to happen. Their is all kinds of unneccesary positions in our state higher education institutions. Instead of just complaining about a bill that passed, why not work to lower the cost of higher education in the CT public system by lowering its cost?

Genghis Conn said...

For those wondering where Paul Vance has been, here is part of a letter he's been sending to DTCs:

Over the last few months, I ignored my duties as a congressional candidate because my first responsibility is, and will always be, to those I currently represent. (I know also, that throughtout the 5th District, many of us were focused on our local elections and as a local elected official, I know that politics, like charity, begins at home.) I understand that while these actions slowed my campaign for Congress, they have also helped speed Waterbury’s continuing recovery.

It is my intention to continue to serve as President of the Waterbury Board of Aldermen while vigorously renewing my campaign for Congress.

Gabe said...

For the record, I wasn't saying its anyone else's fault that I have student loans.

I was saying that it is Johnson's and Shays' fault that they voted for a bill that makes life harder for alot of people, including those with student loans.

But, apparently, it was irresponsible of my family to plan a pregnancy and go to school. Sigh.

Gabe said...

Paul Vance - How is the team doing? As a basketball junkie, regular updates will be appreciated!

the wandererrrr said...

If we continue to make this about rich and poor, we will have an economy completly based on service jobs. coming from Vance who is a lawyer, i.e. a service sector employee. I know my English isn't the Kings but please a little logic? Although CT's city education gets the short shrift it's more about stae govt. than the federal govt. In fact, the feds are trying to get CT to change its ways. Lack of good educational programs is not what's killing manufacturing and other non sector jobs in CT, it's the damn cost of government being too much for what we get.

And while I like lawyers for many reasons, the stranglehold they have on probate, divorce and real estate proceedings in CT is ridiculously unnecessary. Some of it could be legislated away if not for the lawyer unions.

Gabe said...

Kim/Aldon -

I was about to send Kim an email re:Lamont, but I don't have her email address and her blooger profile is not public. Can you email me?

Thanks

Anonymous said...

If you have been following the poll numbers, the public has decided these things have absolutely nothing to do with Jodi Rell and they will not associate her with any blame:

Rowland
Moodygate
Jobs

Wouldn’t it make more sense for the Democrats to forget about the Governors office and concentrate on willing every seat in the House,Senate and congressional seats? Being realistic, is there really any shot of beating Auntie Rell?

Quinn said...

Please do not associate my comments with the Republican jerk. They were very biting and unnecessary.

That said, there should still be no reason why the government has to subsidize loans, or even be involved in the market, even if the way they're cutting it now is indeed underhanded. Education is an investment - private lenders are willing to loan out this money because they know that, as a lawyer, or even with a bachelors, the income potential of a person is multiplied manyfold. That is why no low income family really would be shut out of the student loan market - the loaning of the money is not dependent upon your current level of income, but your expected level of income once you complete your education. So, unlike mortgage's, the market should provide student loans to everyone without government assistance.

Anonymous said...

Just for the record, Chris Murphy raised $167,000 last quarter (Vance raised $500.00), which puts Murphy at $380,000 in the bank - amongst the top fundraisers in the country for challengers. Courtney did well last quarter too, but it wasn't $500,000 as one poster claimed - it was $175,000. By this time during Curry's 2002 run for Governor - a statewide race that traditionally is twice as expensive as a congressional election - he had a little over $150,000 in the bank. The numbers don't lie...

Genghis Conn said...

Quinn,

Perhaps, if student loans do indeed move to the private sector (which in theory is not a terrible idea, although my wife and I personally have had some annoying dealings with the private company Massachusetts sold some of her loans to), there can be some sort of gov't program providing lower interest rates to low-income families. For example, FHA has plenty of useful programs that help low-income and first-time homebuyers: in fact, it was through one of those programs that my wife and I were able to buy our house.

Proud Moderate Dem said...

neither does nancy johnson's $2.1 million in the bank...

the wandererrrr said...

Students have no collateral and that's why the government backs student loans through private lenders who like collateral not just a prayer and a promise.

Anonymous said...

Hey Anonymous Poster on Campaign Finance:

Get your facts straight. Murphy ranks in the top 10 nationally of Dem challengers in terms of cash on hand. He has raised more than double what any other non-incumbent challenger to Nancy had raised at this time.

Murphy, Farrell and Courtney are all in the top 10 of hot challenger races in the country. The national party is all over CT. All three of them have legit shots at victory. Money's an issue, sure. But Nancy outspent Charlotte Koskoff like $2million to $250,000 in 1996, and she still only won by a thousand votes or so. This year, expect Murphy to raise around $1.5 million.

Plus, if Nancy keeps doing stupid things like saying she's proud of the Medicare drug program she wrote and voting for a budget only SELFISH rich people like, Murphy won't NEED any money to beat her.

Anonymous said...

hey, if you want to beat nancy johnson get with the program and work for chris murphy, stop whining for curry to get in (its way too late for that) and tell vance nicely to step aside

Anonymous said...

Be nice to Nancy. Everything she learned about healthcare she learned from pillow talk with her physician husband. Not sure how many student loans he had though.

CT05 Admin said...

Bill Curry for Congress? Get real. If he had any interest he'd have made it known long ago. Same for the party people in the District with regard to him.

Murphy and Vance are both quality candidates with excellent track records and very bright futures. So bright in fact that one of them is ten months away from going to Congress.

Two years ago we had little more than rumors - until too late in the game - for a candidate. I know because I talked to just about everyone from the level of DTC chairman on up. Now we have two. Its an embarrasment of riches, far as I'm concerned.

Franks said...

Anon (11:45)

Given my own reaction to recent utility billings and lack of job growth in Connecticut, Rell's job approval is about to take a dive.

From The Day, Connecticut is facing a “quiet crisis” that has eroded business growth over the past 15 years and robbed the state of high-paying technology and manufacturing jobs.
Jeffrey Blodgett, vice president of research for the Connecticut Economic Resource Center, offered that sobering assessment Tuesday during a presentation to the Eastern Connecticut Chamber of Commerce at the Groton Inn & Suites.

“This is the only time in our post-war history that we've had no job growth,” Blodgett said.

Anonymous said...

Rumor that Murphy and Vance are on a short list for possible Lt. Gov Candidates. That does not make any sense to me.....

DeanFan84 said...

Vance would make a great Lt. Governor, and yes, it makes sense to groom younger Dems and build the bench!

Anonymous said...

To run with Rell?

Anonymous said...

At least not pompus like the current Lt. Guv.....

Anonymous said...

Re; this am's anomymous

Most people do have lots of debt. But few mortgages are subidized by the government and all are secured by a hard asset. If someone wants to load up on personal debt and enter a glutted profession where high paying jobs are getting scarce, why blame Congress?

BTW, this draconian budget bill cuts like .03% off the federal budget. So I presume the deficit only matters as a talking point..as a means to tax people in Fairfield County more so CT's economy weakens further. OOPS!. Like Big Oil wasn;t a problem when Bubba let Exxon and Mobil merge. OOPS AGAIN!

Quinn said...

The government does some good things with mortgages. But again, the difference between home loans and education loans are that a) private mortgages have a much higher principal and thus a much higher interest rate and b) educational loans are given out on the expectation that they increase the income potential of the borrower - and thus the ability to pay off the loan - whilst mortgage's make no such assumption. So even without collateral, lenders can take a risk assuming that 95% of those they give money to complete their education and thus gain the ability to pay the loan.

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