When it comes to raking in questionable dough via the abuse of political power, the Clintons are in a league all to themselves. In fact, their shamelessness is so rampant and sloppy, the only explanation is they simply thought no one would ever dare hold them to account.
Here’s the latest example, from Raw Story:
Student loan debt continues to be one of the largest economic issues plaguing the U.S., with the total amount topping $1.3 trillion. Hillary Clinton’s higher education policy touts debt-free degrees for underprivileged students. But is she being genuine in her efforts to address the issue?
While Hillary loves to rail against shady for-profit colleges on the campaign trail, she does have some financial ties to them that are likely to shape whether or not she holds them accountable for ripping students off.
It was recently revealed through Hillary’s emails that during her first year as Secretary of State she insisted that Laureate Education be included in the guest list for an education policy dinner hosted at the U.S. Department of State.
“It’s a for-profit model that should be represented,” she wrote in the August 2009 email, and as a result, a senior vice president at Laureate was added to the guest list. Several months later, former President Bill Clinton became an honorary chancellor of Laureate International Universities, which turned out to be incredibly lucrative. He was paid a cool $16.5 million between 2010 and 2014 for his role with the for-profit college.
Also consider that while 12 percent of the country’s students go to for-profits, a whopping 96 percent of them have to take out federal loans. As a result, for-profit colleges account for 25 percent of all federal financial aid dollars and half of all Department of Defense Tuition Assistance funds.
After all, without the sucker U.S. taxpayer, how would rent-seeking politicians get paid?
Some may argue that not all for-profit colleges are created equal, and it’s unfair to group Laureate together with the now defunct Corinthian Colleges, which was forced to cease all U.S. operations due to various state and federal investigations. But Laureate seems to be plagued with similar issues. That’s why the company decided to expand in Latin American countries rather than the U.S. with the help of Bill Clinton.
There are five schools in the U.S. that operate under Laureate’s umbrella. Walden University is a Laureate school in Minneapolis, and even though its parent company had the money to pay our former president $4 million a year, Walden charges students nearly $60,000 in tuition and fees for most undergraduate degrees.
Laureate gets 84 percent of its revenue from outside the U.S., and mostly from Latin American countries. The company faced a great deal backlash in Chile and Brazil, leading to the loss of accreditation for one of its Chilean schools in 2014.
Hillary’s biggest challenge against Bernie Sanders is how much money in politics has influenced her policy decisions. While both candidates address combating student loan debt and college affordability in very different ways, it’s critical to follow the money and figure out who is being sincere about solving the problem.
The truth is that Hillary’s higher ed policy isn’t very different from what we have in place now, which I will delve into in my upcoming column. Now her ties to the for-profit college industry make me question whether she’ll hold them accountable if she got elected.
Clinton herself was paid $225,000 for speaking at a 2014 event sponsored by Academic Partnerships, a for-profit education company that helps public and private not-for-profit universities move degree programs online. Jeb Bush was also one of its investors.
Let me guess, she did it because of 9/11, or because “it’s what they offered.” The only federal building this woman is fit to occupy is a penitentiary.