published Sunday, November 27th, 2011

Barrett: Occupy slackers want others to repay their student loans

Any lingering hope that the Occupy Wall Street set isn't infested with sloths and slackers can now be pitched without ceremony into the nearest Cuisinart.

Amid OWS' hot denials that it is a magnet for the shiftless, the entitled and the infantilized, it has begun urging a mass heist against taxpayers.

Here is the plan, announced in Manhattan's Zuccotti Park by a branch of OWS with the brazenly lackluster title "Occupy Student Debt":

People who borrowed money to attend college will sign a pledge vowing not to repay their debt. When 1 million people have pledged thus, they will put a fiscal gun to the heads of the American people and, as casually as they might tweet about their choice of granola, pull the trigger: They'll stop paying on their loans.

The precise effect of this action is impossible to know, but it could be devastating. The federal government is responsible for 85 percent of student loans, and student debt is in the neighborhood of $1 trillion. That's more than the American people owe on credit cards.

A flood of deadbeats suddenly overwhelming the system to the point that it cannot effectively collect on student loans would shift at least part of that bill onto taxpayers.

"The theory behind the campaign is that if 1 million students refuse to pay, they would face minimal consequences due to safety in numbers," Inside Higher Ed reports.

But that's the least of it. How many other Americans would understandably conclude that if graduates don't have to repay loans squandered on five or six years of advanced marmalade studies, there's no reason why they should pay off their mortgages, their car loans or that colorful pantsuit from Sears?

Hard as it is to fathom, it's doubtful there are enough bureaucrats even at the Department of Education and the IRS to track down a million student loan-chucking loafers plus millions more who may be inspired to dump sundry other financial obligations.

So we arrive again at the axis of the self-absorbed OWS movement: If they want something, and they can muster the sheer mob force to take it, they will. To heck with what it does to anybody else.

Incapable of, and uninterested in, gaining the intellectual traction or emotional maturity to pull out of the perpetual mosh pit they mistake for reality, they demand a life unencumbered by grown-up responsibilities -- and they will have it, even if it means embracing the tactics of the bailed-out Wall Street miscreants they denounce.

The belief by at least some portion of the Occupy movement that repayment of their loans is the duty of plumbers, waitresses and janitors who never signed up for that borrowing is merely the latest manifestation of that. It merits their dismissal to the sparsely populated ideological netherworld of Michael Moore and Newsweek.

If you've lost Chris Matthews ...

Speaking of sparsely populated netherworlds, I saw a link to a vigorous denunciation of the president by -- wait for it -- Chris Matthews of MSNBC!

"What are we trying to do in this administration?" Matthews ponders in palpable despair. "Why does he want a second term? Would he tell us? What's he going to do in his second term? More of this? Is this it? Is this as good as it gets? Where are we going? Are we going to do something in his second term? He has yet to tell us. He has not said one thing about what he would do in a second term. He never tells us what he's going to do with reforming our health care systems, Medicare, Medicaid. How he's going to reform Social Security. Is he going to deal with long-term debt? How? Is he going to reform the tax system? How?"

All fine questions, Friar Matthews. So far, Obama's plan is:

* Raise taxes on the rich.

* Toss a few hundred billion more smackers down the stimulus rat hole.

That's it. That's the plan. That's the grand design for economic turnaround.

Small wonder the president is now hemorrhaging the support of even the Chris Matthewses of the world.

Reach Steve Barrett at 423-757-6329 or

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tipper said...

You know that OWS is starting to grab hold of the political agenda when Barrett spews his idiocy. Tuition is up 600% since the late '70s. Republican "job creaters" are sitting on piles of taxpayer money creating no jobs while decrying a regulatory climate that has allowed them to steal the country blind. If students are paying ridiculous sums of money to financials to find no jobs-a situation that the financial and mortgage industries created-then default on those loans. Credit default swaps, student loan defaults, What's good for the goose... Hit them where it really hurts--in their wallets.

November 27, 2011 at 7:27 a.m.
charivara said...

What kind of rat hole would we be in if there had been no stimulus? Or a stimulus that the President had asked for but the Republicans refused to pass?

The effective federal income tax rate for the 400 wealthiest taxpayers, representing the top 0.000258 percent, fell from about 30 percent in 1995 to 18 percent in 2008

Between 1979 and 2005 the inflation-adjusted, after-tax income of Americans in the middle of the income distribution rose 21 percent. The equivalent number for the richest 0.1 percent rose 400 percent.

Yet it is the middle of the income distribution Americans who are expected to shoulder the financial burden placed on them by the people that this toady speaks for in his ignorant, smug, empathy-challenged columns.

November 27, 2011 at 5:48 p.m.
Emersization said...

I'm almost sure "forgiving debt" is going to be one of Obama's campaign promises.

November 27, 2011 at 8:37 p.m.

Charivara, all you ever do is spew envy and class warfare. We need solutions not political B.S. The problem is spending not lack of tax income. Taxes don't create wealth, they steal it. Government spending doesn't stimulate the economy. The wealthiest 400 do.

November 29, 2011 at 12:12 p.m.
Rickaroo said...

FPSE, I find it fascinating that you boot lickers of the super rich are always the first to regurgitate those worn-out words of "envy" and "class warfare." You try to make it appear that liberals are envious of them but the envy of those of you who always support and defend the 1% is so obvious it's disgusting. Every one of your talking points of envy, class warfare, less spending, more tax cuts, blah blah blah blah blah, is just a broken record of what Faux News spits out every day. At least come up with something original before you accuse others of "spewing." You are the quintessential spewer.

November 29, 2011 at 12:34 p.m.
charivara said...

FPSE: You think pointing out inequity and injustice is envy? You don’t know what envy is.

You don’t think insisting on lowering taxes on the wealthiest while refusing to extend the payroll tax holiday on workers is class warfare? You don’t know what class warfare is.

Taxes are not meant to create wealth but they do when tax law is written to benefit a select few. You don’t know how tax policy is made.

Government spending doesn’t stimulate the economy? You don’t know history.

The wealthiest 400 stimulate the economy? They have become much wealthier and have paid much less in taxes during the last 10 years. Where's the stimulation? You don’t know what the wealthiest 400 do with their money.

What do you know?

November 30, 2011 at 11:49 a.m.
charivara said...


November 30, 2011 at 11:54 a.m.

Just calling a spade a spade boys. Charivara, you seem to be confused as to how taxes work. The way you determine if taxes create wealth would be to compare pre-tax profit to post-tax profit. If post-tax profit exceeds pre-tax profit, taxes created wealth. I don't think that is how it has ever happened for anyone but the government that collected the taxes and then it isn't really wealth creation, it is redistribution. "They have become much wealthier and have paid much less in taxes during the last 10 years. Where's the stimulation?" Paying taxes is not the same as stimulating the economy. You are confused there too.

By your definition of class warfare, higher taxes on the rich than those levied against the poor is class warfare. Are you the pot calling the kettle black? A flat tax is the only tax with no vestige of class warfare in it.

Well, since you mentioned it, let's take a look at the top 5 of the 1% since looking at 400 would take a prohibitively long time and would produce more content than you would want to read.

1 Bill Gates

Worth $59 Billion. Made $800k as of this month.

He is currently working on his post retirement goal of erradicating death from preventable infectious disease worldwide. He funds medical research around the world on diseases such as malaria, aids, small pox, etc.. He has actually accomplished a milestone lately with the development of a vaccine that passed clinical trials and has the potential to save millions of lives worldwide.

He owns stock in several companies around the world that employ working stiffs just like us.

There is your stimulation. Billions of dollars worth.

2 Warren Buffett

Worth $39 Billion. Made $524k as of this month.

He is working on sending his billions to the U.S. treasury because he thinks he isn't taxed enough. I am sure they should expect the check any day now, or maybe he is just a hypocrit. He spends his time writing op-eds and buying stock like Bill.

Again, Billions of dollars of economic stimulus.

3 Larry Ellison

Worth $33 Billion. I have no idea how much money he has made this year.

Larry is the CEO of Oracle corporation which employs over 108,000 people worldwide. ONE HUNDRED AND EIGHT THOUSAND. Wow. He also spends boatloads of money on houses and financing the americas cup.

It is plain that he is stimulating the economy.

November 30, 2011 at 5:54 p.m.

4 Charles Koch

Worth $25 Billion. I have no idea how much he has made this year either.

Charles Koch is the CEO of Koch industries which employs more than 70,000 people. Aside from running the second largest private company in the USA, he and his brother spend their time peeing in Obama's cheerios. They fund conservative organizations that fight socialism and preserve freedom and the american way.

Still more economic stimulation.

4 David Koch (Tied with his brother)

Worth $25 Billion. I don't know how much he made so far this year.

David Koch is the exective vice president of Koch Industries. In addition to his work with his brother at Koch and in the political arena, they give hundreds of millions of dollars to finance medicine and the arts.

Lots of stimulus.

5 Christy Walton and Family

Worth $24.5 Billion I have no idea how much she made so far this year.

Walmart. Approximately 2.1 MILLION employees. Economic stimulus out the wazooo.

So what were you saying about the rich not stimulating the economy? Did you visualize a huge Scrooge Mcduck style vault with swimming Billionaires in it? Any more words of infinite wisdom Charivara?

November 30, 2011 at 5:54 p.m.
chet123 said...

This fool Flyingpurple went through all this trouble to defend the rich......some of the names are really good people as henry ford was.....but my good buddy i notice you detail very little about you really think they worked to acheive massive amout of cash as they have...Hmmmmmmmm...Koch brother and other OIL corp.have made their money with the BLOOD of Young AMerican Soldier you clown......and the Price Gouging inflicted on the Market

December 2, 2011 at 3:14 p.m.
chet123 said...

I have always respected anyone who can Acheive success......But do it honestly....not on the back and expense of cutting the middle-class or working-class short.

December 2, 2011 at 3:21 p.m.
chet123 said...

HA HA HA Notice when flyingpurple get to the OIL BARONS...he have no idea how much money they have made this year ha ha ha


December 2, 2011 at 3:23 p.m.
Humphrey said...

I tell you one thing. Wiping out student loan debt would be the single biggest jump start to the economy I can imagine. People would have a lot more money to spend buying goods and services and that would benefit everyone. Talk about an economic stimulus.

December 3, 2011 at 6:01 p.m.
fairmon said...

Humphrey said... I tell you one thing. Wiping out student loan debt would be the single biggest jump start to the economy I can imagine. People would have a lot more money to spend buying goods and services and that would benefit everyone. Talk about an economic stimulus

That logic could apply to a long list of things such as allowing a one time no tax withdrawal from an IRA to make a purchase or to pay off a debt.

December 4, 2011 at 10:34 a.m.
chet123 said...


December 7, 2011 at 5:02 p.m.
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