(Washington, D.C.) – Today, Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW) announced the results of its online poll for the 2016 Porker of the Year. There were six worthy candidates who were guilty of bureaucratic mismanagement, financing wasteful boondoggles, and promoting patently flawed policies, but in the end, the “winner” was never in doubt. By a landslide margin, the dishonor went to Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), with 58 percent of the vote.
Sen. Schumer was named August Porker of the Month for his leading role in the effort to create supposedly “debt free” college for all students, which would exacerbate rather than resolve the student loan crisis. According to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, student loan debt hit an all-time high of $1.27 trillion in Q3 2016. The cause of this dramatic increase in student loan debt is increased federal government subsidies. Over the past decade, there has been a 69 percent increase in students borrowing from federal loan programs. The federal government now provides 71 percent of all student aid. The consequential increase in student access to credit enables colleges and universities to continue to hike prices, which necessitates more loan borrowing. Tuition costs have increased by 153 percent over the last three decades for private colleges and 231 percent for public universities, faster than prices for both food and healthcare.
Sen. Schumer offered a bewildering assessment of the student loan crisis on February 12, 2016: “A Ford and a college education used to be the same price, but these days an education at NYU costs $60,000 a year, compared to $20,000 for a Ford today.” His silly comparison between the open and highly competitive auto market and the closed and heavily subsidized higher education sector lays bare his flawed knowledge of how government intervention hurts students. His bill, S. 2677, the In the Red Act, follows this flawed reasoning and would continue the vicious cycle of increased subsidies and higher loans that have already saddled America’s next generation with mountainous debt.
The silver medal winners, with 23 percent of the vote, were Reps. John Culberson (R-Texas), Mike Rogers (R-Ala.), and Tom Rooney (R-Fla.), for their reckless and secretive push to bring back wasteful and corruptive earmarks to Congress.
But, the top spot goes to Sen. Chuck Schumer, for his complete lack of understanding of the student loan bubble and promoting policies that would worsen the current crisis. That is why taxpayers named him the 2016 Porker of the Year.
CAGW is the nation’s largest nonpartisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to eliminating waste, fraud, abuse, and mismanagement in government. Porker of the Year is a dubious honor given to a lawmaker, government official, or political candidate who has shown the most blatant disregard for the interests of taxpayers throughout the year.