The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

Z_CNHI News Service

August 23, 2013

EDITORIALS: College spending reform; Manning's not a whistleblower

(Continued)

Given this reality, tying college evaluations to federal funding -- as the president seeks -- is a risky proposition. We would much prefer to treat the evaluations as a useful advisory tool for students. 

A second proposal is capping a graduate’s student loan payment to 10 percent of their income. That sounds like a reasonable idea, but it could be tweaked. Many graduates say they need immediate help with student loan payments. Extending the grace period for starting repayment from six months after graduation to 12 would be an excellent start. Given the persistently high unemployment rate among young people, an extra six months to find a job and establish themselves as economically independent adults would make a huge difference.

And the loan payment cap should be more flexible. Including a sunset provision of seven to 10 years, for example, would be an incentive for students to pay off their loans quicker. Offering graduates a lifetime cap on their maximum payment sets the bar too low and could extend the life of the loan, leading to more interest paid over time.

Policy differences aside, we salute the president for addressing the topic and hope lawmakers in Washington take heed — higher education reform is critical.

---------------

Manning’s revelations don’t rise to ‘whistleblower’ level

(The Record-Eagle / Traverse City, Mich.)

Bradley Manning is no Edward Snowden.

And though both are accused of going public with secret government documents, the comparisons pretty much end there.

While Snowden’s revelations have touched off a painful but long-overdue review of the government’s excesses under cover of the Patriot Act and other post-9/11 laws, what Manning did was simply hubris.

“When I made these decisions, I believed I was going to help people, not hurt people,” Manning said during trial. His “decisions” — while an active-duty Army intelligence analyst — were to give up hundreds of thousands of secret military and diplomatic documents to WikiLeaks to expose what he thought was the the U.S. military’s “bloodlust.”

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