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Maher on college affordability: ‘It’s a giant scam’

Comedian and HBO host Bill Maher discussed the subject of college affordability on his show, “Real Time With Bill Maher,” arguing that attending a higher education institution was “a giant scam.” 

The comments came as part of a larger discussion with Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) and filmmaker Rob Reiner about President Biden’s plan to forgive some student loan debt, which was announced this week.

Maher argued that college is a “consumer product that they’re selling you as a golden ticket” to reach the upper middle class, but it is unnecessary for most people. He said pushing American students to go to college for most jobs that do not require an undergraduate degree is a scam. 

He said he has spoken to nurses, administrators and teachers about their complaints that they need to attain another degree once they reach a certain point in their careers.

“They all have this complaint that at a certain point they need more ‘education’ to advance in their career, when really, they know exactly what they’re doing,” Maher said. 

Biden announced on Wednesday that the federal government will forgive up to $10,000 in federal student loans for borrowers making less than $125,000 annually. It will also forgive up to $20,000 for those making less than $125,000 and who received a Pell Grant.

Maher said Democrats believe education is the solution to “everything,” as Republicans do with tax cuts. 

Maher stated that a “vast majority of Americans” didn’t go to college, and therefore, do not have student loan debt. He mentioned to Klobuchar that some Democrats are divided on the issue of student loan debt forgiveness.

“Where are you on that one?” he asked the senator.

Klobuchar said Biden’s plan is targeted to people who are making less per year, and most of the money goes to people making less than $75,000 annually. 

She said the plan will help nurses, teachers and electricians, and many people have community college loans. But, she added, she would have tied the debt forgiveness specifically to the hard-to-fill jobs, like those in health care and assisted living. 

“If people will go into those jobs instead of being hedge fund managers, then we could actually put the loan repayment help and have it connect to people going into the jobs that we need to fill,” Klobuchar said. “I think that would be a way to do it, but I do think it’s important for people to understand, this is a targeted program that he put out.”

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