How rich is this? It has been reported that our beloved (not so much) Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos, has decided to appoint Dr. A. Wayne Johnson, a financial services executive, to run Federal Student Aid. Why is this an issue? Johnson is the CEO of Reunion Financial Services, which originates, services and refinances private student loans. In yet another, ‘what the hell just happened?’ moment, DeVos’ pick is highly inappropriate.
DeVos cited several twisted reasons why she believes Johnson is best positioned to run Federal Student Aid:
- his deep student loan knowledge;
- his CEO leadership experience; and
- his ability to serve students and protect taxpayers
Clearly, there are also a few factors that would also deem this appointment, highly inappropropriate. First of all, Johnson’s experience is squarely in the private corporate world. He has no experience in the public sector, which is extremely problematic. But really, what this means for FSA is basically, we will have a loan shark in charge of the 44 million loans and $1.4 trillion debt in federal student loans. And just how does one not see this as a conflict of interest? He is a private student loan originator!
Dr. Johnson has stated publicly that his intention is to rewrite student loan forgiveness programs and do away with most forgiveness programs. As you know, most loan sharks lack compassion. The Department of Education press release announcing Johnson’s appointment conveniently left off the fact that he is the founder and the CEO of Reunion Financial Services.
The appointment of Johnson is real — this is not fake news.
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