The Cost of Corruption

The GOP's Pre-owned New Leader
by Robert L. Borosage
Boehner personifies how the cost of corruption in Washington gets passed on to ordinary Americans. As chair of the Education and Workforce Committee, he is known as the “representative from Sallie Mae.” Sallie Mae is the leading provider of loans to college students and their parents, and Boehner has consolidated his leadership by dispensing big bucks raised from lenders in campaign and party contributions. In fact, the Center for Responsive Politics reports that Sallie Mae is the biggest donor to Boehner's political action committee, called Freedom Project.

In return, he protects their interest. Most recently, he helped develop and push through legislation that may weaken the loan industry’s competition — the Direct Student Loan program, where students bypass Sallie Mae and others and borrow directly from the government. While taking it to their competition, Boehner openly reassured bankers that they would not be harmed greatly by this legislation — as reported in the Chronicle of Education — he informed a group of bankers that they could rest easy in his “trusted hands.”

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