POLITICS
11/10/2011 12:29 am ET | Updated Jan 09, 2012

Ron Paul, Newt Gingrich Criticize Student Loan Programs

ROCHESTER, Mich. -- Republicans Ron Paul and Newt Gingrich criticized the nation's student loan programs, saying they had failed taxpayers.

Paul was asked about student loan program at a Republican presidential debate. He called it a "total failure" and said student loan debt of nearly $1 trillion could be "dumped on the taxpayer." He said he supported getting rid of student loan programs and the Education Department.

"There's no authority in the Constitution for the federal government to be dealing with education," the Texas congressman argued. "We should get rid of the loan programs. We should get rid of the Department of Education and give tax credits, if you have to, to help people."

Gingrich said the loan program expanded the ability of students "to stay in college longer because they don't see the cost." He called it "an absurdity."