Pete Hegseth, a perpetual Trump favorite, wants to make it easier for scammy for-profit colleges to fleece vets.
Fox News host Pete Hegseth spends a lot of time bragging about being a vet, but when it comes to standing up for veterans, he's happy to throw them under the bus.
Earlier this month, Hegseth gave a speech to a for-profit colleges trade group and said veterans groups — the ones that actually work to help vets — are "really drunk on the swamp."
The real heroes here, according to Hegseth, are the for-profit colleges themselves. Never mind that those types of schools are legendary for fleecing students by taking their money but failing to give them an actual education.
Those underperforming schools also target veterans specifically. That's because of the 90/10 rule. Schools can use taxpayer dollars — federal aid — for 90% of their funding, but the remainder has to come from private sources. Except there's a huge loophole: G.I. Bill money, even though it comes from the federal government, is considered private money.
Because of that, those for-profit schools Hegseth loves so much love recruiting vets. Eight of the 10 schools that get the most G.I. Bill money are for-profit schools. Six of those have defrauded their students.
Veterans groups have called on the Department of Education to close the 90/10 loophole so that these types of schools no longer exploit vets. That, apparently, is what Hegseth thinks counts as being "really drunk on the swamp."
Hegseth told the for-profit school trade group that for-profit schools don't prey on veterans and "the fact that profit is made only makes these schools better." He also said that he might lobby Trump on the issue.
Unfortunately, Trump will probably listen to him. For a time, Hegseth was rumored to be in the running to head the Veterans Affairs Department despite having no relevant experience whatsoever. Trump has phoned Hegseth in the middle of Cabinet meetings to get Hegseth's take on a piece of proposed legislation.
Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos has already spent the last two years cozying up to these same for-profit schools. Now, it looks like she'll have an assist from one of Trump's favorite Fox personalities. That's the real swamp.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.