Democratic California Rep. Maxine Waters doesn’t come across as a particularly bright individual, hence being dubbed by her nemesis, President Donald Trump, as a “very low IQ individual.”
Nonetheless, she somehow managed to end up appointed as the chair of the vitally important House Financial Services Committee, which plays an important role in governing and regulating the financial institutions and services that keep this nation’s economy humming.
The Washington Times reported that Waters chaired a committee hearing on Wednesday during which seven major bank CEOs were grilled by members of Congress, including at one point over the insane amount of student loan accumulated over the past decade.
Unfortunately for Waters, her attempt to play “gotcha” with the bank CEOs blew up in her face, revealing her lack of even basic knowledge on that subject:
Maxine Waters appears to not know that the government nationalized students loans 10 years ago despite chairing a committee that regulates the banks…? pic.twitter.com/9cqA1dv962
— Caleb Hull (@CalebJHull) April 10, 2019
“Today there are more than 44 million Americans that owe — this is student loan crisis — $1.56 trillion in student loan debt … last year one million student loan borrowers defaulted, which is on top of the one million borrowers who defaulted the year before,” Waters said.
“What are you guys doing to help us with this student loan debt?” she asked the bank CEOs. “Who would like to answer first? Mr. Moynihan, big bank?”
Brian Moynihan, chairman and CEO of Bank of America, replied, “We stopped making student loans in 2007 or so.”
“Oh, so you don’t do it anymore?” Waters said. “Mr. Corbat?”
Michael Corbat, CEO of Citigroup, replied, “We exited student lending in 2009.”
Without missing a beat, Waters turned her attention to Jamie Dimon, chairman and CEO of JPMorgan Chase.
“When the government took over student lending in 2010 or so, we stopped doing all student lending,” Dimon said.
As if she hadn’t just swung and missed on all three attempts to hit the big bankers, Waters simply shifted gears and began to talk about small businesses.
The Times noted that, as Dimon pointed out to the chairwoman, the federal government essentially nationalized the student loan industry in 2010. At the time, President Barack Obama heralded the move as a good thing that would save billions of dollars for taxpayers by “cutting out the middleman,” in reference to the banks.
However, student loan debt has exploded under the federal guarantee, skyrocketing from around $155 billion in 2009 to about $1.1 trillion at the end of 2017.
The current level of accumulated student debt is estimated to be around $1.5 trillion.
Waters is in charge of the House committee that oversees the banking industry, and as such, one would expect that she would be fairly well-versed in what banks do and don’t do.
The fact that she came across as wholly unaware of the fact that her own government, then controlled by her own party, had assumed control of the student loan issue nearly 10 years ago — and had to be informed of this fact by one of the bankers she was seemingly blaming for the current mess that developed over that same time frame — is as frightening as it is funny.
It also demonstrates that Waters has no business whatsoever being a member of Congress, much less in charge of the financial services committee.