Consider the source:
Senator Tom Harkin, whose outspoken opposition to Wall Street generally and for-profit schools specifically has made him a leading voice in Congressional regulation of career and for-profit colleges. His office is set to release a report this month – the second in a series – detailing the horrific ramifications of applying free market principles to higher education, but it seems his office may have much to be concerned about given recent details that have emerged about the Senator’s direct involvement in not only the creation and distribution of faulty past reports, but in back-door dealings that should give any American pause.
Last fall, Harkin released a report that his office claimed detailed a host of transgressions on the part of for-profit or “career” colleges from misuse of student loan money to misleading counseling services and high default rates among graduates. The report was criticized by Senate Republicans as “unfair,” and Republicans boycotted subsequent hearings. It was later revealed that the report, compiled – with Harkin’s help – by the GAO, was faulty and many of its findings either fabricated or unusable and the GAO issued fix:
In November 2010, the GAO was forced to release a significantly changed report. The correction affected 16 of the 28 findings in the original report. The bias of the original report was also reflected in the fact that all 16 revisions were all of the same type: changing flawed statements that cast the for-profits in the worst possible light. Error after error took statements out of context or did not accurately portray what was said.
The report, however, had Harkin’s desired effect. Just days after the report was presented at a Senate hearing, the value of for-profit schools’ stock dropped 14% and companies that ran free-market educational facilities lost over $4 billion dollars.
A later journalistic investigation revealed an even darker heart to the study. The website Daily Caller obtained a series of emails and memos detailing how Harkin and his staff had pressured the GAO, demanding the inclusion of detail after detail even after the deadline to the report drew close. One staffer even explained that these detail demands were heavily responsible for the GAO reports gross inaccuracies…
Read the rest. It includes a detail about Harkin’s meetings that points directly at corruption in his attacks on for-profit schools. Harkin, who has lied about serving in Vietnam, shouldn’t be trusted if he says the sky is blue. Like many Democrats, he is simply against private enterprise and does his best to destroy it by any means necessary.