Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Education: Low Interest Student Loans – A Very Small Step

Mitt Romney apparently agrees with President Obama on extending the 3.4% interest rate on student loans, which puts both of them at odds with Republicans in Congress. Of course, we will have to wait and see if Mr. Romney shows any real leadership in helping the President overcome the opposition in Congress from his own party. I would humbly submit that this is only a very small step in restoring the recent damage to our education system. Our chart shows the decline in real government spending using data from this source (see Table 3.15.6. Real Government Consumption Expenditures and Gross Investment by Function). Phil Oliff and Michael Leachman documented how state and local government support of elementary and high school education has been declining since the recession. Diane Epstein discussed what the Ryan budget would mean to education spending a month ago. Pell Grants, which already have seen declining values relative to college costs, are slated to be drastically reduced. Head Start funding will also be reduced. Of course, most of what public commitment to education comes from state and local governments, but the Federal government can reverse these recent cuts with a greater commitment to Federal revenue sharing. And the bonus would be that we might avoid doing further damage to the economic recovery ala austerity. In other words – if Mr. Romney wants to really lead, then he will insist that we reject this Ryan budget.

239 comments:

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Jack said...

So what am I missing? The Federal Reserve has no difficulty keeping its discount window wide open for an average secondary rate of less than 2% during the past several years and a rough average rate of around 3% during the past decade. So it can't open that same window to the agency that has been making student loans since 2010? That agency loses a fortune at 3.4%, but the Fed can open its window to the banks for less than that? Oh, the banks are a safer bet to pay back the debt you say. Oh really, say I. Then what the hell happened four years ago?

rjs said...

jack, student loans are a profit center for the treasury; they'll net $37B this year, after allowing for $5B in credit losses...

gabe said...

I'll tell you what you are missing. The Federal Reserve is not set up to help the common man. It is set up to bailout the financial institutions that the elite deem important and to help make debt slaves out of the rest of us.

Jack said...

So rjs is telling us that the Fed can, as gabe says, bail out the financial elites, but when it comes to the commoners its essential to make a killing on their need for an education. We have certainly gotten screwed up as a nation with no moral center of gravity. Ye, I know, the Fed is by bankers and for bankers, but the governement is supposed to have a say and what they say is that we can all screw off. It's the same message from both sides of the aisle.

A if rjs is correct, and I have no reason to doubt his claims, then what's all the BS about it costing billions to keep the rate where it is. And where it is is higher than mortgage money.

rjs said...

jack, here's my source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/creditslips/feed/~3/QJB-jYm5nxs/the-student-loan-tax.html
(that elizabeth warren's old blog)

imo, if the corporatocracy needs educated workers, then they should pay for their education; as it is now, college tuition has just become a vehicle to entrap naive young people into debt slavery...

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