As college graduates move on to wherever they’re going, it’s worth remembering this finding from February:
In obscure data tables buried deep in its 2016 budget proposal, the Obama administration revealed this week that its student loan program had a $21.8 billion shortfall last year, apparently the largest ever recorded for any government credit program. …
The 40 million Americans with student loans are now saddled with more than $1.2 trillion in outstanding debt. And with higher education costs rising much faster than inflation, the already massive program has been growing at a spectacular clip; direct government loans alone increased 44 percent over the last two years despite an aura of austerity in Washington. The Obama administration has tried to ease the burden for some borrowers by reducing their payments to 10 percent of their income and forgiving their loans after 20 years; this year, the Education Department plans to make all borrowers eligible for that “pay-as-you-earn” relief.
Even better, thanks to what the writer, Michael Grunwald, calls “a quirk in the budget process for credit programs,” that money just goes straight to national debt, without Congressional input.
Sadly, as all of these new sticks fall on taxpayers’ backs, few Americans — including or maybe especially the better educated among them — will understand where the massive burden came from.