Secretary of Education Arne Duncan Has No Idea How Much His Student Loan Program Costs

The White House has been determined to fix the student debt crisis, potentially as a way of setting the stage for the President’s post-term plan to inspire young people to take on positions of leadership (after he takes a beach vacation, of course), and as a way of piggy-backing on Elizabeth Warren’s student debt proposal that died in Congress before it was ever introduced.

As part of his plan, the President is proposing an executive order that would cap Federally funded student loan payments at 10% of a person’s income with complete forgiveness after 20 years if the person makes regular payments. But when asked about how much this sort-of bailout would cost taxpayers — since taxpayers supply the money that ultimately underwrites the subsidized loans — and Arne Duncan, who is the Secretary of Education and should probably be aware of how much college costs these days, answered with a shrug of the shoulders.

SECRETARY OF EDUCATION ARNE DUNCAN: We actually don’t know the cost yet. Obviously we have to go through this regulatory process, so we’ll figure that out the back end. But we think this is something that will be fantastic for the economy. … We’ll work through the details as we go through the regulatory process.

Part of this is, of course, that he’s not super concerned with how much it costs, just as long as it happens. The point isn’t to make things easier for students or borrowers, but to make it seem as though they’re making it easier. Since the government rakes in billions per year from student loans, the program isn’t going away anytime soon, especially since the practice is, generally, giving students money to spend on organizations the government also controls, meaning that the principles of supply and demand never actually apply to education. Public schools raise tuition, the government lets students borrow so no one faces hardship paying their bills initially, and the last bastion of Communism — the higher education English department — remains fully funded through retirement.

Democrats have, of course, vowed to keep the issue alive.

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