NY Times: Subsidize Students, Not Tax Cuts

It’s all about priorities: an editorial in today’s New York Times highlights how the GOP budget fails to prevent student loan interest rates from doubling and makes reckless cuts to education while giving tax cuts to the wealthy.

Key points:

“In 2007, President George W. Bush signed a bill that cut in half interest rates on subsidized student loans until 2012. Those low rates will expire on July 1 — going back to 6.8 percent from 3.4 percent — and, to prevent college from becoming even more unaffordable for millions of students, the obvious move is to renew them. But nothing is that easy or sensible anymore in Washington, where House Republicans are far more interested in cutting taxes, largely for the rich, than they are in helping low- and middle-income students get a college education.”

“House Republicans say the country cannot afford the $6 billion a year that it costs to pay for the lower rates. The Ryan budget, recently approved by the House, would allow the rates to double, and, at the same time, would cut taxes by $10 trillion over a decade.

Instead, Republicans would rather pile that burden on the backs of taxpayers-to-be, specifically the 7.4 million students who now have federally subsidized Stafford loans and the millions more who will need them. At a time when many graduates are desperate for jobs, the interest rate increase would add an average of $1,000 a year to their debt.”