Thursday, September 17, 2009

Who's Against Saving $87 Billion of Taxpayer money? The Republican Party.

The House today decided to save taxpayers $87 billion over the next ten years by taking over the student loan program: The House of Representatives approved legislation Thursday that would effectively end private-lender involvement in the student-loan market, establishing the federal government as the sole provider of college loans. The House vote was 253-to-171, largely along party lines.

The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office said that ending fees paid to private lenders would save the taxpayer $87 billion over the next decade. In 2007, Congress reduced government payments to lenders making federally guaranteed student loans by more than $20 billion.

But who could object to saving $87 billion of taxpayer money over ten years. Republicans. They would spend yours and my money so they can cling to their small government, free enterprise ideology. Oddly, the Republicans have the same point of view as the bankers.

Washington Post: Republicans and the lending industry say the bill would engineer a risky shift in higher-education finance that could prove costly to taxpayers and diminish quality of service to borrowers. Opponents of the bill did not dispute that assessment (of savings). Two Republicans on the committee support the bill; most are opposed.

A group of lending industry leaders proposed an approach ... would save about $13 billion less than the House Democratic bill, (CBO estimate) a conclusion the industry disputes.

Of course, I've saved the best for last. Here, the private sector argues how they have kept the government honest by competing with it. The same argument they say doesn't work when it comes to health care reform and the public option. Can they really have it both ways?
John F. Remondi, vice chairman and chief financial
officer of Sallie Mae (now private since 2004), based in Reston said:
"If the Department of Education, in its monopoly, didn't do a good job, the schools and students wouldn't have someplace else. Our view is, what's kept them honest to this point in time has been the competition from lenders like ourselves."
Nice try, but I'd prefer saving $87 billion of taxpayer money over the next ten years, thank you.

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