Ending the banks’ student-loan ripoff

Apparently a deal is now in place to do it through reconciliation along with the patches to the health bill. That should help reassure House Democrats that they’re not going to get left in the lurch if they pass the Senate bill. But it also transfers tens of billions of dollars from banks (and the college officials they corrupt) to the Treasury and the students.

Of course, this isn’t really happening, because the Obama Administration is a bunch of wimpy sell-outs without the nerve to take on the big interests.

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact: Markarkleiman-at-gmail.com

15 thoughts on “Ending the banks’ student-loan ripoff”

  1. If and when I no longer have to pay $800/month to health insure a single 55-year old who has never had major disease and never hit his deductible, we can talk about the Obama Adminstration not being a bunch of wimpy sellouts without the nerve to take on the big interests. Under Obama's current plan that will be sometime in 2014. By that time Obama will be a wimpy lame duck sellout without the nerve to take on the big interests. Prove me wrong PLEASE because otherwise I am completely screwed.

  2. Ah, more cherries for the shit sandwich. But you'll only get them, on the side, after you've eaten it…

    Here's an idea: If it's such a great idea, pass it as a stand alone bill, rather than tacking it onto a completely unrelated ginormous piece of unpopular legislation.

  3. Brett: They aren't adding this to the health care reform bill, they're adding it to the reconciliation bill which is also expected to include patches to the HCR. They can't pass this as a stand-alone measure because there are 41 senators who would filibuster it. Anything with only 59 votes can only be passed through reconciliation.

  4. Student loan reform is completely unrelated to the health care bill, it could be passed as a stand alone bill in a heartbeat. The only reason anyone is proposing it for the reconciliation bill is because it's a lot MORE popular than the health care reform legislation. The reconciliation bill is the pile of whipped cream and cherries on the shit sandwich.

    The problem is, to get to reconciliation, you have to first eat the shit sandwich. So it's more like a whipped cream and cherries desert you have to trust the waiter to deliver after you've choked down the sandwich. There's nothing to stop the Senate, so I understand, from just aborting reconciliation after the House votes through the Senate bill. Fear of exactly that happening is inspiring all sorts of novel, and blatantly unconstitutional proposals to reverse the process. The Slaughter proposal being the most absurd to date. I know the enrolled bill doctrine exists, but I've got doubts the courts would extend it to a case where the House never even held a vote on the bill in question.

  5. "Of course, this isn’t really happening, because the Obama Administration is a bunch of wimpy sell-outs without the nerve to take on the big interests."

    Until proven otherwise…

  6. If the Dems actually do this it would be an unquestionably good thing. And I'm sure we'll all hear about how righteous and tough they are in opposing corrupt banking practices.

    Meanwhile, the relevant committees in congress are doing their best to limit reform of financial industry regulations so as to impact their owners' bottom lines as little as possible. Yaay Democrats!

  7. Dude! That "the Obama Administration is a bunch of wimpy sell-outs without the nerve to take on the big interests" is the charitable interpretation. That they're having, for example, Senators Reid and Durbin go out and whip against a public option for HRC, just when it's gaining enough support to possibly pass, also gives rise to a somewhat darker construal.

  8. Ahem. That would be a "public option for HCR", not HRC. Sorry, Hillary!

    Also, seeing Barry go bold makes me jealous. I wanted to italicize charitable, but there are no posted instructions regarding HTML tag usage at this location.

  9. Brett, you're talking through your hat. Student loan reform is popular, but between the bulk of the Republicans and a few sellout Democrats (whom the press keeps calling "moderates," as if corruption were the same as moderation) there are easily 41 votes to block cloture. Therefore a standalone bill cannot pass. That's the reason we need filibuster reform. In the meantime, reconciliation is the way to get it done.

    And as for you, "obsessed," you need to practice distinguishing friends from enemies. Given the filibuster rule, passing health care reform is hard; that's the reason previous wimpy sellouts from Teddy Roosevelt through FDR, Harry Truman, and Lyndon Johnson failed to get it done. Obama has gotten closer than anyone ever has, and may yet push the thing across the goal line. I sympathize with your situation, but would you rather have your problem fixed in 2014, or never? Because those are your choices. And the idea that if all the progressives get together and throw rocks at the progressive leader that will encourage progressive change is, if you'll pardon me, pretty damned dumb.

  10. Obama is progressive?

    Compared to some (modern?) Republicans, Nixon looks like a progressive but I'm fairly certain that does not make him one.

  11. That isn't to say I don't approve of the student loan legislation such as I understand it. I even approve of how it is being done. But even broken clocks are right twice a day, Obama is going to have to work much harder (especially in light of his rush to the center on health care) to (re-)earn the title of "progressive".

  12. So when good things happen its due to Obama, when they don't its the fault of Congress!

    Meanwhile in the real world Tim Geithner is lobbying to keep derivatives from being regulated in Europe.

  13. Obsessed,

    Why do you think anything insurance-focused would get insurance costs for a healthy 55-year-old to go down? That's backward to the whole nature of this reform, which is to equalize costs across insureds–so insurance costs go down for the sick and up for the healthy. If you think of it as COBRA-for-all, which I think is reasonable, $500/month is about right (and rough GDP estimates get to the same ballpark); with some age rating, I'd be extremely surprised if rates for healthy 55-year-olds go down from $800.

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