Sen. Warren: Hey, let’s help students refinance their loans by raising taxes on the wealthy!
posted at 6:41 pm on May 7, 2014 by Erika Johnsen
The Democrats’ push to hike the national minimum wage is merely the crown jewel in the so-called “fair shot” agenda that they hope will erase ObamaCare from voters’ minds by the time they hit the ballot box this November; the next action item on their intellectually (not to mention fiscally) bankrupt list is a similarly redistributive and equally lame pander to the young people who have lately been electorally shuffling away from them. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, it’s your cue:
Warren, a Massachusetts Democrat, is poised to introduce a bill which, in part, would allow people holding student loans financed at rates higher than today’s interest rate to refinance those loans, similar to the way one refinances a home mortgage or car loan.
“When interest rates drop, people can refinance their home, they can refinance their business debt. It’s regarded as a smart move for any consumer or business. But student borrowers are prohibited from doing that under most programs,” Warren told MassLive.com. “This bill says we’re going to change that and let them refinance that down to current low rates.” …
“This is $66 billion on just the loans issued during that period. That is insane,” Warren said. “This (bill) brings that down. Instead of taxing students who can’t afford to pay for college up front, it says we are investing in those students.”
It’s funny she would refer to the $66 billion in interest that the federal government, i.e. taxpayers stand to earn on the money they lent to students between 2007 and 2012 as a “tax,” because that brings us to how Warren proposes to pay for this generous “refinancing” opportunity. Surprise, surprise:
But since cutting something that has generated such a huge profit over just five years will place a hole in the already-stretched federal budget, Warren is proposing a solution, albeit one that is bound to be viewed as being as political as it is practical. …
Enacting the Buffett Rule, which Republicans in the Senate voted to kill in 2012 calling it a “political stunt,” would increase the income tax rate of Americans earning more than $1 million annually. The money generated through that move, according to Warren, would make the difference and send a message about the nation’s “values.”
“The act covers the full budgetary cost of refinancing by implementing the Buffett Rule. Basically, the way I see it, there are billions of dollars here that flow out of the U.S. Treasury to a tax loophole, that are available to millionaires and billionaires. This bill says to use that money to reduce the interest rate on student loans,” Warren said. “So it’s a pretty direct choice – should America be investing billions of dollars in tax loopholes for billionaires or investing that money to help young people who are trying to get an education? I think spending should be consistent with our values.”
Well. That certainly would send a message about the nation’s “values,” but you know what could really help young people out with “money they can use to build an economic future and to strengthen the economy”? How about, robust economy in which they can get good, well-paying, career-advancing jobs — which is not accomplished by enacting stupid show taxes on the wealthy, further convoluting our tax code, and placing more burdens on investors and job creators.
The real point of this exercise, of course, is to point out yet another way in which Republicans are ostensibly protecting their rich robber-baron buddies at the expense of our country’s poor, struggling future leaders, but the reality is that the federal government created this indeed tremendously problematic $1 trillion+ student loan bubble in the first place by offering indiscriminately available and inexpensive loans to anyone and everyone who might want them.