Arne Duncan: No, we don't actually know the cost of our student loan program

An unsurprising yet groan-inducing addendum to the empty gesture executive order President Obama so magnanimously introduced this week to allow millions of student-loan borrowers to cap their monthly payments at 10 percent of their current income and then be fully forgiven after 20 years — a “favor” to borrowers to lessen their burdens that will, in the long run, only serve to inflate future tuition prices and borrowing costs ever further. I missed this on Monday, but the WFB didn’t:

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.

Translation: Don’t know, don’t really care.

Anyhow, speaking of government-issued ostensible favors to student borrowers that actually end up worsening their problems, Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s even larger and similarly perverse-incentivizing student-loan proposal was shot down in the Senate this morning, at least for now:

The Senate on Wednesday voted not to move forward on a bill from Sen. Elizabeth Warren that would have allowed an estimated 25 million people with older student loans to refinance that debt at current, lower interest rates.

Democrats are vowing to keep the issue alive and bring it back for another airing this year. …

“We’re not giving up,” Warren said at a press conference shortly after the vote, slamming Republicans for blocking the bill. …

Warren’s bill would pay for refinancing students’ loans by raising taxes on the wealthy, a guaranteed non-starter for Republicans in the Senate and the House. Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) — who Tuesday said Democrats will bring it back to the floor in the future if it fails to pass Congress — has in the past said that paying for a student loan bill using the so-called “Buffet rule” is a surefire way to politicize it.