The Help for Students that Never Was

I almost got excited this week, readers. I saw that Elizabeth Warren had introduced the “Bank on Students Emergency Loan Refinancing Act,” and thought that finally I would be able to refinance my 8% private student loans into something close to the 4.5% my government student loans are locked in at. Listen, I don’t have a problem paying back my student loans – but why are lenders making this much money off of students? I’m not asking for 0%, but I’m asking for something like what I can get on a 15 year mortgage – something around 3%. They’d still make money! But I digress.

Warren’s bill looks great, until you get to the end.

When you get to Section 3, the section is entitled “Fair share tax on high-income taxpayers.” Wait, what? What is that doing in a bill that is supposed to help students? Is this woman actually alleging that allowing graduates to refi into a lower interest rate under a government program is going to cost the government money? By moving those loans from private to public, the government is going to make money off of the interest no matter what the rate is – and that is money they never would have received before! So they want to make money on top of their money? REALLY?!

I’m not a CPA and I hate working with numbers. But I see this bill throwing 30% around, and that’s not even funny when you consider what we already pay in taxes. Sure, only households that gross $1 million or more would be impacted, but why the hell are we raising their taxes to begin with?

Sure, our tax code needs some work. But if we want to work on it, sneaking tax hikes onto the back of a student loan relief bill isn’t the way to do it. We should sit down and discuss the tax code and figure out what we want to accomplish, and then figure out how to get there. But this? This seems like a trick that would ensure the bill would not pass, and then would give Warren a nice soapbox to stand on and scream that “Republicans don’t want to help students ahhhhhhh!!

Stop it, politicians. Just stop. This country is in trouble. We need to put our ideologies aside and have a real discussion about how to dig ourselves out of this nice hole that ALL politicians have helped to dig. Get it together.

You can check out the full text of the bill here.  Be warned, you’ll probably start yelling at the computer.

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