If Congress doesn’t act soon, interest rates on student loans will double, cutting the nation’s disposable income drastically and potentially derailing the economic recovery.
But Republicans say that’s a “manufactured” crisis.
According to Speaker of the House John Boehner, the party has no intention of letting the interest rates double. Their only argument is how to offset the expense. And as always, they want that to be paid by the middle and lower income Americans.
According to The Hill, the Republicans have introduced a bill to the House that will keep the interest rate from doubling, and will pay for it by cutting finding for preventative care from the Affordable Care Act. It’s a brilliant solution — now those who are struggling to pay their student loans don’t have to worry about not being able to make their new payments. Instead, they just have to hope that they don’t get sick, because until they are ready for an emergency room, they’ll have to pay for anything else out of pocket.
Of course, this move could backfire. Since student loans are not dischargeable if you file bankruptcy, the only way to get out of paying them is to die. And, since Republicans have decided that those who went to college should have to give up health care to continue to afford their loan payments, they may lose even more loan owners to death before they pay off their debts.
The Democrats offered two other ways to pay for the rate extension — by either asking S-corps to pay a payroll tax that they are usually exempt from paying, or by eliminating tax breaks for the oil-and-gas industries. Republicans called both of those options a no go.
Pay off your student loans or die trying? The GOP apparently is taking that literally.
Photo credit: Thinkstock