Romney and student loans

Gee, what a surprise, Romney prefers banks over students:

Mitt Romney promises to usher private lenders back into the federal student loan market in a bid to decrease default rates and increase efficiency if he becomes president, but such a move could cost taxpayers tens of billions of dollars over a decade without saving students money, according to several higher education analysts.

The prime beneficiaries, critics say, would be banks and loan companies that stand to reap a financial boon through subsidies to make nearly risk-free, government-backed loans. They are the same firms that benefited from the system that existed for decades before 2010, when President Obama required that the government issue all federal student loans.

Bill Hansen, a Romney adviser on higher education policy, said in an interview the presumed Republican nominee does not intend to replicate the old system, which entailed the government paying banks billions of dollars in subsidies and fees to cover their exposure in making student loans at low rates.

Although Hansen said new private programs would not necessarily be government-subsidized, he added that the campaign has yet to discuss the parameters, so it remains unclear how much money Romney’s plan would cost or save.

Another surprise, Romney has a plan that he says will save money … but he provides no details. And this is priceless (still Hansen):

“The current framework is a one-size-fits-all government solution that will never be customer-friendly and is totally subject to the political winds of the day.”

He’s correct, Republicans want to cut almost all discretionary spending and will cut this program given the opportunity  … for example, if Romney is elected.

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