Senate Republicans must be kicking themselves. When they used all their dirty tricks to block Elizabeth Warren from becoming the first chair of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, they thought that was the end of it. She turned the tables, running for Senate herself and dislodging the odious Scott Brown. Since joining the Senate in January, Warren has demonstrated her unwavering dedication to consumer rights and holding business accountable. This week, Sen. Warren introduced her first bill, a straightforward piece of legislation that represents the values and fairness that got her elected.
This July, Federal student loan rates are set to double, moving to 6.8%. This creates a huge burden for people entering the workforce or emerging from a career-changing education. With a still shaky job market (something Congressional Republicans have done NOTHING to address…) these graduates may be hit with a large bill while they have not yet moved into their earning potential. Warren’s solution is simple and elegant: give students the same rates that we give big banks.
Right now, as I speak, the federal government offers far lower interest rates on loans, every single day – they just don’t do it for everyone. Right now, a big bank can get a loan through the Federal Reserve discount window at a rate of about 0.75%. But this summer a student who is trying to get a loan to go to college will pay almost 7%. In other words, the federal government is going to charge students interest rates that are nine times higher than the rates for the biggest banks – the same banks that destroyed millions of jobs and nearly broke this economy. That isn’t right.
[…] In effect, the American taxpayer is investing in those banks. We should make the same kind of investment in people who are trying to get an education.
Well done, Sen. Warren! I am impressed by her systems-based approach to problem solving and moving financial laws toward true equity. As Massachusetts voters get ready to select Secretary of State John Kerry’s replacement in the Senate, the should remember Scott Brown and look at Elizabeth Warren. That comparison makes the selection of Rep. Ed Markey (D) a pretty easy choice.