Congress is again debating what to do about interest rates for federal student loans, which are set to double July 1, to 6.8 percent. Several proposed solutions are being debated, but none tackles the real issue: skyrocketing college costs.
This is a national crisis, and President Barack Obama and Congress ought to acknowledge the implications. If low- and middle-income kids can't afford college or if they have to mortgage their future to do so the already yawning gap between rich and poor will only widen. Businesses won't have the workers they need to compete. The words "American dream" will become a punchline.
Proposals from House Republicans and Obama take a small-ball approach. They would tie the interest rate on federal student loans to the rate on 10-year Treasury notes. Obama would add 0.93 percent to the subsidized rate, while House Republicans would add 2.5 percent.