Government Bytes


Latest Taxpayer's Tab: Refinancing Student Loans

by Michael Tasselmyer / /

Last week, the Senate considered a proposal from Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) -- backed by the Obama Administration -- that would have given the government authority to refinance student loans at lower fixed rates, including some loans issued by private lenders. The Congressional Budget Office estimated that had the Bank on Students Emergency Loan Refinancing Act been passed, it would have allowed the government to assume $60 billion in new private loans, and refinance an additional $460 billion of existing federal direct student loans, at a net cost of about $16.9 billion per year. The legislation also included a new $72 billion tax on those earning over $1 million per year in order to finance the provisions.

The actual cost of that program could have panned out very differently in reality though, mainly because of government accounting methods that make some loan programs appear drastically cheaper than they would be according to other methodologies. How much of a difference can that accounting make? Find out in the latest issue of The Taxpayer's Tab.

Also featured this week:

  • Healthcare Fraud: NTUF examined the growing complexity of the U.S. healthcare system, which makes it susceptible to fraud. Bogus payments are estimated to cost taxpayers as much as $272 billion.
  • Most Friended: Senator Kay Hagan (D-NC) introduced the Bipartisan Sportsmen's Act of 2014, which is an omnibus bill that includes several titles to reauthorize and extend various hunting, fishing, and conservation programs.
  • Wildcard: Congressman Raul Ruiz's (D-CA) Renewable Jobs Act would authorize $10 million per year to fund a pilot program dedicated to providing on-the-job training for positions in the renewable energy industry.

For more on these issues and the research NTUF is compiling on them, check out the latest edition of The Taxpayer's Tab.