Guess who pays for too much government lending
There's a such thing as too much government lending. Robert Samuelson has a piece worth reading on this in the Washington Post, showing the obvious: that the more the government subsidizes anything, the higher the cost goes.
Taxpayers can pay that price or accept where the market would take the price if it weren't subsidized. College costs are the greatest example. In the 1960s, the government got extremely involved in student loans, and ever since, college costs have skyrocketed, much faster than inflation. Instead of the government loans making college more affordable, the colleges themselves jacked up the cost of education much faster than inflation in order to avail themselves of all the new subsidies.
What I found extremely interesting in this article is that government lending skyrocketed to $3.4 trillion in 2015 from $1.5 trillion in 2007. The federal budget likewise was around $2.7 trillion in FY 2007 and today is over $4 trillion. The Federal Reserve also kept interest rates artificially low (near zero) during Obama's entire presidency, which encouraged borrowing and depressed saving.
The result of this massive experiment in government largesse: the slowest economic recovery in over 70 years. Is it really hard to understand why Democrats continue to lose large numbers of political seats nationwide, when their policies and proposals are essentially to expand the size of government? They stand for higher taxes, more regulations, more subsidies ("free" college tuition, forgiveness of student loans), and taking away choice on health care (what they call a single-payer system).
It is a shame the media are almost all in with the Democrats despite the obvious failure of big government to allow the economy to thrive.
A couple of excerpts from the article:
Among the many things it does, the federal government is one of the nation's largest lenders. It lends to farmers, homeowners, students, small businesses, exporters and rural electric utilities, among others. Altogether, there are more than 100 loan programs administered by about 20 agencies overseeing lending worth $3.4 trillion in fiscal 2015, up from $1.5 trillion in 2007.
In theory, the government – that is, taxpayers – could be on the hook for the entire outstanding amount of $3.4 trillion (actually, the total is greater now). This would be a significant addition to the existing publicly held federal debt of more than $14 trillion.
Future generations seem to think there is a free lunch if they get student loans forgiven or free college, but they are the ones on the hook for all the debt, no matter what the claims of the matter. A shame they don't teach that.