(John Ransom, Headline USA) Republicans are asking the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) to explain how it miscalculated by nearly a $500 billion the cost of a student loan program passed under Obama.
Passed in 2010, the budget measure was part of Obamacare, federalizing the student loan program.
At the time, it was touted to save US taxpayers between $40-$60 billion. By 2019 the CBO said it had miscalculated and the program instead would cost taxpayers $31.5 billion over a 10 year period, said Fox Business.
Now Congressional Republicans say that the program will cost American taxpayers $400 billion, a miscalculation of over $500 billion overall, which doesn’t include any of the money that President Joe Biden has already forgiven student loan debtors.
“CBO miscalculated the cost of the Healthcare and Reconciliation Act by $503 billion, before factoring in President Biden’s student loan bailouts. Congress may not have passed this bill had CBO appropriately scored it,” said the GOP letter to CBO Director Phillip Swagel, shared by Fox.
Currently the Biden administration is wrestling with the idea of student loan forgiveness as the US has put a pause on student loan payments due to the coronavirus. It’s estimated that student loans total $1.6 trillion, currently, twice the amount of credit card debt.
Taxpayers are already paying over $400 billion unexpectedly because of the federal student lending program.
If Biden succeeds in canceling student debt, it doesn’t just disappear. Hardworking taxpayers will have to foot that bill too.https://t.co/r5iF9V5amX
— Warren Davidson (@WarrenDavidson) April 29, 2022
Average student loan debt is $39,351 per student, 7.5 times the average credit card debt per credit card borrower, according to educationdata.org.
“It is imperative that Members of Congress, and the public, have access to disclosures on the data, programs, models, assumptions, and other details that CBO uses to estimate the cost of legislation,” said the GOP members told Swagel.
Even if President Biden forgive student loans, it’s estimated that the government will continue to loan out close to $1 trillion worth of additional money for students over the next decade, and for budgeting purposes it’s important that members of Congress have confidence that the CBO can properly estimate the cost of the program.
Right now, it seems, members have no confidence in the CBO whatsoever.