The Band-Aid Congress

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Republicans and Democrats have taken the “no blame, no (political) gain” game to new heights as they race to pin fault for increased student-loan rates on each other.

The fight over how to bring the rates back down perfectly encapsulates everything that’s wrong with this Congress.

First, they missed the deadline to take action, proving once again that not even a good old-fashioned deadline can force bipartisan action on a pressing issue. Perhaps more importantly, all the noise over student-loan rates misses the much bigger problem of college affordability. In fact, a new paper argues that the government’s support of student loans “designed to improve access to college has had the unintended consequence of increasing the cost of college.”

But this being the Band-Aid Congress, don’t expect much debate over how to lower the soaring cost of higher education. Once they patch up student-loan rates, our leaders will move on to treat another symptom, again leaving the real illnesses for another day.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.