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Perhaps the New York Times’s Editorial Writers Should Have Borrowed More Money to Study Economics

Here’s a letter to the New York Times:

You write that taxpayer-subsidized student loans “ensure that students struggling with the economy will not incur extra debt” (“The Deal on Student Loans,” June 27).

Not so.

With Uncle Sam borrowing nearly one of every four dollars that he spends, subsidizing these loans raises the debt liability of future taxpayers.  So such subsidies simply manage to repackage a great deal of debt that people would otherwise now incur as today’s students as debt that these same people now incur as tomorrow’s taxpayers.

Donald J. Boudreaux
Professor of Economics
George Mason University
Fairfax, VA  22030

Note that the point of the above letter stands regardless of whether or not you believe, in general, that it’s good policy for government to subsidize higher education or believe, in particular, that it’s good policy for government to subsidize student loans.


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