To much fanfare in 2010, President Barack Obama signed a bill ending a program through which banks provided government-guaranteed student loans. (Bizpac Review)
“By cutting out the middleman, we’ll save the American taxpayers $68 billion in the coming years,” Obama proudly announced at the time. “That’s real money.”
Though every media outlet covered the then-president’s paradigm-changing move at the time, for some reason House Financial Services Committee chair Maxine Waters just learned about it Wednesday.
Her startling discovery occurred during a House Financial Services Committee panel featuring seven bank executives. While the panel was supposed to be about “Holding Megabanks Accountable” for, as an example, their behavior during the Great Recession, Waters chose to make it about student loans.
“Today, there are more than 44 million Americans that owe — there’s a student loan crisis,” she said. “$1.56 trillion in student debt. Last month, this committee received testimony that last year, 1 million student loan borrowers defaulted, which was on top of the 1 million borrowers who defaulted the year before. What are you guys doing to help us with the student loan debt?”
One by one, the executives told Waters their financial institutions hadn’t been involved with student loans for nearly 10 years.