The 3.4 Percent Solution

June 9th, 2012

Inspired by Student loan plan fails in the Senate ( 5/08/12),  GOP makes new offer on student loan rates (Rosalind Helderman, Washington Post 6/01/12 page A18), White House doubts sincerity of GOP’s student loan offer (David Nakamura and Rosalind Helderman, Washington Post 6/06/12, page A3) and Obama warns of lawmakers’ inaction on student loan bill: Parties at impasse over how to pay for the $6 billion cost of extending lowered rates (Rosalind Helderman and Amy Gardner, Washington Post 6/08/12, page A4), here’s my simple solution to the student loan interest rate extension problem. 


“Mr. President, open your mail. The solution is right in front of you.” – Sen. Minority Leader  Mitch McConnell


“Mr. McConnell, open this link. The solution is right in front of you.” – tweet from me to Mitch


“Let’s call brilliant brilliant.” – tweet from me to Speaker Boehner


“Doing it is a no-brainer,but figuring out how to does require a brain. Here’s my idea.” — tweet from me to President Obama


If you’re gonna have a big battle, wouldn’t it be nice

Not to have to do it twice?

(Especially not in such quick succession

When we need to be focusing on the recession.)


Constant conflict may be exciting,

But why waste so much time fighting

Over a measly $6 billion (a pittance in budgetary terms),

Which the public’s poor opinion of Congress only confirms.


It’s dumb to fight unnecessarily,

When there’s an simple solution, at least temporarily.

To keep student loan rates from doubling next semester,

All we have to do is add it to the sequester.


Spending the next month obsessing about spending cuts (hard) and/or revenue increases (even harder, given GOP obduracy) to fund $6 billion for student loans is like having a giant argument with your spouse about who’s going to take out the small bag of garbage in one room, then having a separate giant argument about who’s going to take out the much bigger bag of trash in the other room. Why not just have one argument, and then take the trash out all at once?

Here’s trailer from the movie that inspired our title, The 7 Percent Solution. Unlike in that movie or the book it’s based on, you don’t have to be Sherlock Holmes to see that this is a better solution for the student loan rate problem.

Here’s the President’s speech about student loans (with the “this is a no branier” quote) June 7 in Las Vegas.

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