President Obama will feature higher education prominently in next week’s budget—a choice that makes sense, given that educational attainment is the most straightforward pathway for economic advancement. Many of his ideas, which he highlighted in his State of the Union address, are controversial.
Lending programs create special challenges for federal budgeting. So special, in fact, that the Congressional Budget Office estimates their budget effects two different ways. According to official budget rules, taxpayers will earn more than $200 billion over the next decade from new student loans,