The student loan program, like so many federally run operations, is a winsome political slogan that masks a fiscal disaster aimed at propping up a special interest - higher education.
On Wednesday, Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., helped to derail an attempt in the Democratically controlled U.S. Senate to preserve the disaster rather than resolve it.
Good for him.
The vote in the Senate would have restored 3.4 percent interest rates on taxpayer-subsidized Stafford loans for one more year, according to The Associated Press.
"Today our nation's students once again wait in vain for relief," lamented Sen. Tom Udall, D-N.M., when the bill failed. "They expected more of us and I share their disappointment."
What, one wonders, does he tell the rest of his constituents?
As The Wall Street Journal put it in a recent editorial, "Government researchers continue to show that federal student loans are hazardous to both students and taxpayers. . .
"The Congressional Budget Office recently estimated taxpayer losses on student loans at $95 billion over the next decade."