Student loans do a number on students, too, because they feed the spiraling cost of higher education - the real beneficiaries of the subsidy.
As University of Tennessee professor Glenn Harlan Reynolds, author of "The Higher Education Bubble," said in a column for the Journal:
"Colleges have responded to the availability of easy federal money by doing what subsidized industries generally do: Raising prices to capture the subsidy.
"Sold as a tool to help students cope with rising college costs, student loans have instead been a major contributor to the problem."
The Journal said: "The never-ending federal effort to 'make college affordable' [there's the slogan part] simply provides the resources to sustain higher prices."
Neal McCluskey of The Cato Institute described wimpy measures like the one that failed in the Senate as "a miniscule improvement . . . like banging out a single dent in a car that's careened off a cliff, rolled over twenty times, and caught fire."
Republicans and fiscally responsible Democrats like Manchin are right to insist on a more permanent solution.