Passage A (第 41-45 題)
This summer, more than nine million undergraduates will take out an average of $6,700 each in federal loansto pay for college next year. They will borrow, on average, $24,803 to earn their degrees. While this continues tobe one of the smartest investments they will ever make, Congress should take one step toward making it an evensmarter one.
We have introduced a proposal that would get rid of the confusing and arbitrary way interest rates aredetermined on federal student loans, and instead allow rates to be set by the market. We commend President
Obama for introducing a similar proposal in his budget, and the House of Representatives for recently passingsimilar legislation, on a bipartisan basis, that offers a long-term, market-based solution.
But we are worried that Senate Democrats will oppose a permanent solution for 100 percent of loans and
instead will merely extend the existing, arbitrary rate for a minority of loans, and for just two years — a
politically easy move that will only hurt students in the long run.
Over the past four years, the Federal Reserve has kept interest rates at record-low levels, allowing banks toborrow money from the federal government at nearly zero percent interest and, in turn, offer low rates to
individuals borrowing money for the purchase of a home or a car or to start a business.
But if you’re a college student who has taken out a federal loan during that time, you’ve seen no benefit atall from the dirt-cheap borrowing costs. Instead, your interest rate was set by Congress, which temporarily set
some rates at 3.4 percent for low-income students but left most rates at either 6.8 percent or 7.9 percent.
In other words, you could borrow money to buy a used car to drive yourself to college and pay about 3percent interest over five years, while at the same time you could be paying nearly 7 or 8 percent interest on the
cost of your education.