Reporter Jonathan Glater continued to cheerlead for student loans in a story in Tuesday's A-section, "College Loan Payments Will Be Linked to Income." Glater laid out the Obama administration's liberal (in both senses) lending plan for student loans as if he was the one issuing the press release, and left off any signs of dissent from the idea of lending out tax money at sub-market rates:
For the first time in years, there is good news for college students who borrow to pay for their education.
Starting Wednesday, the federal Education Department will begin offering a repayment plan that lets graduates reduce their loan payments, based on their income.
Glater only talked to supporters of the liberalized repayment plan: Unlabeled liberal Congressman George Miller of California and U.S. Pirg, an unidentified Ralph Nader-affiliated left-wing interest group, which Glater identified only as a "consumer advocacy group"):
"These benefits are guaranteed, no matter what happens in our economy, and are kicking in at exactly the right time for millions of Americans," said Representative George Miller, Democrat of California and chairman of the House education committee.
The extended payment program, called "income-based repayment," limits what borrowers have to pay to 15 percent of the difference between their gross income and 150 percent of federal poverty guidelines. After borrowers make payments on loans for 25 years, the balance is forgiven. (The Education Department already offered an "income-contingent" repayment plan, which was similar, but less generous.)
"These programs are such an enormous victory," said Christine Lindstrom, director of the higher-education access program at U.S. PIRG, the consumer advocacy group.
Last month Glater was part of the four-person team who wrote a front-page Business section story on a federal school loan forgiveness program that read a whole lot like a populist-liberal opinion piece, with leading lines like:
But if education is a fundamental right, then it's hard to argue against public policies that try to make sure there are enough teachers to provide that education.