23 March 2010

Alexander the not-so-Great

I was listening to NPR today when they interviewed Lamar Alexander -- or at least played a sound bite from him -- on the student loan bill currently before Congress. I can't remember his exact idiocy on the radio, but here's what he committed to print earlier this month:
Starting in July, all 19 million students who want government-backed loans will line up at offices designated by the U.S. Education Department. Gone will be the days when students and their colleges picked the lender that best fit their needs; instead, a federal bureaucrat will make that choice for every student in America based on still-unclear guidelines.
I guess I'm naive; I never picked my lender when I went to college -- I applied for a student loan and -- bam -- there was Sallie Mae. Apparently Alexander thinks that the government is going to install DMV-like offices to service loans:
Finally, the government should disclose that getting your student loan will become about as enjoyable as going to the Department of Motor Vehicles.

Let's leave aside the fact that states run DMVs. I wonder if Alexander understands -- or maybe he just doesn't know -- that the government already provides student loans (and that's on the federal and state level) and they haven't required any DMV-like apparatus to do so.

So you're left with the question: Is Alexander stupid or disingenuous?

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