How Government Uses Accounting Tricks To Hide The Student-Loan Swindle
According to the official accounting ledgers, the federal government earns tens of billions of dollars in profit from running the student loan program. But economists, including those at the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), strongly disagree. Government accounting standards dramatically underestimate the cost of student loans, and Congress appears happy to go along.
The student loan program is not an isolated case of budgetary malfeasance. Itâ€™s part of a larger pattern in which governments at all levels use accounting tricks to hide the full cost of programs. The problem affects a wide range of spending, from public pensions to flood insurance.
How does this happen? Put simply, governments make risky investments without recording the full price of the risk as a cost to taxpayers....