An unfortunate side effect of federal student loan programs has been to inflate tuition at institutions of higher learning. Subsidized lending creates demand; higher tuition is the next step as schools ration the limited number of admissions they can offer (or attempt to defray the added costs of a higher number of enrollees). The ease with which borrowers can default is likely to exacerbate this cycle, and the administration has made it easier to do so. The federal government issues well over 90% of student loans for higher education in the U.S., and default rates are very high relative to private student loans. But a representative of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau testified before a congressional committee today to recommend that “Congress consider putting in place more consumer protections in the private student-loan market….” Uh-huh. See Let’s Blame The Market for some background, and this article for a brief review of the hearing.