Ever since Standard & Poor’s stripped the U.S. of its AAA credit rating almost two years ago, the unemployment rate has fallen, household wealth has reached a record and the budget deficit is shrinking. More downgrades may be coming, anyway.
On July 1, the interest rate on new Stafford subsidized federal college loans is scheduled to double. Rather than trying to maintain the current rate, Congress should take this opportunity to restructure student aid, directing more money toward those with the greatest need.
During his 2008 presidential campaign, Barack Obama relied on a standard applause line, a promise that his health-care plan would “lower premiums by up to $2,500 for a typical family per year.” Cue cheers -- or jeers if you were a health-policy expert. For them, his vow was ridiculous. There was no time frame attached to the promise. There was no plan for realizing it. It was change no one quite believed in. He might as well have promised every American a puppy.
The U.S.’s AA+ credit rating outlook was increased to stable from negative by Standard & Poor’s, based on receding fiscal risks, less than two years after the company stripped the world’s largest economy of its top ranking.
The Affordable Care Act’s initial success next year depends on President Barack Obama’s ability to coax at least 2.6 million people who are young and healthy to sign up for health insurance. Hispanics may be the key.