We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Government loans are not a favor for students and their families. They are a subsidy to an unaffordable education industry. Just as with government bailouts, subsidies, and tax breaks, government policies tend to freeze the inefficient status quo in place, and to inhibit reform, new ideas, new more efficient solutions. Obamacare attempts the same.
Yes, I happen to oppose the mortgage interest tax deduction too. (I am also opposed to the income tax in general, the death tax which is a game for lawyers and accountants and prevents families from building businesses and independence, and the corporate tax which also amounts to creating an industry for lawyers and accountants.)
Don't forget state mandated divorce laws, which includes a judge getting involved. Some states have very long separation periods that cannot be gotten around, dragging out the process and causing financial hardship.
IMHO, if two people want to get divorced, they should be able to file simple paper work themselves with signatures attached. Child support should be a simple matter of providing W-2s and 1099s to establish income and then use a formula.
Complicated divorce and separation laws seek to benefit lawyers only...in most simple divorce situations.
I worked for a college and my experience is that the students would max out all the money sources they could find and live the good life off the excess (excess to tuition and books). Almost without exception they would buy a new car and most would move out of mom and dad's house even if they lived in the same town so they could party in an apartment. I have talked to many of them warning them that this money had to be paid back. Most of them planned to file bankruptcy after school and were totally unaware that student loans couldn't be vacated through a bankruptcy. But even after I told them this their attitude was more or less that they would think of something later. I would estimate about half or less of the student loans and grants went to education and the rest went to cars, drugs, alcohol and spring break.
I agree with your comment on reducing interest deductions. I'm a real estate agent and while the NAR is constantly lobbying to maintain the mortgage interest deduction I would gladly trade it for a simpler tax system (some kind of flat tax) and a reduction of taxable transactions/events.
Perhaps that would enforce a degree of prudence on congress's penchant for spending.
One other thing, a sibling of mine attended a top 10 university. one of her suitemates freshman year was a black girl who was there had most or all of her college paid for by federal grants. instead of paying the money to the school directly for her tuition, they paid it to her. She spent it all on hair, nails, clothes the first semester, never paid her tuition bill and was kicked out of school by December.
One of my friends in law school used his student loans to play the stock market. He made so much money that by his third year he quit law school, saying he didn't have to work any more and would just be an investor.