Fill-in-the-blank: "Four months ago, it appeared all but certain that the White House and Democrats in Congress would succeed in ___." If you guessed "cutting off private student loan sharks from the federal trough," you lose. Sallie Mae wins!

The President wants to end the Federal Family Education Loan program. In the FFELP, the government literally pays private lenders to rip off students. This is called "the free market." Basically there is not a single coherent reason to oppose ending this program, unless you are actually on the Sallie Mae payroll (like Senator Ben Nelson of Nebraska). Ending the program would even save the government $80 billion over the next decade, according to the CBO, so of course "deficit hawks" (like Senator Ben Nelson of Nebraska!) hate this plan. Oh, and the House passed this thing last year. It is stuck in this crazy other legislative body called "the Senate."