As per Woo's request. Everyone who has student loans, write and thank your Congressional representatives who finally got around to passing the reconciliation bill from last year's Deficit Reduction Act! The legislation cuts among other things, 12.7 Billion from the federal student loan program. If you owe $15,000, you'll owe another $1,360 over the course 10 years... If you owe upwards of a hundred thousand like many graduate students, it's gonna' be a whole lot more than that. One would expect that a Congress intent on stimulating the economy would consider education a good investment. Apparently not though. Instead they pass the buck and essentially "raise" taxes on middle and lower class families through these cuts. Unfortunately student loans aren't the problem. This is equivalent to putting a band aid on a leg with gangrene. Add to this the fact that the Bush administration is pushing to make several tax cuts permanent and you negate any "deficit reduction" supposedly achieved by this bill and keep the federal deficit nice and ballooned (estimated by the OMB to be over $400 billion in 2016).