Eugene (KMTR) – Congressman Peter Defazio discussed his proposed plan to keep student loan interest rates down, and investigation into gas price manipulation Monday.
Interest rates on taxpayer-subsidized Stafford student loans are set to double July 1st, unless Congress does something about it. The rate would rise from 3.4% to 6.8%. Leaders from both political parties say they want to keep rates low; the problem is how to cover that cost. Rep. Defazio’s proposed solution is increasing the marginal tax rate for folks who make over $380,000 per year by 1%. He says many people at those income levels benefitted from the higher education system, and the hike would still keep their marginal rates lower than they were during the Clinton administration.
The congressman also discussed gas prices on the west coast. He’s called on the Obama task force for gas & oil price manipulation to investigate what’s driving prices up so high, particularly in Oregon and surrounding states. Rep. Defazio says high gas prices have an all-around detrimental effect on the local economy.
According to price-tracking website GasBuddy.com, gas prices have dropped in the Eugene are about ¢7 per gallon over the past month, but the local average is still more than ¢50 higher than the national average. Prices per gallon in Eugene were about ¢24 higher Monday than they were a year ago.