2016 is ending on bad news about student loans and how they drag down the financial well-being not just of students, but of the elderly.

In a coal-in-the-stocking move the week before Christmas, the Treasury Department declined to go along with congressional Democrats' quest for tax relief for impoverished, severely disabled students whose student debt is discharged — and that comes on top of a Government Accounting Office report that says student debt is the road to poverty for many thousands of elderly Americans.

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