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‘Job-killing legislation’ has opposite effect

“Job-killing legislation” has become a rallying cry for opponents of government regulation in recent years.

So what happens when the legislation is passed? A major jobs announcement last week in Muncie suggests such measures might not be as dangerous as suggested.

Sallie Mae, the student loan giant, just announced it will add 200 call center employees at its operations center there. Company officials said 900 jobs will be there by next year.

That reminded us of claims made in 2009, when President Obama and a Democratic-controlled Congress voted to cut Sallie Mae and private banks out of the lucrative federal higher education lending market, where the lenders used taxpayer dollars to originate loans – with repayment guaranteed – and then resold the loans to the Treasury.

Congressman Dan Burton was among the most vocal of critics, charging that jobs would be killed in Fishers and in Muncie, where Sallie Mae had 700 workers. The company spent $3 million lobbying against the bill.

“More than 30,000 private-sector jobs are directly affected by what you’re going to do today,” Burton said before the House voted. “In the state of Indiana, it’s 2,356 jobs … I don’t understand, at a time of economic difficulty, you want to do something that’s going to put more people out of work.”

Three years after the legislation was approved over his objections, the revamped student loan program doesn’t seem to have killed many jobs. A spokeswoman for Sallie Mae said last week the company currently has between 2,000 and 2,500 Indiana employees.