COLLEGE STUDENTS, FARMERS, veterans, small businessmen and other borrowers

from the federal government who have hung up Uncle Sam by not repaying loans are discovering that it is not costless to do so. For the past two years Congress has authorized the Internal Revenue Service to withhold tax refunds

from deadbeats.

And, as anyone might have guessed, the effort is paying off. Last year the IRS collected $150 million or about 12 percent of the amount referred to it as delinquent. In addition, borrowers suddenly repaid $36 million when they learned their names were about to be listed with the IRS.Nothing about that surprises us. What makes us wonder is why it took Congress so long to come up with the idea.

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