Free College Education Farce

It is a farce to believe you can get something for nothing. There is always a cost. Yet Bernie Sanders and his supporters want a “free college education” for everybody.   It is delusional and disastrous. But Bernie is in denial despite what happened to his own college.

City College of New York suspended tuition in the 1970s. As predicted, the college ran up a multi-million debt that the city could not sustain.  So the college reverted back to requiring tuition within 6 years.

Did Bernie learn from this? NO!

USA Today newspaper Editorial Board wrote this on July 25, 20016:

All this might sound good, particularly to the Millennials who overwhelmingly backed Sanders in the Democratic primaries. But the plan is not particularly fair to people who’ve already sacrificed mightily to pay for higher education. Nor does it address the main drivers of rising tuition: an indulgence of instructors who don’t spend much time in the classrooms, money-losing sports programs, bloated bureaucracies and massive building campaigns.

Government grants and subsidies to students and universities already amount to more than $150 billion a year. Additionally, students pay about $120 billion annually with borrowed funds, almost all of it through federal programs.

This flood of money has not held tuition down. In fact, it has had the opposite effect, encouraging colleges to spend on whatever they want while continuing to hike tuition.

A study by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York last year found that for every dollar in Pell Grants colleges received, they hiked tuition by 55 cents, and for every dollar in subsidized federal loans, they hiked tuition by 65 cents.

Clinton argues that her new plan would hold universities accountable. But she provides few details, and what details she does include do not include restrictions on tuition hikes.

It is obvious from the Federal Reserve Bank study that college tuition will increase significantly and government funding will be woefully inadequate to sustain it. Government aid to education cannot be funded exclusively by taxing Wall Street investors.  The Congressional Budget Office was asked by Congress to analyze Bernie Sanders proposal months ago and what it would cost the nation. Their non-partisan expert analysis confirmed that his cost estimates were way too low.

The Government Accountability Office was also asked to do a separate analysis.  They agreed that our nation’s debt would double if Sanders proposals were enacted.  But they had more dramatic news.  They pointed out that taxing Wall Street investors would NOT be sufficient to fund these free programs. They reported that even if you stripped the entire wealth of the “1%” and tax Wall Street at 100%, it would not be sufficient to pay for his proposed programs. The middle class would have to have their tax deductions taken away and they would need to pay  additional taxes to fund his proposals.

In addition, research has shown there are major negative effects that come from a proposal like this from colleges that have tried the tuition free approach.  Here are some of the consequences:

  • Standards decline because of the number of unqualified students who enter college.
  • Graduation rates fall into the 30 percent range because of unqualified students dropping out.
  • Government consistently underestimates the cost and creates massive debts. (See NY Reserve Bank Study)
  • Taxes increase significantly because it is the only way the government can pay for the free education.
  • Colleges are flowed with students overwhelming facilities.
  • Colleges have a huge influx of foreign students wanting a free education.
  • A college education decreases in value and becomes the equivalent of a high school education.
  • Government dictates what is to be taught in classes.

Recently, Governor Rauner of Illinois, a Democrat, was embarrassed when an e-mail he wrote in 2011surfaced.   In the e-mail he stated that half of the teachers in Chicago were illiterate; furthermore, he claimed that half of the school principals were incompetent. Yet these are people who attained college degrees and in some cases advanced degrees.  Furthermore, it explains why American education has declined dramatically when compared to other nations in the world.

The Democrats think the solution to all problems is to throw money at the problem.  They are the SPEND AND TAX party.  The more they spend the greater the problem grows.  Just look at the ballooning of costs connection to Medicare, Medicaid, ObamaCare, War on Poverty, welfare, food stamps, etc.  Look at our $19,000,000,000,000 debt!

Rather than eradicate problems it nurtures them and we pay for the Democrats spending with more and more taxes.  Obama has achieved the “redistribution of wealth” and unfortunately the middle class is the cash cow.




About camden41

Retired public school administrator Retired history professor: Taught Western Civilization, American Civil War, United States History, Economic History, Ancient & Medieval Foundations, American History Since 1945
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