Of course Hillary Clinton rolled out a college tuition program that will tax the living daylights out of the Evil Rich to shower students with “free” goodies. That was always how this was going to work.
From the day Obama seized control of student loans under ObamaCare and blew them into orbit, dumping tons of fresh debt on the shoulders of young people to handle ridiculously inflated tuition, the endgame was always about buying the votes of those kids with debt relief. Like ObamaCare itself, the degeneration of academic finance is a bid to subjugate the middle class, making them helplessly dependent on government handouts to finance something people in a stronger, more independent America handled on their own.
The Wall Street Journal calls Clinton’s plan an “attempt to address a source of anxiety for American families while advancing one of the left’s most sweeping new ideas.” It’s no surprise the Left did everything it could to heighten that anxiety before terrorizing people into a “solution” that would spread its sweeping ideas.
That’s what they did with health care, and it’s what they’ll do with every single facet of American life they can get their meat hooks into. In fact, the Journal even mentions that the Clinton campaign “views this proposal as a centerpiece of its domestic agenda, akin in importance to health care in 2008, and it is her most expensive proposal so far.”
The plan—dubbed the “New College Compact” and estimated to cost $350 billion over 10 years—would fundamentally reshape the federal government’s role in higher education by offering new federal money, but with strings attached.
States would have to increase their own spending on higher education, and universities would be required to control spending, though the Democratic presidential front-runner hasn’t yet worked out details. Families still would be required to contribute, but students wouldn’t have to take out loans to attend public schools.
“Imagine what is possible in America if we tackle the runaway costs of higher education, make sure that students who start college can finish with a degree, and relieve the crushing burden of student debt,” the Clinton campaign said in a fact sheet outlining the plan.
Never mind “imagining” the future of education welfare – let’s try remembering when public schools were worth a damn, colleges didn’t have to waste semesters on remedial education, college tuition didn’t cost more than a luxury sports car, and good jobs didn’t require overpriced degrees as a bare-minimum resume sweetener. It wasn’t that long ago. The Democrat Party has done a lot of damage to education in a very short time.
The WSJ dryly notes that information about Hillary’s plan “will be a key element of campaigning on college campuses this fall.” I’ll just bet it will.
This is also supposed to be Clinton’s bid for left-wing relevance against Bernie Sanders, so the two will probably get into a bidding war over how much of other peoples’ money they’re prepared to spend in order to buy those youth votes.
“In another bipartisan signal, Mrs. Clinton also is calling for colleges to be held liable for aid when their students default on loans, an idea that has gained traction among members of both parties as a way to control costs,” the WSJ adds.
That’s not a “bipartisan signal,” it’s populist red meat. The one good thing to say about such a proposal is that it might terrify universities into cutting down on the B.S. courses and useless degrees, so they stop producing unemployable enemies of capitalism who can’t earn enough money to feed themselves, never mind repay six figures in student loan debt.
On the other hand, this idea also sounds like an invitation to grueling, expensive lawfare. Just imagine the lawsuits that would be filed when disappointed student loan customers pressed complaints that their degrees in transgendered social justice macaroni art didn’t land them they lucrative government jobs they were expecting! The business of proving a big-figure lawsuit for tuition fraud would be delicate indeed… which means trial lawyers would get rich from it. That’s probably a significant reason why Democrats would like the idea.
Part of this proposal involves turning on the money spigot and forcing states to spend more on higher education, while simultaneously imposing a batch of spending restrictions that would supposedly prevent universities from frittering the money away on useless indulgences, such as paying Hillary Clinton $250k to give a 20-minute speech.
It does not speak well of our higher education system that such restrictions are deemed necessary – it’s a tacit admission that pumping tons of money into academia resulted in loads of administrative bloat and outright graft, instead of improving education.
As the Wall Street Journal notes, “a New York Fed study this spring concluded that higher government student aid—including low-cost loans, grants and tax credits—has enabled colleges to raise tuitions further than they would without the student aid.”
When has any government or pseudo-government entity ever been able to regulate itself into greater efficiency, reduced waste, and fiscal responsibility? We hear this same wheezy dodge every time the cost of any government agency or public-private partnership is criticized: trust us, our new reforms will battle waste, fraud, and abuse, and every dollar of new spending will go to mission-critical needs.
It never happens.
That’s partially because efficiency is vastly more complex, and painful, than people who have never held a private-sector management position imagine. No government planner has ever been able to duplicate what the pressures of competitive enterprise, and the need to run operations at a profit, can produce. It’s very difficult to imagine any reform regime instituted under any Democrat would make a serious attempt to dispose of the wacky left-wing indoctrination programs that have turned college into such an obscene waste of money for so many people.
And we must always be mindful of what awaits graduates when they emerge from universities. The Left seems to think community college – which Clinton wants to make “free” – is a remedial training course that can cover up the failures of its lousy public schools, while advanced degrees are Willy Wonka golden tickets that should guarantee upper-middle-class prosperity, no matter what the student’s major was. Liberals do everything they can to sabotage the job market with everything from hyper-regulation and wage mandates to open-borders insanity. The only product they consistently agree America should be producing and importing is Democrat voters.
Why don’t we get the top employers and entrepreneurs in America together, find out what it would take to fill their personnel needs at every level – without importing vast amounts of both skilled and unskilled labor – and then work backwards from there to reinvent not just university education, but the entire corrupt education system, to fulfill those needs at reasonable prices? The very last thing we should consider doing is granting even more power to the people and ideologies that ruined one of the world’s best education systems in just a few generations.
We also need to take away the power they use to create crises like the student loan bubble, which they can use as leverage for even greater power grabs. Everything we allow left-wingers like Hillary Clinton to control will be forged into an even worse calamity that can only be addressed by diverting even more power and money to Washington. There’s a lesson they probably aren’t teaching in enough colleges, provided free of charge.