So, the working people of America are basically supposed to sit back and watch Bernie Sanders and Hillary compete to see who can pander to get more votes by promising Americans and illegal aliens more free sh*t with our hard earned money?
Like healthcare, education is a sclerotic, overexpensive, underperforming industry. Both have strong parallels: they’re dominated by government subsidies and controls, though not entirely socialized; they’re perhaps the only growth industries in our moribund economy; and they dominate the thought life of the nation. As Arnold Kling and Nick Schulz pointed out in 2011:
These are our foremost growth sectors — the ones most central to employment and consumption; the ones that, increasingly, drive our economy. And it is in precisely these two sectors that the case for extensive government intervention and planning, if not outright control, is dominant — and becoming ever more so.
If there is to be any hope of reversing this trend, champions of market economics must come to see these two sectors as the front lines in the battle for capitalism. At stake is not only an ideological or theoretical point, but also American prosperity. The historical record makes this clear: In the nations where it was practiced, government control of the old commanding heights of the economy made those industries less efficient and less innovative — bringing overall economic performance down with them.
Today, Hillary Clinton is touting her plan for Obamacare-izing higher education. Competing Democratic presidential candidates Martin O’Malley and Bernie Sanders have already proposed essentially socializing college straight up. Clinton’s proposal, like Obamacare, is also collectivist and unjustified wealth redistribution, but with a more complicated, less direct, crony capitalist flavor. In other words, it’s not direct socialism, but it might as well be.
By mucking around this way, Clinton gains the benefit of deception: She can argue that “both the left and the right” (by “right,” she of course means the craziest of Republicans, not actual conservatives) have proposed elements of her plan. So she gets to smear her Frankenstein with pretty “bipartisan” makeup. And the average voter won’t care, because the average voter doesn’t give jack about enslaving his children (or other people’s children) to the unseen but growing monstrosity of federal debt, as long as he gets feel-goodies now, regardless of whether they actually benefit anyone. But it’s still a Frankenstein.
What Does Hillary Clinton Propose, Exactly?
Before we get into the mud-slinging, let’s do what most journalists do not and give some actual hard facts about Clinton’s proposal. (Do any of you also scan news articles looking for actual facts instead of paid spokespeople’s lying spin? It’s hard to find those, isn’t it?) The full proposal doesn’t seem available (probably so they can tweak its details in response to initial criticism); reporters have gotten “three fact sheets,” MSNBC says. Inside Higher Ed kindly posted them. A news summary of the major points:
“Under the plan, which was outlined by Clinton advisers on Sunday, about $175 billion in grants would go to states that guarantee students would not have to take out loans to cover tuition at four-year public colleges and universities. In return for the money, states would have to end budget cuts to increase spending over time on higher education, while also working to slow the growth of tuition, thought the plan does not require states to cap it.” (NYT)
“military veterans, lower-income students and those who complete a national service program, like AmeriCorps, would go to school for free in the Clinton plan” (AP).
“She would also expand income-based repayment programs, allowing every student borrower to enroll in a plan that would cap their payments at 10 percent of their income with remaining debt forgiven after 20 years.” (AP)
“Student borrowers would be expected to work at least 10 hours a week to contribute, while their families would continue contributing under the current income-based model. Clinton’s plan would also expand a tax credit from $1,000 to $2,500 for families paying for college.” (MSNBC)
“Her campaign says she will create a dedicated fund for Historically Black Colleges and Universities, and will expand AmeriCorps from 75,000 to 250,000 members.” (MSNBC)
“Mrs. Clinton would pay for the [supposedly $350 billion] plan by capping the value of itemized deductions that wealthy families can take on their tax returns.” (NYT)
So more income redistribution and more federal micromanagement—because, clearly, central planners know better how to manage college costs than colleges and families. Topped off, of course, by (what else?) playing self-appointed Robin Hood against people who earn lots less money than she does. Envy and greed are our society’s favorite sins, after all.
Federal Meddling Is the Problem, Not the Answer
The most expensive portion of Clinton’s proposal involves bullying states into following federal marching orders in order for them to receive cash the feds scooped from taxpayers.
For entire story: The Federalist