Obama’s Plans for College Affordability To Face Serious Political and Economic Challenges

Barack Obama does not like reality. He likes to imagine that he is a god-like figure who transcends the laws of the universe and can magically roll back the oceans and heal the wounds of our scarred planet. And once again, Obama’s hubris has been fired up, and this time it has to do with college education funding. An article on CNN this week indicates that Obama’s plan to make college both more accessible and cheaper will face political challenges. Additionally, Obama’s plan faces another roadblock: it’s out of tune with the economic reality of supply and demand.

Obama famously wants more people to enroll in college. He also wants costs to be kept down. He also doesn’t want new colleges, such as for-profit colleges, popping up. He also wants students to be able to use federally funded student loans. Essentially, Barack Obama wants to increase demand for a product and keep the supply constant, yet hopes to find ways for the price to go down. If American voters buy this nonsense, they should be going to college in greater numbers and taking economics classes.

One of the more complex proposals by Obama is based on the idea of granting federal government funding only to those schools that keep costs down. Most education funding goes to students in the form of loans, meaning that students would be barred from using Stafford Loans and Pell Grants to pay for certain colleges. To effectively implement such a system to reward schools for keeping costs down, spending decisions would be taken out of the hands of students and placed in the hands of government administrators. We’ve all seen how well that’s worked in healthcare.

The problem with college is that the government has reduced and obfuscated the costs to the consumer with below-market interest rates on loans. College isn’t for everybody. Some people are best served at a four year liberal arts institution. Others at a more technical school. Furthermore, for others the best job training program might be a job. So long as the gains of increased education are captured by higher wages, people will make investments in education which will give them the highest return given their strengths and weaknesses. Instead, we have identified education as a desirable commodity and thrown ever increasing amounts of money at it.

Obama speaks wistfully about technology and innovation driving down the cost of college, as if computers will magically scale the costs of a college education and make it more affordable and accessible for all.

That Obama attempts to advance mutually contradictory goals is revelatory of the flaws of liberal ideology. Sometimes when you love something, you have to set it free. If Barack Obama is truly concerned about college accessibility, he will unleash the reigns of government from it. Only then will institutions be forced to innovate and compete to offer the highest quality education at the lowest possible price.

Comments

Polititainment

Obama: LeBron 'did the right thing'

President Obama supports LeBron James' decision to wear an "I can't breathe" t-shirt during warmup before the NBA game between the Cleveland Cavaliers and Brooklyn Nets last week.

Al Sharpton, Hollywood's Sony Liaison

In a private meeting with Rev. Al Sharpton at the Greenwich Hotel in New York City Thursday, Sony Pictures chair Amy Pascal told Sharpton that he could have a voice in how the movie studio makes its films.

Clooney: Release 'The Interview' online

George Clooney may have the most awesomely toothy response to the Sony Pictures cyberattack that forced the movie studio to pull the film "The Interview" from its December 25 release.

Jon Stewart might ruin your childhood

Jon Stewart brought his nightmare-inducing recurring character “Gitmo” on the show to talk about the normalization of U.S. relations with Cuba.

Colbert's embargo on the Vatican

Colbert had to chide his audience Wednesday night for getting excited about making “Cuba more libre.”

White House

Obama: we can’t have censorship subject to ‘some dictator someplace’

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama declared Friday that Sony "made a mistake" in shelving a satirical film about a plot to assassinate North Korea's leader, and he pledged the U.S. would respond "in a place and manner and time that we choose" to the hacking attack on Sony that led to the withdrawal. The FBI blamed the hack on the communist government.

U.S. confirms North Korea was behind Sony attack and promises ‘proportional’ response

Officials no longer merely suspect North Korea to be behind the cyberattack on Sony Picture—they’ve confirmed it.

District court declares Obama’s executive action on immigration unconstitutional
A federal court in Pennsylvania declared parts of President Obama’s executive actions on immigration unconstitutional Tuesday. Judge Arthur J. Schwab, sitting in the western district of Pennsylvania, said presidents do have the power to use discretion in deciding how to enforce laws, but found that Obama’s recent executive action went much further than that.  He said Obama was writing […]
Obama administration extends Pell grants to juvenile offenders
The Obama administration has set out new guidelines that allow for students sentenced to juvenile correctional facilities to be eligible for federal Pell grants. The U.S. Department of Education and Department of Justice sent out a joint release Monday that clarified an earlier law. Congress in 1994 prohibited inmates at federal and state prisons from receiving Pell Grants […]
White House denies report that it wants to delay release of CIA torture report

The White House is insisting it wants the Senate Intelligence Committee to release its report on CIA torture practices, despite a report that Secretary of State John Kerry is trying to scuttle it.

Congress

Rubio says Rand Paul is clueless on Cuba

Sen. Marco Rubio made his criticism of a fellow Republican plain Thursday night.

Gowdy's office responds to Speaker chatter

Rep. Trey Gowdy has become a sensation on the Right, with his no-nonsense style and committee hearing takedowns of Obama officials garnering him praise and attention.

Rand Paul: 'Opening up Cuba is a good idea'

Sen. Rand Paul broke with the Republican Party's prevailing argument against President Obama's Cuba policy Thursday, saying the move toward opening trade with the long-embargoed nation "probably" is a good idea.

Retiring DemHenry Waxman's farewell ode to govt

You'd think that, 40 years in, a congressman might grow cynical about the prospects of government meddling. Not retiring Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.)!

Senate Confirms Pro-Gun Control Surgeon General
NATIONAL JOURNAL — The Senate narrowly confirmed a new surgeon general whose nomination was delayed for months in a fight over his comments alleging that guns are a public health issue. The confirmation represents a victory for gun-control advocates, even as recent polling has shown Americans moving in the other direction toward gun-rights protections. The […]