There is a well known saying which most of us have heard. It goes: “You think it’s expensive now. Wait until it’s free.”
We heard it from those darned conservatives and fiscal hawks prior to the passage of ObamaCare, and the left claimed we were crying wolf. We said: “you think health insurance is expensive now – wait until it’s free.” And the left laughed and called us fearmongers.
They on the left knew that ObamaCare, the government manipulation of the health insurance market, would actually save us money, because – you know – that’s what always happens when the public sector injects itself into the private sector.
And son-of-a-gun if they weren’t right. On average, everyone saved over $2500, just as it was advertised by Obama. Oh wait…that must have happened on Earth 2, where Hillary Clinton is president.
Here on Earth 1, everything the government gets involved in always ends up costing more – a lot more. ObamaCare is just one example. Another that most of are all too aware of is the cost of higher education.
As the fight to cut taxes continues in Washington – democrats, true to form, are playing the class warfare card. The Atlantic’s latest article pretty much sums it up. It’s entitled, “The Republican War on College – For the cost of cutting corporate income taxes, the U.S. could provide universal pre-K and make tuition free at public colleges for non-affluent students.” Classic class warfare.
Instead of giving some of the money back to its rightful owners – the ones who earned it, it’s better for our government, who has never earned a dime, to instead decide to redistribute the money and gift it to the people, who also didn’t earn it, and almost assuredly will not be thankful for the gift. Free college tuition will become just another one of hundreds of entitlements that Americans will come to expect and be completely ungrateful for receiving.
The Atlantic demonstrates this by claiming that, “The House bill would reduce benefits for higher education by more than $60 billion in the coming decade.” In other words – our “benefits” are ours and are ours in perpetuity. Once people come to expect them, they can never be withdrawn or even reduced.
But the problem doesn’t end with just an ungrateful society. Colleges and Universities, which are already overpriced, are salivating at the notion of government paid “free” college. As payment for higher education is taken out of the hands of the student and their parents, big education will lose the last check against spiraling tuition costs. Tuition will become just another government budgetary line item which must increase every year.
As an aside – isn’t it funny that it is not called “Big Education” by most? I don’t know if anyone has ever calculated it, but I’ll bet the combined income of all places of higher learning dwarfs every other American industry.
Anywho – third party payment has already manipulated the system. As government has effectively taken over all college lending, the price of big education has climbed steadily.
It has allowed Colleges and Universities to continually jack up their prices. This is what happens when money is easy to acquire. Almost anyone can obtain a college loan these days, despite many finding it difficult, if not impossible to repay.
It’s what would happen if somehow everyone in America became a millionaire. The very next day, we would magically begin to see prices increase for every product and service you can think of.
So what do we think will happen the day after it is declared that college is free for all, or at least for most? Okay – it may not be immediately, but will certainly begin with the next budget year. The cost of tuition will begin to skyrocket further.
But by then, no one will care, because it’s free for them.
The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author and are not not necessarily either shared or endorsed by iPatriot.com.