You Make a Difference! Our mission and operations are funded entirely by Patriots like you! Please support the 2021 Year-End Campaign now.

Cal Thomas / August 13, 2015

Another Education Subsidy

If elected president, Hillary Clinton has promised to spend $350 billion to make college “more affordable.” The U.S. already has an $18 trillion debt (and growing by the day), but Clinton wants to add to it. That’s not affordable. Too many young people are graduating from universities unable to find jobs, or are underemployed. Slate.com references a 2014 study of youth joblessness by the Economic Policy Institute. It found “…roughly 8.5 percent of college graduates between the ages of 21 and 24 were unemployed. That figure is based on a 12-month average between April 2013 and March 2014, so it’s not a perfect snapshot of the here and now.

If elected president, Hillary Clinton has promised to spend $350 billion to make college “more affordable.” The U.S. already has an $18 trillion debt (and growing by the day), but Clinton wants to add to it. That’s not affordable.

Too many young people are graduating from universities unable to find jobs, or are underemployed. Slate.com references a 2014 study of youth joblessness by the Economic Policy Institute. It found “…roughly 8.5 percent of college graduates between the ages of 21 and 24 were unemployed. That figure is based on a 12-month average between April 2013 and March 2014, so it’s not a perfect snapshot of the here and now. Still, it tells us that the post-collegiate job market, just like the rest of the labor market, certainly isn’t nearly back to normal. (For comparison, the unemployment rate for all college grads over the age of 25 is 3.3 percent, which is also still higher than normal.) More worrisomely, the EPI finds that a total of 16.8 percent of new grads are ‘underemployed,’ meaning they’re either jobless and hunting for work; working part time because they can’t find a full-time job; or want a job, have looked within the past year, but have now given up on searching.”

The problem isn’t just at the university level; it’s at the jobs level where Obamacare, higher taxes and overregulation have reduced incentives to hire people, or forced many to accept part-time work.

When I entered American University as a freshman in 1960, tuition was $450 a semester. Today you probably can’t get out of the bookstore for that amount. I received no federal subsidies. My father paid for the first year and I paid for the rest by working and getting a small student loan from the bank, which I quickly repaid.

While federal help for education has been around since the mid-19th century, most notably with the GI Bill after World War II, direct grants and other federal help to universities began to increase in the late ‘60s, leading to a rise in the cost of tuition. As University of Colorado law professor Paul F. Campos noted recently in The New York Times, “…over the past 35 years, college tuition at public universities has nearly quadrupled…”

Campos rejects the view promoted by some that federal subsidies are necessary because of cuts at the state level: “…far from being caused by funding cuts, the astonishing rise in college tuition correlates closely with a huge increase in public subsidies for higher education. If over the past three decades car prices had gone up as fast as tuition, the average new car would cost more than $80,000.”

U.S. education in the 21st century is based on a 20th-century model. No one ought to be “entitled” to tax money to go to expensive schools like Harvard or Yale, or even public universities. Community colleges and the online universities that offer students flexibility to work and study cost less and provide necessary knowledge, or trade skills for the job market. Athletics and the rest of the university culture may be fine for those who can afford it, but for students and parents who can’t there are many more options than when I attended college.

Hillary Clinton’s proposal is a vote-buying effort that will add one more entitlement to an economy that can’t afford it. Given the sharp decline of the Chinese yuan it looks like China, the main U.S. debt holder, may have reached its lending limit.

If American politicians can’t be an example of what living within one’s means looks like, how can we expect younger people to embrace a Puritan ethic that served us well before envy, greed and entitlement took over?

© 2015 Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

Start a conversation using these share links:

Who We Are

The Patriot Post is a highly acclaimed weekday digest of news analysis, policy and opinion written from the heartland — as opposed to the MSM’s ubiquitous Beltway echo chambers — for grassroots leaders nationwide. More

What We Offer

On the Web

We provide solid conservative perspective on the most important issues, including analysis, opinion columns, headline summaries, memes, cartoons and much more.

Via Email

Choose our full-length Digest or our quick-reading Snapshot for a summary of important news. We also offer Cartoons & Memes on Monday and Alexander’s column on Wednesday.

Our Mission

The Patriot Post is steadfast in our mission to extend the endowment of Liberty to the next generation by advocating for individual rights and responsibilities, supporting the restoration of constitutional limits on government and the judiciary, and promoting free enterprise, national defense and traditional American values. We are a rock-solid conservative touchstone for the expanding ranks of grassroots Americans Patriots from all walks of life. Our mission and operation budgets are not financed by any political or special interest groups, and to protect our editorial integrity, we accept no advertising. We are sustained solely by you. Please support The Patriot Fund today!

★ PUBLIUS ★

“Our cause is noble; it is the cause of mankind!” —George Washington

The Patriot Post is protected speech, as enumerated in the First Amendment and enforced by the Second Amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America, in accordance with the endowed and unalienable Rights of All Mankind.

Copyright © 2021 The Patriot Post. All Rights Reserved.

The Patriot Post does not support Internet Explorer. We recommend installing the latest version of Microsoft Edge, Mozilla Firefox, or Google Chrome.