The Case Against College Entitlements with Rep. Paul Ryan and Author Charles Murray

Ending weeks of speculation, Mitt Romney formally chose Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) as his Vice Presidential pick. ReasonTV sat down with Ryan back in 2009 to discuss the country's fiscal issues and why we don't need more public funding for higher education. 

Here is the orginal text from the July 14, 2009 video:

President Barack Obama has declared that his administration aims to make college affordable to everyone by greatly expanding government aid to middle class families. The Washington Post says that Obama's higher education proposals, which include creating a brand new Pell Grant entitlement, "could transform the financial aid landscape for millions of students while expanding federal authority to a degree that even Democrats concede is controversial."

But what if President Obama has it backwards? What if America is sending too many people to college?

A recent study found that "Nationally, four-year colleges graduated an average of just 53% of entering students within six years." If 40 percent of students who enter college drop out before graduation and over 50 percent of students take six years to graduate, perhaps Obama is focusing on the wrong issue. 

Reason.tv's Michael C. Moynihan sat down with Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and the American Enterprise Institute's Charles Murray, author of the recent book Real Education, to analyze how Obama's higher-education plans will impact the economic and cultural future of the United States.

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  • Fluffy||

    The modern pentathlon is today.

    It apparently consists of:

    Swimming
    Fencing
    Running
    Horse Jumping
    Pistol Shooting

    I guess that's because they picked the 5 events to make the perfect soldier in the 1890's.

    I submit that we need a modern modern pentathlon, highlighting the skills that soldiers need today.

    So far I have these events:

    1. Waterboarding
    2. Flying drones to blow up innocent children at a funeral
    3. Insurgent bribing
    4. Surviving shower electrocution
    5. ??????

    I need one more. I'm looking for suggestions.

  • ant1sthenes||

    Writing requisitions contracts.

  • Auric Demonocles||

    We can stick true to the older ones and leave in shooting. But we'll also allow use of guided missiles in place of rifles.

  • Bardas Phocas||

    5. video game play. Those drones don't fly themselves (yet).

  • Bardas Phocas||

    yes, you already got that, but I was think a broader robot operations kind of thing.

  • T o n y||

    College Entitlement? Sounds like some young Republican group Paul Ryan was no doubt the treasurer of.

  • Old Mexican||

    Social Security Checks Raided To Pay for Student Loans

    Yes, Tony, there INS'T a Santa Claus.

  • Brutus||

    If you decouple the benefit from the cost with a span of enough time, it still seems like Santa is still there, OM.

  • ||

    And what's wrong with taking 6 years to graduate?

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Pancho d Anconia,

    And what's wrong with taking 6 years to graduate?


    As long as I am not paying for it, nothing!

  • Hyperion||

    Nothing at all, why not take 10 years, or 15, oh WTF, just put off graduation indefinitely, stay in ma and pas basement and get that insurance for 'adult children' policy extended from 26 years to infinity...

  • ||

    Again...provided you aren't paying for it...why would you care?

    College was fun. Do you have something against fun?

  • UneasyRider||

    Better to take 6 years to graduate with little debt then graduate in 4 with crippling debt.

  • johnl||

    Maybe you are taking time off to graduate to have kids. It can make sense.

  • Caleb Turberville||

    I don't live in a swing state, so my ballot will probably be wasted on some third-party protest vote. But with the Paul Ryan pick, I officially like Romney more than Obama.

  • Mustakrakish||

    I would officially prefer lethal injection to disembowelment. I would rather have neither.

  • Caleb Turberville||

    I don't know.

    For a while now, I've been nauseated by my "Romney vs. Obama" thought experiments. Now, by choosing a decent, intelligent person for vice-president (as opposed to Biden), Romney has officially tipped the scales in his favor.

  • ||

    If Paul Ryan was Rand Paul's VP pick i think i would be happy.

    Though the election sticker would be funny.

    "Vote Paul/Ryan 2012"

  • Hyperion||

    You can like Romney more than Obama all you want, that doesn't translate into a win for Romney. I already liked Romney more than Obama. Fuck, I like almost everyone better than Obama, bar Hitler or Satan, but I am still voting for Gary Johnson. Romney has already lost this election. Ron Paul would have been the smart pick, followed by Rubio, followed by Christie, followed by Ryan. I am surprised that Romney was smart enough to pick Ryan.

  • Caleb Turberville||

    I never said I was going to vote for Romney. In fact, I implied I was voting for Gary Johnson. But I'm gathering optimism that Romney might actually be an improvement over Obama.

  • sloopyinca||

    A malignant tumor of the anal sphincter would be an improvement over Obama. That said, Romney still might not be.

  • Hyperion||

    This. And I do believe that Romney would be better than Obama, at first. I also believe that Romney cannot win, and that if he does he will only be better than Obama until we invade Iran.

  • Calidissident||

    How does Romney picking a guy that supported Medicare part D, NCLB, the Patriot Act, TARP, the auto bailouts, NDAA, the wars, etc and whose "radical" budget increases spending by over a trillion dollars in the next decade and doesn't balance the budget for decades, even under optimistic growth scenarios, cause you to improve your view of Romney?

  • Hyperion||

    I agree, it doesn nothing for me. Ryan is a really smart guy with all of the wrong policy views. Economically, both Romney and Ryan are magnitudes of order better than Obama, but so was Bush.

  • Caleb Turberville||

    It could have been worse.

    Remember. The both 2008 VP selection were ridiculous. In any other election year, Biden would have been the butt of late-night jokes, but McCain lost a lot of credibility with his choice of Palin. Or rather, he should have fired the advisor that suggested her in the first place.

    Fast-forward four years, and Obama is still stuck with Biden, and Romney has chosen one of the brighter stars in a generation of younger Republicans.

    Heck, it shows guts to pick a candidate that could out-shine the Presidential candidate in the handsome department. Do you think Obama could share a ticket with someone younger and better looking? I don't think so.

  • Robert||

    Are you sure Obama is stuck with Biden?

  • ||

    This late in the game?

    Yes.

  • A Serious Man||

    It's really a bizarre situation: Ryan is not, in any sense, a radical based on his record, and yet Twitter and every left-leaning site is giddy that Romney handed Obama the election by picking Ryan.

  • ||

    The left wing base drank the kool-aid.

    They think their attack ads back in 2010 against Ryan were successful rather then acts of desperation.

    Obamacare is not popular, growing debt is not popular, the economy is not popular and Ryan has "plausible" alternatives and he "sounds" very good when he talks about it.

    For moderate, independent and swing voters still on the fence he will do very well.

    Of course VPs do not make a whole hell of a lot of difference in elections. The very premise that any Romney VP pick would guarantee an Obama win is ludicrous. Thinking that Ryan will get Romney a win is equally ludicrous.

  • Killazontherun||

    He also supported Sarbanes-Oxley.

    How this guy got is seen as anything but a establishmentarian tool I would like to know.

  • Killazontherun||

    got is seen

    got the reputation

    Got erased, damnit.

  • Calidissident||

    I also just remembered that he voted to raise the debt ceiling as well. But I guess since he proposed a plan that modified, but did not eliminate or even shrink, Medicare, he's a radical anti-government extremist

  • ||

    How this guy got is seen as anything but a establishmentarian tool I would like to know.

    this is a TEAM BLUE vs TEAM RED fight.

    There is no substance to it. The left see a guy who talks as well as Obama yet he is a a dreaded TEAM RED Republican.

    They fear him so they throw everything including the kitchen sink at him hoping that no one notices it is all hot air.

    If anything Ryan's record, minus his military interventionism, is where Clinton's was in 1996. Of course Clinton went to Somalia so maybe he is the same War Hawk realm as Clinton was as well.

  • Old Mexican||

    VIVA MEXICO, HIJOS DE LA CHINGADA!!

    Gold Medal in Soccer! 2-1 ! Fuck you, Brazil! Ha ha ha!!!!!

  • Hyperion||

    And fuck a you Mexico! Brazil will humiliate you damn enchiladas in the world cup!

  • ||

    Not the team I saw.

  • ||

    Sooo...

    Woot North America!!

    South America can it!!!

  • sloopyinca||

    OT: Youth wasted on the young.

    What a pussy. This kid has a chance to make a bigger point and become a cause celebre for liberty and he fucking blows it. I hope he fails at life.

  • Hyperion||

    We live in a police state. When I was in Rio in March, I was really captivated by the street art... yes, I would call it art, not graffiti, that was everywhere on walls, sidewalks, sides of buildings, etc. I plan to one day go there and just spend a few days photographing it, there are some incredibly talented people doing this, most of them probably dirt poor, or even living on the streets.

    And yeah, kid should of refused to pay the fine. WTF harm is a sidewalk drawing doing to anyone?

  • Robert||

    Some of that street art in Rio D.J. was featured in a video from People Like Us.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    Economically, both Romney and Ryan are magnitudes of order better than Obama, but so was Bush.

    Wait, whut?

  • ||

    Wait, whut?

    Clinton was as well.

    You would have to go back to FDR to find a president as bad economically as Obama.

  • UneasyRider||

    Carter?

  • jacob the barbarian||

    The current dirt bag in chief is worse than Carter. FDR was more destructive, but even he did not support public sector unions. Ol' James Earl sucked major donkey dick, not just economically and this turd in the punch bowl (Obama) beats him hands down.

    FDR was less of a weenie than either of them in other arenas as well, but he was far more diabolical. I hate all progressives.

  • A Serious Man||

    What kind of campaign makes a major annoucement when everyone on the West Coast is sleeping?

  • ||

    Uhhh which west coast state is in play for this announcement to matter?

  • A Serious Man||

    Excellent point. May God be merciful and spare me having to watch any campaign ads or deal with the traffic on the freeways when Barry and Mittens visit LA and OC for fundraising.

  • ||

    ....

    thinking

    ....

    thinking

    ....

    Good point.

    And fuck you!

  • Robert||

    Higher, and even lower, education is a racket, one that I took part in in a small way (adjunct instructor and tutor), and I wonder about the meaning of that recent (as of 2009) study. Specifically, I wonder how many of those students entering a 4 yr. college even expected to get a bachelor's degree within 6 yrs. First of all, just because an institution is a 4 yr. college doesn't mean everybody who matriculates there enters a 4 yr. program. Second, these days there are a lot of adults who matriculate into bachelor's programs part time starting with 0 credit and may expect to possibly need more than 6 yrs. Also, many adults undertake a course of study of several yrs. towards some sort of certif'n, wherein a bachelor's degree in addition might be granted on completion but is not the main goal, where the courses necessary for the certif'n push the completion date far beyond what would've been expected for a regular bachelor's program.

    So I agree that far too many people are in college, but the failure of half of them to complete bachelor's programs in 6 yrs. isn't necessarily an indicator of that as a problem.

  • NotSure||

    I just read that this guy was reading about government budgets when he was still in school: http://www.cato-at-liberty.org.....e-markets/

    Unlike most politicians that probably lied and gossiped and brown nosed when they were in school, this guy is probably more qualified than 99.9% of all politicians.

  • lagcin3||

    I agree with the heavy government spending for grants and scholarships, and the uselessness of a B.A is more harmful. At the same time we should not forget there is no way that college will be affordable for anyone even the middle class if we do not lower tuition costs. Lets lower our inflation and stop depreciating the dollar, than maybe people can pay for their own education.

  • lagcin3||

    *I agree that the heavy government spending for grants,scholarships, and the that B.A are more harmful. At the same time we should not forget there is no way that college will be affordable for anyone even the middle class if we do not lower tuition costs. Lets lower our inflation and stop depreciating the dollar, than maybe people can pay for their own education.

  • Saneandbalanced||

    Why the heck should college be "affordable to anyone" when I'd guess that more than half the people already in college shouldn't be there.
    The liberal hegemony in this country and most Western nations has spread the myth that everyone is entitled to college or university, regardless of their talents and abilities. What's wrong with trade school for those who are so inclined? (Nothing wrong with the work or the pay for plumbers, landscapers and beauticians.) Also, nothing wrong with paying for your own post-secondary education. Those who work for what they get tend to appreciate it more and use it better. Of course, if things ran this way, who would attend all those university programs designed to breed new generations of neo-Marxists?

GET REASON MAGAZINE

Get Reason's print or digital edition before it’s posted online

  • Video Game Nation: How gaming is making America freer – and more fun.
  • Matt Welch: How the left turned against free speech.
  • Nothing Left to Cut? Congress can’t live within their means.
  • And much more.

SUBSCRIBE

advertisement