Hillary Clinton

Hillary Clinton's Free College Promise Won't Be Free—and Won't Help College Students

Political concession to the Sanders crowd that you'll pay $35 billion for

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Van Tine Dennis/ABACA/Newscom

Here's a line that you might hear a few more times between now and Election Day.

"It's just not right that Donald Trump can ignore his debts and students and families can't refinance theirs," Hillary Clinton said during her acceptance speech Thursday night.

The line stood out to me because it bridged the two main goals of Clinton's speech on Thursday—and, more broadly, the two main goals of the entire convention. It took a political shot at Donald Trump for being irresponsible while signaling a willingness on Clinton's part to embrace the more progressive policies favored by the generally younger and more energized part of the Democratic Party that supported Sen. Bernie Sanders in the primaries.

The line came a little more than halfway through the speech, as Clinton took listeners on a brief tour of how the first 100 days of a Hillary Clinton presidency would play out. She specifically name-checked Sanders and promised to work with him "to make college tuition free for the middle class and debt free for all."

The attack on Trump here is something of a non sequitur. Sure, Trump may have overused and even abused America's bankruptcy laws, but there's actually an important reason why student loan debt can't be wiped out in bankruptcy court while the debt of poorly run casinos can.

When a person or business goes through bankruptcy, there are physical assets that can be sold and used to pay lenders. The bankruptcy process is meant to bring both sides to the table to work out a middle ground. Lenders get something back, and borrowers have to pay what they can.

There are no physical assets in student loan debt. A college grad with $100,000 in unpaid loans can't slice off a portion of their knowledge or experience and sell it, any more than they can hand over a portion of the better economic opportunities they have because of a college degree.

And yes, even with crushing debt, college is still a better option for many, but not all, students. Research by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York shows college graduates earn 80 percent more than peers who did not earn an undergrad degree. College graduates, even those with lots of debt, are still less likely to wind up unemployed than those who didn't go to college.

That doesn't mean it's easy or cheap to get a degree, of course.

According to the College Board, the average cumulative student loan debt for the 2012-13 academic year was $25,600 for students at public colleges and $31,200 for those at private institutions.

To anyone who graduated in the last decade, during which tuition costs have skyrocketed, the idea of "free" or "debt free" college tuition probably sounds great.

But attempts by state and federal government to lower the cost of college have contributed mightily to the high cost of attending post-secondary school. Government subsidies have hidden the price of college and broken the market forces that would naturally keep tuition costs down, allowing universities to charge pretty much whatever they want.

Clinton is doing more of the same here, because it turns out that "free" college tuition is actually pretty expensive.

Under a plan she announced earlier this month (as part of a political deal to win Sanders' endorsement), anyone from a family making less than $85,000 a year would get free tuition to public universities. The threshold would increase to $125,000 by 2021.

The project comes with a price tag of at least $35 billion annually.

The income eligibility threshold is meant to target the program at middle and lower-income Americans, but that's a crude instrument for crafting such an expensive policy.

As Reason's Robbie Soave has previously pointed out, "a family living off of $85,000 in New York City, Los Angeles, or Washington, DC might be in much more precarious financial shape than a family living off $85,000 in the suburban Midwest. Does this plan not punish people whose higher incomes are offset by higher living costs?"

Clinton's team knows this. Her vice presidential pick, U.S. Sen. Tim Kaine of Virginia, wrote an op-ed for the Huffington Post earlier this year pointing out this exact problem.

"By making all public university education free, we'd be giving away college education to richer Americans who don't need the assistance paying for it," he wrote. "It is important that a college affordability plan focuses on opening the doors of opportunity for those who need it."

It seems unfair that Trump can use bankruptcy to dodge his mistakes while college grads struggle to make ends meet and pay their loans—but it would be more unfair to make everyone pick up the tab for a college tuition program that adds billions in new government spending, further obfuscates the actual cost of attending college and will do nothing to stop rising tuition costs.

NEXT: Jerry Doyle, RIP. Radio Host and Babylon 5 Star Was 60.

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  1. “It’s just not right that Hillary Clinton can get away with breaking the law and ordinary people can’t avoid ruinous fines and jail terms.”

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  2. When a person or business goes through bankruptcy, there are physical assets that can be sold and used to pay lenders. The bankruptcy process is meant to bring both sides to the table to work out a middle ground. Lenders get something back, and borrowers have to pay what they can.

    There are no physical assets in student loan debt. A college grad with $100,000 in unpaid loans can’t slice off a portion of their knowledge or experience and sell it, any more than they can hand over a portion of the better economic opportunities they have because of a college degree.

    Profound misunderstanding on display here.

    (a) People who owe student loans do have physical assets that an be sold to pay lenders.

    (b) Bankruptcy isn’t primarily about auctioning off physical assets. Its about paying debts from any source of funds, and routinely includes payment plans imposed on the debtor.

    The real reason you can’t clear student loan debts in bankruptcy is because they are either owed to or backed by the government, so any reduction of those debts in bankruptcy would require the government to take the hit.

    1. a) That futon in the grad’s parent’s basement belongs to the parents, and the Fedgov wouldn’t know what to do with it once they seized it.

    2. It’s funny to me how bankruptcy, which is a legal privilege afforded to debtors, has been cast as some grave offense that creditors perpetrate upon people. No, bankruptcy is the state’s way of saying “here’s a chance for you to start over” and telling the creditor, to some extent, to pound sand (not that they aren’t generally willing to compromise in this day and age; 50% of what you owe is better than 0%).

      I find it ridiculous when people whinge about going into to debt and bankruptcy for medical expenses. As though saving your life just isn’t important enough to endure some financial hardship over.

      1. I find it ridiculous when people whinge about going into to debt and bankruptcy for medical expenses. As though saving your life just isn’t important enough to endure some financial hardship over

        Depends on the level of debt and illnesses, though, too. I’m certainly not going to leave my family in hock to a bunch of banks for, say, the uncertainty that comes with cancer treatments, especially if they’re only going to extend my life for another year or two. For relatively minor procedures, though, it’s not a big deal.

        The real problem is the monopolistic behavior exhibited by a lot of the medical industry. We almost never know the cost of treatments beforehand, so we can’t shop around for the best price, and most procedures are wildly inflated as a result. I’ve mentioned before that, 60 years ago, you could have a normal live birth and a private room for two days in a California hospital for about $1,000, inflation-adjusted. During our last kid’s birth, the hospital charged the insurance company about $25K and insurance whittled it down to $15K. Fortunately I have a good plan and we only paid about $250 for the 24-hour lab work, but to me that’s beside the point–I’m perfectly capable of saving up $1,000 in 6 months and would gladly pay that if it meant lower real costs across the board.

        1. Ask! And Negotiate… 10 yrs ago, I rolled my car 3 times at 65MPH. Unfortunately, it landed on my arm. I was uninsured at the time.

          I had no choice on the “bed and board” costs of 66 hours in a hospital room and saline IV’s- 35 fricking thousand dollars-but I talked my way out a day early. I told them to sue me if they wanted a cent… I talked the radiology peeps down from $3500 to $1700. I got my surgeon down to $1200 from $2500.

          Remember, these services were all provided while I was unconscious and _nobody_ had consented to treatment. (“Emergency” things, I guess)

          The surgeon that put a plate in my arm recommended a Phys therapy place (affiliated w/ his hospital). I got a price of $150/visit, went elsewhere for $40/visit (Compounded Monteggia fracture , Ulnar nerve impingement).

          1. Results- I’m at about 75% on my left (writing/throwing) hand (down from about an 85% starting base due to a serious childhood injury at age 5- I was pretty much already doing everything I could right handed except writing, throwing, and “strength” things). My “signature” has changed, my wrist is seriously weather-sensitive, and my ulna/radius don’t really like to rotate anymore.

            And, then you learn to deal…

            1. I could show my arm to anyone, and all will see the 10 in, scar where the surgeon sliced open my arm to attach a plate to my broken ulna, And about 90% will also see where the broken bone exited my skin, (nasty discolorization-and it still hurts when rubbed ).

              Much less than half might even think about why the Doc even had to put a plate on that bone, or why it mattered,

              Meanwhile, how many people do you think can “find” the ulna?

          2. Not everyone wants to deal with the hassle of negotiating something like healthcare. I can’t imagine a more miserable time than replicating the experience of buying a used vehicle with getting medical treatment.

            Upfront pricing would solve 90% of our medical costs, even for emergency procedures. Just imagine how expensive your oil changes would be if insurance paid for them and you didn’t know the price beforehand.

            1. I may be totally off base, but I can’t help but feel that before we “solve” the healthcare problem we are going to have to repeal several layers of previous “solutions” and then let matters find their own level over the course of, say, five years. I really get the impression that a lot of what is wrong with the healthcare industry is the result of slapping on bandage over another. Yes, I know, successive bills on the same subject are supposed to repeal their predecessors. Somehow I doubt it has worked all that smoothly.

        2. The real problem is the monopolistic behavior exhibited by a lot of the medical industry.

          That’s not a “monopolistic behavior”, that is “monopolies created by government”. That is, your inability to shop around is due to government regulations.

    3. I agree with R C. This also means that Eric’s arguments are quite poor in this article.

      Furthermore, if a private lender wants to provide a loan to a college student with the understanding that the student could later default on the loan; what is wrong with that?

      I wouldn’t blame Trump for abusing the bankruptcy system because it is “us” that allowed such a government-sanctioned bankruptcy system, which is widely open for abuse.

      (when I said “us”, I meant you older folks because the country was on your watch at the time!)

      1. “if a private lender wants to provide a loan to a college student with the understanding that the student could later default on the loan; what is wrong with that?”

        except, it’s not a private lender. It’s the government. Lending taxpayer money. and they’re giving these loans out to everyone, regardless of the probability of default each individual might have.

        And in regard to the students having assets to sell off…if a recent college grad is able to have amassed $100k in possessions, one would wonder why we needed to lend them all this money in the first place. I know plenty of recent grads with $50k+ in student debt who own like an xbox and a $7,500 car that’s still half financed. That’s not gonna work as collateral on a student loan

        1. Joe,

          My sense is that we are making the same point.

          But anyway, I agree with what you are saying.

          To correct you though, it isn’t that the government is doing the lending. Private financial institutions lend to the students for the vast majority of the time.

          But these loans are implicitly backed by the federal government. Consequently, there is no need for these financial institutions to examine the likelihood of loss or probability of recovery in the event of a loss (and they don’t!).

          And of course, in that environment, you can see how people are incentivized in ways that they normally wouldn’t be.

          1. Sorry – that was true up until 2010, but at that point all federal loans were switched to go through the government. You can still get a private student loan, but it won’t be federally backed.

            It is a nice deal for the gov’t, as they’re getting a 6+% interest rate off of kids. It is one of the gripes they have that I agree with (the rate should be variable).

            1. Marcus,

              Yes, you are correct. The funds come directly out of the government now.

              The initial impact is similar because there is no incentive to check the likelihood of loans being repaid. Over time, the cost of money and cost of servicing the loan probably will probably result in even greater taxpayer funded losses. Kinda like the post office

      2. Furthermore, if a private lender wants to provide a loan to a college student with the understanding that the student could later default on the loan; what is wrong with that?

        And they should be forced to consider that possibility before making a loan. Character is one of the 5 Cs for a reason.

  3. This article misses the point. In making this proposal, HRC was the first female presidential nominee to propose handing out loads of free shit to college grads. History in the making folks.

    1. A Professional Historian has confirmed for us that we have just witnessed history again!

  4. The “college students earn more” statistic is a great example of how to lie with stats.

    College students do earn more, they earn more because they were smarter upon entering college.

    IQ, not education, not race, not gender, is the most perfect predictor of academic and economic success, and violent criminality.

    A degree in Lesbian Dance Theory won’t cut it in the free market.

    As Murray pointed out (Charles, not Bill), too many students are not cut out for higher academics. The push for college has resulted in more, and more students, in gross numbers, pursuing less intellectually demanding majors.

    Learning of course is it’s own reward, but majors must meet demand of the market, or at least given the student marketable skills.

    1. The source (of the source) corrects for ability and still sees the benefits. Though of course statisticians can never correct for everything, that’s why real science requires experiments.

      But I agree we do still need to differentiate between the “smart kids” and the rest. It’s pretty well known in education that money invested into the star pupil pays off bigtime (at least for them). Just like spending money on added training or private lessons for a talented athlete or musician. But then this subset biases the stats and are used as an excuse to piss money away on dumb kids who will waste 4+ years just delaying reality and building up impossible dreams.

      And of course, should never, ever subsidize training in a almost-guaranteed failure of a career strategy like liberal arts or dance.

      1. almost-guaranteed failure of a career strategy like liberal arts

        The liberal arts include plenty that is useful in most careers.

        Otherwise, yeah.

        1. The liberal arts used to, and in a few places may still include plenty that is useful in most careers.

          Face it, the main utility of most liberal arts degrees these days is to get you into the grad school upon which you will start your career.

          The theory that liberal arts provides a good basis in critical thinking blah blah for nearly any career is, I fear, an anachronism.

      2. The source (of the source) corrects for ability and still sees the benefits.

        Some remaining factors are probably degree discrimination and magical thinking (this person must be bad because they don’t have a degree).

    2. Additional note: The “grads earn more” meme only looks at what they make after graduating and entering the workforce. They don’t adjust for the debits to pay off their student loans, reducing their net earnings, nor do they adjust or the extra years of earnings their non-college peers have for entering the workforce sooner.

      Anecdotally, every Arts major I know is working in lower paying service jobs, not earning any more than their non-college peers, b/c they cannot find work in their field… and most now regret their degree choices.

    3. It’s true that the college-attending demographic isn’t the same as the non-college attending one, and that you can’t assume anyone who doesn’t attend college would get the same benefits as the average person who does.

      That said, in many, many fields and disciplines, it doesn’t matter how high your IQ is, you aren’t going to get hired with just a high school diploma.

      1. That said, in many, many fields and disciplines, it doesn’t matter how high your IQ is, you aren’t going to get hired with just a high school diploma.

        Thanks to the government-mandated elimination of aptitude tests.

        1. Good point.

          I think we could drop the cost of a degree by an order of magnitude by having the federal government rewrite job requirements in terms of aptitude tests and certifications.

          1. My first job out of HS had a math test before hire-(picture framing company, fractions were necessary…). Smartest group of people I ever worked with.

        2. There is really a very simple solution. Raise the minimum wage to $60/hour or more. No need for a college degree at all. No entrance exams needed anymore. We can use the universities as housing for the homeless instead of wasting the space on students. Many good things would come of this.

      2. Is your last statement your opinion or based on actual data?

        1. I’m sure I’ve seen some data in the past, but mostly common sense and life experience.

          Try becoming a doctor or a lawyer with a college degree. I’ve done recruiting for accounting and finance before, and almost every single position we recruited for while I was there required a 4 year degree (you can probably get a low-level position in these fields in a lot of places, but you’re not landing a Big 4 audit job). I work in finance now and entry level positions in my discipline require a college degree. I’m not saying you need it for every job in every field, I’m just saying that not having one is going to close a lot of doors even for a really intelligent person.

      3. A bachelor’s degree has become a proxy for an IQ test, it seems to me.

        1. So it as become a proxy for something that isn’t really useful to begin with.

    4. I would love to see a College Grad versus Trade School Grad comparison. Not just college grads versus whatever.

    5. Charles is the one that played the part of the caddies boss, right? I always get those Murray brothers mixed up…

      1. No, I think he played Mr. Shirley in Christmas Vacation?

    6. Learning of course is it’s own reward, but majors must meet demand of the market, or at least given the student marketable skills.

      That’s one thing I’ve wondered ? why don’t lenders ask about major and price the loan according to how in demand the major is.

      1. lenders have been cut out of the market by government.
        and colleges are selling “one size fits all” pricing for degrees.
        it costs the same (sans a few lab fees) to get a computer science degree at UT Austin as it does to get a degree in leisure studies.

    7. A degree in Lesbian Dance Theory won’t cut it in the free market.

      It might, if you’re going to open a burlesque show marketed at lesbians.

  5. As Reason’s Robbie Soave has previously pointed out, “a family living off of $85,000 in New York City, Los Angeles, or Washington, DC might be in much more precarious financial shape than a family living off $85,000 in the suburban Midwest. Does this plan not punish people whose higher incomes are offset by higher living costs?”

    Why do I (in flyover country) have to subsidize the choices of people living in Manhattan or SF? You pay a premium to live there, and you presumably get something in return (weather, culture, taxes) so why punish me for choosing to live in a low COL area?

    Not endorsing further subsidy of college, but the COL adjustments to subsidies just seem like ways to give more away to predictable blue voters and not those icky people out in the sticks.

    1. Couldn’t you flip that around? Why do people in Manhattan and SF need to subsidize the choices of people living in flyover country? Why should someone in Oklahoma get benefits that someone making an equivalent income in California or New York can’t, just because they choose to live in a lower-income, lower cost of living area?

      For the most part, federal programs don’t adjust eligibility based on geography.

      1. Why do poor people in NY have to pay the same tax rates as rich people in the Midwest?

        On the other hand, it’s the idiots in NY and CA who elect the biggest taxers.

      2. But you would get the equivalent benefit. If we set the threshold for subsidized Artisanal Mayo at 10,000/yr income, you qualify regardless of living in SanFran or Doglick, KY. In this case, people argue that 10,000 in SF doesn’t go as far as Doglick, so we should adjust the threshold so that you qualify at 10,000 in SF, but not until 30,000 in Doglick.

        At that point, you’re saying that choosing to live in SF is a tradeoff-free benefit. I get whatever abstract benefit from living in SF, and I get the cost of living there without losing my mayo subsidy. Living in Doglick gets no such special treatment.

        If I based the subsidy on housing costs explicitly, say you get it if your housing costs 2,000/month but don’t get it below that point, am I not incentivizing people to buy more expensive houses to then get the mayo free? But we don’t seem to characterize living in a high-cost area that same way–as a luxury good a person chooses.

        1. That’s assuming everyone prefers to live in SF. I know a lot of people who would prefer to live in Doglick, KY.

          1. #NeverFrisco

            1. Here’s to hoping that Smug Storm does eventually destroy SF.

      3. Why do people in Manhattan and SF need to subsidize the choices of people living in flyover country? Why should someone in Oklahoma get benefits that someone making an equivalent income in California or New York can’t,

        What subsidies is someone living in Oklahoma taking from people living in Manhattan?

        1. I live in a rural area. I’m fairly certain that a New Yorker benefits more from my federal taxes paying for his highway to shorten his commute than I benefit from a road I never drive on. I’m also pretty sure that I’m sick of living under the laws and political whims determined by the electorates of New York and California.

          1. Don’t forget that state/local income taxes and property taxes are deductible from federal taxes. So high-tax blue states syphon off taxes that would have otherwise gone into the federal coffer if their local rates weren’t so outrageous.

    2. Different, but related, why should the taxpayers be on the hook to send all 19 Duggar kids to college because of their decision to act like rabbits? Can’t we put a cap on how many in a family can get a free ride? And likewise, is there a limit on how many degrees I can accumulate for free? Maybe I want to be a career student and earn 15 degrees? What about post graduate? Who pays for that? To me all this free college talk is a bunch of bullshit. Hell, why should a new family just starting out be burdened by 30 years of debt just to put a roof over their head? Free homes for all!!!!

    3. Does this plan not punish people whose higher incomes are offset by higher living costs?”

      This is why many plans that involve some kind of means testing or income cutoff should be local. Anything national must be applied equally, so you’ll have disparities like this. (This is why I oppose a national minimum wage.)

  6. “It’s just not right that Donald Trump can ignore his debts and students and families can’t refinance theirs,”

    That doesn’t even make sense.

    But she’s the Most Qualified Friend of the Working Man in herstory.

    1. It doesn’t need to make sense, it needs to feel just not right.

    2. So, get the government out of the student loan business and make student loans dischargeable in bankruptcy. The market will take care of the rest.

      1. With a better than average chance the market won’t make a loan for Transgender Dance Studies unless you have a whole lot of assets for collateral.

        1. Well testicles can go for 35k or more according to some urban legend.

      2. make student loans dischargeable in bankruptcy.

        And if you do, your degree gets revoked.

  7. “Clinton draws a collective vision of America,…”
    http://www.sfgate.com/

    This is presented as if it were desirable.

    1. Fascism … It comes out of this idea that a bundle of things will be stronger together ?

  8. To Eric and Reason,

    You may want to note that the democrats haven’t been saying “Get the profit out” when it comes to higher education.

    It is what they say when it comes to “healthcare”.

    Unfortunately, profit is already out of the education system. For higher education, about 90% of the institutions are either government or non-profit.

  9. Unfortunately, profit is already out of the education system.

    Haha, good one.

    1. The only difference between a profit seeking business and a non-profit is that in the former, profits are distributed to shareholders while in the latter they’re distributed as salaries and perks.

  10. Maybe I’m going to sound silly here, but how the hell is this fair to people who, well, aren’t college material? In effect, they’re being told that they should have to shell out money to pay for people who are going to be making more than them get to the point that they’re making more than them. I know trailer trash isn’t exactly the most sympathetic segment of the public. but this seems wrong.

    1. Or put it this way:

      Should plumbers and electricians pay higher taxes so upper class twits can get victims studies degrees?

  11. I know trailer trash isn’t exactly the most sympathetic segment of the public. but this seems wrong.

    The Social Contract plainly requires the poor to subsidize the rich. Didn’t you read your copy before you signed?

  12. The entire edifice of Higher Education ? is crumbling, and since the vast majority of its people vote Democrat, and it inculcates Democratic leanings in its graduates, the Democrats are bound and determined to shore it up. And Gods forbid all those (synthetic) ivory tower “(favored minority) Studies” professors actually be forced to go WORK for a living.

  13. In Hillary’s America, everything will be free except the people.

  14. There aren’t physical assets? Why not? People who go to college don’t buy things that could be sold?

    How does that differ from medical bankruptcy? When someone goes bankrupt because they can’t afford the bills for their emergency surgery, what is there to seize? Their diseased appendix?

    I think you might be confusing bankruptcy asset sales with the sale of a good in which the seller has taken a purchase money security interest.

  15. College is a scam. Somehow we have convinced ourselves that spending 4 to 6 years getting a paper makes someone smarter than a person who spent those 4 years in the workforce. Time to cut funding to public universities force them to eliminate degrees with no value in the work force.

    1. College isn’t – entire – a scam. A degree in one of the hard sciences or an engineering field has real value. A humanities degree qualifies you to study for the next higher degree.

      1. Education has value. The degree is just paper.

    2. It’s especially a scam in the Age of Information, when there is so much reliable information available to just about anyone for free, and from respectable sources. Self-education is more possible than ever. Maybe not for all fields, but for many.

      But everybody’s gotta go to college. For some reason.

      1. Requiring a degree is a simple filter to exclude the terminally lazy and unmotivated.

        Which filter Shrillary proposes to stomp into powder.

      2. In most of these cases, the degrees are going to become even more worthless when the internet revolution blows up higher education. You are seeing the first hints of it through entities like the U. of Phoenix. Soon, instead of the market needing 5,000 professors of South Asian Queer Basket Weaving Studies, the market will need five. That will leave a lot of formerly overpaid people out of a job (and completely without marketable skills).

    3. Well, in fairness, some things really need to have the theory as a sit-down-and-learn thing (like medicine).

  16. I hate all of these people

  17. It is when these progs prattle on about free college and student loan forgiveness I really feel like I was the idiot. Here I went and self-financed my undergrad and paid off my graduate loan early. Now I have that better paying job and I get to pay for morons who couldn’t understand the paperwork they got for their student loans.

  18. You know who else promised a free “education”?

  19. Three reasons why this program angers me.

    1) As Milton Friedman pointed out this will be just another subsidy paid by all incomes the will dis-proportionally go to middle to upper middle income individuals.

    2) What will be the requirements. If goobernugget A drops out or fails classes will they be required to pay the money back. How many Gender Study Majors with minors in interpretive dance will we produce vice STEM fields which will actually see a return on investment through tax dollars? How many Warrens will my tax dollars support teaching one class and making 350000 a year? Or how many diversity centers, sports facilities or dorm rec facilities will I be paying for?

    3) This is the biggest one. It took me twenty years of my life to make it to a point where I can take a cruise or vacation to Florida comfortably. The people who mostly support this want their cake and to eat it too. It isn’t the fact I as childless individual will pay for every little snowflake to go to college. It is the fact I will pay for their parents and themselves to enjoy life far better then I did. I am not paying for their little snowflakes tuition an board but pay for them to head to Disney World every year or other year. These parents could save up but they don’t want to sacrifice their social lives and fun to pay for Timmy”s or Susie’s education.

    1. This.

      “Free college” is a screwy idea to begin with, but it’s pure, unadulterated madness if there is not some check in place to stop people from wasting tons of taxpayer money on a Ph.D in gay and lesbian studies.

    2. Don’t forget the executive assisstant secretary to the vice provost in the diversity department. Papers must be pushed!

  20. After graduating high school, I would have had no problem with a free 4-year paid vacation.

  21. What about the kids who go to college and don’t graduate? Are we paying for them too? Only 59% of college attendees graduate within 6 years. And you’d expect that number to look even worse with an increase in the number of people attending college, especially if it’s free.

    Nevermind all the other bullshit like how this will just widen the divide between rich kids attending the better private schools and poor kids attending the crappy public schools. Or how this will increase the cost of college for those who do pay for it themselves and the taxpayers who will be footing the enlarged public school bills.

    I mean seriously, do politicians ever even remotely look into the economic ramifications of anything?

    1. Re your last, probably not and I suspect that they hope nobody else does either.

    2. Well even the “public universities” are attended far more by the middle and upper middle classes. So even then we will be subsidising two things. Massive Salaries for tenured professors and middle incomers being able to send their kids to college and take that yearly vacation wherever cause they don’t have to save for their kids.

    3. I mean seriously, do politicians ever even remotely look into the economic ramifications of anything?

      Is that a rhetorical question?

  22. Funny, how there seems to always be a price on all this “free Stuff” promised by political types and government.

    1. I know, right? It’s almost like things cost money and the people who produce them want some money in return for what they’ve done!

  23. And yet the wealthiest nation in the world (uhh.. That’s us) can’t provide that which other countries like Norway, Sweden and Germany do.. provide free tuition….Not only for their students, but for people from anywhere in the world, including the US. Please explain to me why it’s OK to drop $685 Billion each year (really it’s close to $1.5 Trillion if you include the VA, FBI, yadda yadda) on national security, but we can’t provide our own children a valuable education? That stinks. Who exactly are we protecting? Definitely not our kids with $25,000 worth of debt and a $10 p/h job at Starbucks. I’m no Sanders fan, but if you ask me, he got this right. Time to reconsider how we divvy up the pot.

    1. Fuck off slaver. My money doesnt belong to you

    2. “Please explain to me why it’s OK to drop $685 Billion each year … on national security”

      You do realize that you’re on a libertarian website and that most people here are NOT in fact “OK” with this level of national defense spending, right? Or are you one of those idiots who believes one thing and then lumps everyone else into a big katamari ball of evil?

    3. John B. Egan|7.29.16 @ 6:59PM|#
      “And yet the wealthiest nation in the world (uhh.. That’s us) can’t provide that which other countries like Norway, Sweden and Germany do.. provide free tuition…”

      You idiot, that’s the REASON we’re the wealthiest nation in the world.
      Go live in some socialist hell-hole.

    4. And yet the wealthiest nation in the world (uhh.. That’s us) can’t provide that which other countries like Norway, Sweden and Germany do.. provide free tuition….Not only for their students, but for people from anywhere in the world, including the US.

      European universities spend much less money per student; they have almost none of the frills that US universities have, and they pay lower salaries.

      Furthermore, they make the middle class pay; for example, in Germany, marginal income taxes alone are 42% for anybody making more than about $60000, in addition to numerous other mandatory contributions. In the US, the comparable tax rate is 25%. Germany also has no EITC, and pretty much every income earner pays taxes. Note that high income earners actually often pay less taxes in Germany than in the US.

      So, you want free tuition? Fine: massively increase taxes on low and middle income earners, and massively cut public university budgets. Voila.

      What you can’t do is support a US style public university system with a US style tax system and give everybody “free college”; that simply doesn’t work out financially.

    5. Europeans pay a ton of taxes for their services. In America you pay little to nothing (mostly social security contributions) if you work part time in Mcdonalds.

      One of these days liberals should hold a round table discussion on “why immigrants come to America”. And no, it’s not because of some nebulous “opportunity and freedom”. Do these people understand how much free stuff people in this place? Even without citizenship? If you learn how to obscure countable income and play around with residence, you’re halfway to your welfare payments.

      There’s not much plausible scenario in which a poor Mexican can just skip to somewhere like Norway and find long term success. “you’re screwed if you get hit by a bus in America”. you’re 400 times more screwed in other parts of the world for things that can actually happen to you.

  24. College is already socialized. The next round will, simply, force tier one schools to take illiterates.

    Because we all know there is no diff between a tier one and a tier two. Those aren’t laughably easy at all.

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  26. Here’s something I’ve been wondering about with regards to education:

    Why do private, for-profit colleges have such a bad reputation? Are they really that bad, or is it just a smear campaign to make people think that we need more government?

    1. “Are they really that bad, or is it just a smear campaign to make people think that we need more government?”

      Supposedly, the graduates can’t get jobs, but I’ve yet to see any comparison to even, say, Cal.

  27. $89 an hour! Seriously I don’t know why more people haven’t tried this, I work two shifts, 2 hours in the day and 2 in the evening?And i get surly a chek of $1260……0 whats awesome is Im working from home so I get more time with my kids.
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    1. Hey, we finally found something to do with that degree in South Asian Queer Basket Weaving!

  28. $89 an hour! Seriously I don’t know why more people haven’t tried this, I work two shifts, 2 hours in the day and 2 in the evening?And i get surly a chek of $1260……0 whats awesome is Im working from home so I get more time with my kids.
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  29. You can help the student load program with a similar program such as TARP. A large number of these loans cannot be refinanced. They should be allowed to be refinanced to obtain a lower interest rate, if needed the TARP people can subsidize the refinance: a much less expensive way to ease burdens. They could be refinanced for 30 years like a mortgage (if an education is to help earnings for a lifetime, why not have a 30 year loan like a mortgage). You can also have an interest only rider in the loan for those times it is needed. It is necessary that the principle be repaid, the government should not take these loans over, but they can sure make them competitive on the open market.

  30. Because a person with student loans cannot declare bankruptcy and have them removed, they should get a much lower interest rate. As the Federal Reserve (uhg) cares less about timely payments than banks and exists solely to manipulate the market, they could even have a specific program to offer loans at the same APR (or lower) than they loan to banks.

    1. Response|7.30.16 @ 8:27PM|#
      “Because a person with student loans cannot declare bankruptcy and have them removed, they should get a much lower interest rate”

      Why?

      1. Because it is different than all other loans (that I know of) in this matter. Even government bonds can fail. The point of the banking system is to consolidate monies so as to provide loans – interest is there as insurance to cover loans that fail. If interest is also deemed to exist as an incentive to banks to increase liquidity then it can come from the Fed.

        1. Not being able to declare bankruptcy =/= “the bank will get its money”. There are plenty of deadbeats who don’t declare and just flat don’t pay.

    2. Because a person with student loans cannot declare bankruptcy and have them removed, they should get a much lower interest rate.

      They do. Left to the free market, student loan interest rates would be so high for most students that few people would ever take out student loans. People get the current student loan rates only because of government intervention and regulation, and part of that is the inability to discharge these debts in bankruptcy.

  31. Free college is a great idea and paying for it is simple. Here’s how: Reinstitute conscription and draft the professors into the “New Education Army”. Limit their pay to the minimum wage plus 0.1%. You won’t have to worry about them quitting and going into the private sector for two reasons. First, it would be considered treason punishable by death and the second more decisive reason:

    “Personally, I liked the university. They gave us money and facilities, we didn’t have to produce anything! You’ve never been out of college! You don’t know what it’s like out there! I’ve worked in the private sector. They expect results.”

    “Ghostbusters” -Dr. Ray Stanz

      1. There are plenty of ways to handle existing student debt too. If a student gets a worthless degree that won’t qualify him for a decent job then the college should be forced to pay back the loan and the professors should be forced to return their salaries. Of course, under the new salary structure of minimum wage plus 0.1% they won’t ever earn enough to pay back their once exorbitant salaries, kinda like the students they swindled.

        This is simply a way to make the rich pay more. The rich colleges, the rich administrators and the rich faculty will all get to live in the kind of world that they so lovingly advocate. “From each according to his ability to each according to his need.”

    1. BTW, do you think we could reduce medical costs the same way? Do you reckon the MDs who were flocking around Obo during his propaganda push would flock around Shril to back that cause?

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  33. Where are Johnson/Weld on this?

  34. I’ve made 64,000usd so far this year w0rking online and I’m a full time student. I’m using an online business opportunity I heard about my friend JGw and I’ve made such great money. It’s really user friendly and I’m just so happy that I found out about it.
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  35. Gary clearly hasn’t spoken to all the deluded people out there who believe their fairy tales endow them with magical powers and superior legal status.

    Every single “religious rights” activist — including those who don libertarian drag — are phony. They don’t want free association rights — their strong and uncompromising support for laws that require employers, merchants and others to do business with religious people are proof of that.

    They want special, exclusive status — government forcing others to hire them or do business with them, while assigning deluded superstitious believers a special legal status to turn down interaction with anyone else, for any reason, based upon their nonsensical mystical mumbo-jumbo.

    That’s how you get over 100,000 religious discrimination lawsuits without a single peep of protest from “religious conservative libertarians,” while five measly suits over wedding cakes have them shrieking with rage.

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