Obama

The chorus of folks lampooning President Obama’s “free community college” plan – an obvious attempt to pander to liberals and young people as well as further grow the size and scope of the federal government – continues to mount ahead of the State of the Union speech on Jan. 20, when the president is slated to tout his proposal.

The plan, estimated to cost $60 billion over 10 years, has been roundly criticized not only for its sky-high price tag as this nation staggers under debt and unfunded mandates, but for many, many other reasons as well.

Writing in TownHall.com, editor Conn Carroll sums up six reasons:

1) It Isn’t Free …
2) It Will Drown Community Colleges In Red Tape …
3) Too Many High School Students Aren’t Prepared For Community College …
4) Community College’s Have A Poor Track Record …
5) “Free” Tuition Will Drive Up Costs …
6) Government Spending Crowds Out Private Sector Solutions …

Then, over at Forbes, comes another six reasons penned by Professor Richard Vedder of the Center for College Affordability and Productivity:

1. The diverse nature of U.S. higher education is one of its strengths –we have 50 different ways of providing postsecondary education, and the nation has benefited from having diverse approaches. …
2. Second, a significant portion of persons going to community colleges come from at least moderately affluent families, and subsidizing their education more than presently is a waste of resources. …
3. Third, the recent post-graduation job experience is not very good for community college graduates, perhaps one reason why the popularity of these schools is in decline, with enrollments down significantly in the past four years. …
4. Fourth, why should we give “free” education at public community colleges, while at the same time the Obama Administration, through highly discriminatory regulatory policies, has virtually declared war on for-profit higher education? …
5. Fifth … the U.S. government’s finances are somewhat precarious, which has already led to its first credit downgrade in modern American history. …
6. Finally, the past large expenditures for federal student financial assistance, such as the Pell Grant and student loan programs, have contributed importantly to the tuition fee explosion.

Writing in the American Thinker, Michael Filozof – who says he has spent more than 15 years teaching at community colleges – declared “I cannot think of a worse idea than President Obama’s proposal for the federal government to provide ‘free’ community college tuition nationwide.”

Among his points:

1. The federal government has no business in education: Article 1, Sec. 8 of the Constitution enumerates the powers of the federal government. Education is not one of them. …

2. You get what you pay for: If community college becomes “free,” it will attract even more unserious students than the ones already enrolled in community colleges. …

3. Obama’s proposal will promote grade inflation: The Obama proposal is to provide “free” tuition for students who maintain a C+ average. This will almost certainly result in rampant grade inflation (which is prevalent already) …

4. Federally guaranteed tuition will increase inefficiency and patronage: Community colleges are often swamps of political patronage, nepotism, and favoritism.

And in case you missed it, The College Fix has also explained why it’s a horrible plan. Among our reasons, it’s another way in which the federal government treats young people as helpless saps who can only get ahead in life with the help of Uncle Sam.

Jennifer Kabbany is editor of The College Fix (@JenniferKabbany)

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IMAGE: Kerry M/ Flickr

Before I transferred to San Diego State University, I attended a community college.

That was back in the 1990s, and it was ludicrously cheap. I recall I paid about $90 bucks a class at Santa Barbara City College. I checked my old college’s website Thursday night for a cost comparison, and the price hasn’t gone up too much – it stands at roughly $150 a class now.

My point is – community college is not expensive. It’s not out of reach for low- to middle-class families. Not by a long shot. I paid my way through community college waiting tables at local restaurants. It was one of the best times of my life. Yes, my parents chipped in to help make ends meet, but by no means did I enjoy a free ride. JenniferKabbany

The experience taught me how to work hard, take care of myself, and be responsible and independent. It was a rite of passage I cherish to this day. I gained discipline, and came to understand the value of hard work and the enjoyment and satisfaction of a job well done.

Perhaps that is why, when I heard of President Obama’s new plan to make community college free, I immediately groaned. It’s a horrible idea.

Once again Obama – a.k.a. America’s Sugar Daddy – has shown that he wants to win the youth vote by appealing to its greedy, lazy, self-entitled side – and at the same time making them more dependent on the federal government. Because that’s how Democrats win votes.

If Obama really wanted to help young people, he’d teach them how to fish instead of giving them a fish everyday. His plan stands against the longstanding American principle of chasing the dream with rugged individualism and determination.

Where in our founding documents does it say federal and state coffers should shoulder higher education? For that matter, where does it say we are entitled to free birth control and cell phones? But I digress.

This plan would strap American taxpayers with tens of billions of dollars of new debt every year.

This at a time when the national debt stands at nearly $20 trillion dollars – and that’s not including the estimated $70 trillion in off-balance-sheet commitments from Medicare, Social Security, student loan guarantees and other future federal government promises that actually makes our debt stand at more like $90 trillion dollars, some economists have calculated.

The last thing this country needs is another massive entitlement.

And who gets to pay for all this debt? The young people Obama is claiming to want to help. If he really wanted to help young people, he’d propose Social Security reform, or overhaul the student loan racket.

The feds make billions of dollars off student loans annually. These government-backed loans – which are as easy to get as a gallon of milk at the store – have actually increased the price of a degree, as tuition prices have skyrocketed far greater than inflation rates and continue to do so because everyone can get a loan and school administrators know it.

With that, the incentive to keep costs down has vanished. School bureaucracy is far less efficient and bloated because of all the “free government money” being throw at it.

Obama’s free community college money is going to drive up the cost of community college – which has remained affordable for so long – and stick the rising expense directly on the backs of the American taxpayer.

Never does the price of something decrease when the government gets involved. Health insurance, anyone?

Jennifer Kabbany is editor of The College Fix (@JenniferKabbany)

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IMAGE: SS&SS, Flickr

Twenty-five years ago, the Berlin Wall fell, and with it, the belief that communism held anything but oppression, stagnation, tyranny and evil. Why – after lessons we have learned from others – are we headed toward the same mistakes, thanks to the man voted into the highest office in the land?

Robert Kaufman, a professor of public policy at Pepperdine University, writes in The Daily Caller:

President Obama has governed as if the Reagan presidency, pivotal for bringing down the wall, represented an unfortunate deviation from the progressive path of greater government control at home and diminished American power abroad. …

The president has put the United States on a path to become a Western European type social democracy at the very moment that model has proved unsustainable. …

The nanny state, in Margaret Thatcher’s scornful appellation, seeks to impose what Tocqueville called soft despotism where government supplies all our needs and wants. What the world construes as American decline under Obama has enhanced the global appeal of authoritarian alternatives to the open society — particularly a rising, authoritarian, increasingly repressive and dangerous China. Ironically, too, President Obama insists on spending less on one area of government where the lessons of the fall of the Berlin Wall and the collapse of communism instruct we spare no expense: national defense. …

Putin’s implacable determination to subvert Ukraine’s independence demonstrates the fallacy of President Obama’s worldview that conciliating rather than deterring adversaries will save much blood toil, tears, and sweat. …

Read the full column.

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When President Barack Obama stumped for Democrats at Wayne State University in Michigan recently, he was greeted by a relativity small but rambunctious group of libertarian college students and other like-minded individuals who faced down strict cops and angry Obama fans to get their side out to the throng of loyal Democrats.

Ty Hicks, a student at Central Michigan University and Michigan state chair of Young Americans for Liberty, tells his side of the story in a blog post, where he describes how his group was met Saturday with “heavy resistance” – including security who reportedly refused to allow them on the campus. But they kept up the good fight, anyway. There were about a dozen students and about 40 conservative and pro-liberty activists.

Hicks writes:

The local police department was ordered to work with the Secret Service, and they claimed that the entire block where Obama was having his speech was “federal property” although it was at a public state university! While the pro-democratic participants were allowed to handYALprotest out literature where all of the people were, those of us with a different view had our First Amendment rights limited to the other side of the street, well away from the speech and the people. But we didn’t give up that easily.

So the college students and others moved to the end of the street where there was a smaller police presence and handed out their fliers to those waiting in line, according to Hicks. The fliers – which were a satirical program of the event – accused Obama of hurting young people with his policies and violating the Constitution. It also decried the use of drones and the war on drugs, among other complaints.

Obama’s speech drew an estimated crowd of 6,000, and Hicks said the fake programs he and others passed out caused a stir among those waiting in line. Some yelled at the group and issued threats, “but it was just more energy for us to feed on,” Hicks stated.

“They were issuing some serious threats, and at some point, one guy even threatened me physically,” Hicks tells The College Fix. “Lots of angry people for sure.”

Later the group tried to picket the president’s appearance, but say they were blocked from walking on the campus. Hicks writes:

At all costs, we were kept off of the property even though we were peaceful at all times. Although our constitutional rights were violated over and over again, we made sure others would learn of it.

Read the full article.

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IMAGE: Ty Hicks, Young Americans for Liberty

More than half – 51 percent – of America’s millennials who say they will “definitely be voting” in November prefer a Republican-run Congress, with only 47 percent favoring Democrat control, according to a Harvard Institute of Politics poll.

This marks a significant departure from the institute’s findings before the 2010 midterm elections, when America’s 18-29 year olds who were definitely voting favored Democrats 55 percent to 43 percent.

Institute director Maggie Williams described the youth vote as “politically up for grabs” and a potential “swing vote” for control of Congress in a conference call to announce the results.

“The message to political candidates is clear: Ignore millennial voters at your peril,” Williams said.

What’s more, the poll found that only 43 percent of millennials approve of President Obama’s job performance, while 53 percent disapprove. It is his second-lowest rating in the institute’s polls since he took office. The figures are only slightly worse for Obama among those who will “definitely be voting”: 42 percent approve, 56 percent disapprove.

The results showed a stark divide in presidential approval along racial and ethnic lines. Only three in 10 young whites approve of the president’s performance, while nearly eight in 10 young blacks approve. Hispanic youth approval fell to 49 percent, down from 60 percent just six months ago.

Director of Polling John Della Volpe described youth voters as “a little bit less Democratic” than during Obama’s first term, speaking on the conference call. Factoring in the voting likelihood of all millennials, more 18-29 year olds prefer a Democrat-controlled Congress than a Republican one (50 percent to 43 percent), Della Volpe said – but the age group has become less supportive of the party.

“A lot of it comes down to turnout,” Della Volpe said. “It seems that young Republicans are more likely to participate next week.”

The poll also surveyed voters about terrorism threats. More than six in 10 millennials say they are “a great deal” or “somewhat” worried about another terrorist attack, with young women (66 percent) more afraid than men (56 percent).

A plurality – 39 percent – supports the president’s expansion of the U.S. air campaign against ISIS. Twenty percent oppose the expansion of air strikes, while 38 percent are unsure.

The institute survey of 2,029 18-29 year-old U.S. citizens was conducted Sept. 26-Oct. 9 with a confidence level of 95 percent and a margin of error of 2.6 percent.

College Fix reporter Michael Cipriano is a student at American University.

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IMAGE: USGovt/Flickr

 

Georgetown University sociology Professor Michael Eric Dyson not only likened President Obama to Jesus in a recent television appearance, but admitted many of the president’s supporters really look at him as a savior, and possibly thee savior:

“Now, Eric Holder is great!  Let me tell you what, Eric Holder, one of, what, five most powerful black figures EVER?  Obama, Holder, Clyburn, William Gray.  These figures have been extraordinarily important in politics.  But, you know, I’m a Christian preacher and God finally said, ‘Look, I can’t send nobody else, I got to go myself.’  And I ain’t sayin’ that Obama is Jesus, but for many of his followers he is.  But I’m saying, show up dog, and show us that you are seriously committed to the interests of your people, because your presence says something louder than even your words.”

So, I guess the message here is Obama is sorta, kinda Jesus – but he’s not doing a great job for his “people.” In the words of the esteemed professor: Show up, dog!

By the way, Dyson – named by Ebony as one of the hundred most influential black Americans – is not the only professor who has compared Obama with Jesus.

There was also The Gospel According to Apostle Barack,” the title of a book penned by a Florida A&M University professor who compares Jesus with Obama and says God told her in a dream to write it.

p.s. Eric Holder is one of the worst attorney generals in this country’s history.

h/t Western Journalism

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