Clinton: Let’s Do For Education What Obamacare Did For Health Care

 

imageProbably the simplest description of Obamacare is that it took all the worst aspects of the American healthcare system — the artificially restricted markets, the disincentives to purchase care or insurance directly, the mandates some states imposed on the kinds of packages available, etc. — and doubled-down on them. As a result, healthcare is more expensive, restricted, regulated, and complicated than ever before. Despite years of salesmanship and meddling, the president’s signature legislation has yet to crack a positive approval rating, and currently has support of just 41 percent of Americans.

That Hillary Clinton wants to do essentially the same thing for American higher education is one of those things that is simultaneously amazing and wholly unsurprising. From the New York Times:

Under the plan, which was outlined by Clinton advisers on Sunday, about $175 billion in grants would go to states that guarantee that students would not have to take out loans to cover tuition at four-year public colleges and universities. In return for the money, states would have to end budget cuts to increase spending over time on higher education, while also working to slow the growth of tuition, though the plan does not require states to cap it.

Mrs. Clinton, who will officially announce the plan at a campaign event on Monday in Exeter, N.H., would also allow Americans to refinance private loans at lower interest rates; let students use their Pell Grants fully for living expenses; expand the AmeriCorps national service program, which provides an education benefit and was started by President Clinton, to 250,000 members from 75,000 members; and impose penalties on colleges whose graduates cannot repay their loans.

As Scott Shackford notes at Reason:

[T]he government throwing more money at colleges is precisely why the costs are skyrocketing. Yet, Clinton proposes ramping it all up, inflating the bubble even further. She wants to target for-profit colleges for abusing federal funding, but appears oblivious to the idea that similar incentives manifest in similar results in public colleges. Take note of the recent audit showing that Syracuse University is chock full of administrators and managers who have only one or two people actually reporting to them. Take note that the University of California raised its tuition recently to allegedly improve its education, only to then turn around and increase the salaries of its top administrators.

Whoever the Republican nominee is, Americans are going to have a stark choice this next cycle: do they want more of the same thinking that gave them Obamacare — without the benefit of a charismatic champion — or do they want to try something different?

Published in Domestic Policy, Education
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  1. Dan Hanson Thatcher
    Dan Hanson
    @DanHanson

    There’s also a Hayekian ‘Road to Serfdom’ message in there:  Clinton’s plan breaks down all the market signals and incentives that govern education,  so she plans to replace them with a barrage of regulations that will force colleges to structure themselves in the ways she sees fit.   She’ll cap tuition,  cap  administrative costs,  yada yada.

    The America Corps thing can be seen almost as a form of indentured servitude to pay for a very expensive political indoctrination program, which is what at least liberal arts colleges are rapidly becoming.

    All of this simply because politicians like her are blind to the market-based solutions that have been working just fine when allowed to do so.   It’s like destroying a fine watch and replacing it with a sundial – so long as the sundial is under the control of Washington.

    • #1
  2. Tim H. Inactive
    Tim H.
    @TimH

    I think it should be unconstitutional for the Federal government to send money to the states, with restrictions and conditions attached, to accomplish something the Federal government is prohibited from doing directly.  Like this.

    Honestly, the way I read the Constitution, I can’t see where they have the power to spend money on something that’s not laid out in their powers (Article I, Section 8, or various amendments).  But I’m sure the lawyers can explain to me how there are all kinds of ways of reading it differently.

    • #2
  3. Matthew Gilley Inactive
    Matthew Gilley
    @MatthewGilley

    If you like your financial aid, you can keep your financial aid.

    • #3
  4. Mike H Coolidge
    Mike H
    @MikeH

    It gets pretty old doesn’t it? I mean, just point out Economics 101 to people and watch as they ignore it.

    • #4
  5. Man With the Axe Inactive
    Man With the Axe
    @ManWiththeAxe

    Instead of making K-12 education more like higher education, with vouchers, more localized freedom to set curricula, allowing market forces to determine which institutions survive, Clinton and her ilk want to make higher education more like K-12, with government paying the full ride, to be followed by heavy regulation, and, mark my words, ultimately restrictions on which schools are allowed to use the government funding, not to include religious-affiliated schools or schools that refuse to toe the government diversity/sexual assault line.

    • #5
  6. Ross C Inactive
    Ross C
    @RossC

    I can’t add much that is not already well known about this boondoggle at ricochet but I would view this is an opening for Republicans.

    Our argument should be this is bad for two reasons…

    1) It increases the cost of tuition and that is not fair to students.

    I have heard that the cost of college tuition is going up about 4% per year in excess of the rate of inflation and that the increase can be shown to correlate to government funding.

    2) How is it fair to tax all taxpayers (including those that choose not to go to college) for the tuition of those who do go?   Who by the way are generally more well off than those who don’t go to college.  Isn’t this just a regressive tax that takes from the poor to subsidize the better off?

    • #6
  7. Omid Moghadam Inactive
    Omid Moghadam
    @OmidMoghadam

    I would also like to see a complete moratorium on paying washed out politicians $300k for 20 minute speeches at universities. If you are that interesting, write a book and save your speech for C-Span book TV.

    • #7
  8. Hank Rearden Inactive
    Hank Rearden
    @HankRearden

    The Dems ruined the market for higher education with government loans. Prior to that, for 350 years America had a successful higher education program and nobody graduated with student loans.

    By making the funds for tuition unlimited, government has now priced higher education out of the reach of the middle class, with private colleges charging $55,000 a year.

    Hillary wants to further tie students down to the Liberal juggernaut which they will be forced to serve in some manner or other.

    Unfortuately, once a market has been ruined, it is more or less impossible to return to the status quo ante. But at least let’s not make it worse. Hillary is the last person to turn to to make it better.

    • #8
  9. John Penfold Member
    John Penfold
    @IWalton

    We can think of it as just stupid policy from really stupid people or as clever politics by fascists who don’t have their own brownshirts and street thugs organized as well as they could be.  She’s inept and she’s corrupt, is she that stupid?

    • #9
  10. Dan Hanson Thatcher
    Dan Hanson
    @DanHanson

    There’s a good argument:  “Hillary,  you are arguing that the higher education system needs more funding.  But isn’t the fact that they give out hundreds of thousands of dollars in speaking fees to ex-politicians a sign that they have more than enough money?  Do you really think paying $300,000 for a 20 minute speech by an ex-Secretary of State represents good value for the student’s tuition?  Just one of your many speaking engagements could pay the annual tuition of dozens of  students.  How do you reconcile that with your claim that you care about the students?

    Have you ever considered donating all the money you made in speaking fees on campuses back to student associations  or for debt relief?  If not,  why should the American taxpayer do it?  And don’t you think it’s kind of obnoxious to defend your speaking fees while also claiming that students are being hurt badly because there isn’t enough money for them?”

    Here’s another good one:  The fact that she has made huge money from educational funds is a direct conflict of interest with her policy of taxing and giving money to those same institutions.  So how about asking her if she will sign a pledge to not accept a single dollar in speaking money or any other financial remuneration from an educational institute after she leaves office as a condition of pushing this legislation?  And let’s extend our demand for that pledge to any other politician who votes for this execrable idea.  My guess is if they had to do that,  suddenly they’d discover that this bill isn’t such a hot idea after all.

    • #10
  11. Dan Hanson Thatcher
    Dan Hanson
    @DanHanson

    John Penfold:We can think of it as just stupid policy from really stupid people or as clever politics by fascists who don’t have their own brownshirts and street thugs organized as well as they could be. She’s inept and she’s corrupt, is she that stupid?

    Given that she recently said that corporations don’t create jobs,  the answer is yes.  I’m just not sure which one of your questions it answers…

    • #11
  12. John Penfold Member
    John Penfold
    @IWalton

    Dan Hanson:

    Given that she recently said that corporations don’t create jobs, the answer is yes. I’m just not sure which one of your questions it answers…

    Clearly some liberal supporters believe the stuff she says, I just find it difficult to believe she does.    I don’t think that it is an accident that everything she promotes expands and concentrates government power which benefits Hillary,  her party and her cronies.  Now supporters can believe the nonsense and we’ve all experienced  how impossible it is to shake their faith,  but she’s a wizard of oz, don’t the wizards know that it’s strategic phoniness?  A decade of  consistent failure and  deeply harmful results  can be unintended consequences, but a half century of failure, increasing dysfunction, worsening results wherever liberals govern and liberal policies are carried out, not just here but globally and yet they  alway double down?    Even physicians eventually learned that bleeding was killing their patients.   I think it’s all strategic.  The left wing ideology is just sort of weak personal faith in the background but mostly PR, it’s never been real to the person with the microphone and the guns.   But, shudder, you’d have to get inside their heads to know.

    • #12
  13. Man With the Axe Inactive
    Man With the Axe
    @ManWiththeAxe

    Dan Hanson:There’s a good argument: “Hillary, you are arguing that the higher education system needs more funding. But isn’t the fact that they give out hundreds of thousands of dollars in speaking fees to ex-politicians a sign that they have more than enough money? Do you really think paying $300,000 for a 20 minute speech by an ex-Secretary of State represents good value for the student’s tuition? Just one of your many speaking engagements could pay the annual tuition of dozens of students. How do you reconcile that with your claim that you care about the students?

    Have you ever considered donating all the money you made in speaking fees on campuses back to student associations or for debt relief? If not, why should the American taxpayer do it? And don’t you think it’s kind of obnoxious to defend your speaking fees while also claiming that students are being hurt badly because there isn’t enough money for them?”

    Brilliant.

    • #13
  14. Manny Coolidge
    Manny
    @Manny

    I pray to God that Hillary isn’t forced to withdraw from the race and gets to match up against the Republican.  She seems like a total loser.  She seems like the walking dead as far as politics goes.

    • #14
  15. Tim H. Inactive
    Tim H.
    @TimH

    I’ve actually beensaying for a couple of years that I don’t think Hillary will even get the Democratic nomination. Considering their shallow bench, I might turn out to be wrong, but it’s still possible she can lose it.

    But yes, I kind of hope she does go in a head to head match up against…well,any of ours except Trump.

    • #15
  16. John Penfold Member
    John Penfold
    @IWalton

    Here we are on the cusp of a revolution in education where radical decentralization is not only possible, but necessary.    We can have access to the best teachers, best lecturers on earth on any subject, instant interaction with serious students around the globe on any topic, and these people want to expand the failed top down centrally controlled system that has destroyed k-12.    They know the threat to their  monopoly is real and they are out to stop the revolution however they can.  Moreover the global economy, driven by new technologies  is changing so fast we cannot know what skills and knowledge we’ll need in just a few years.   So they want to centralize, standardize, and bureaucratize all of it.  Are they insane?  Well yes, but they know what they are doing and why.

    • #16
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