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Elizabeth Warren: Going Big Bailing out the Higher Education Lobby

April 30, 2019 in Economics

By Doug Bandow

Doug Bandow

With President Donald Trump seemingly vulnerable politically,
you would expect the Democratic presidential nomination process to
attract the best and the brightest. Here is one of those fabled
political inflection points, a moment the next president might
engineer a major ideological alignment. Imagine joining Woodrow
Wilson, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, and Lyndon Johnson on the
progressive pantheon.

So far, alas, the Democratic contenders fail to impress. They
are visiting the usual interest groups and making the usual
promises, with those little radical twists so beloved by activists.
But intellectual heft has yet to make its entrance. Elizabeth
Warren is supposed to be the policy heavyweight, but consider her
grand initiative to bail out the bloated, over-funded, highly
politicized higher education lobby.

This is a winning idea?

Consider it a Marshall Plan for university administrators and
professors. Warren would lavish another $1.25 trillion — why
start at a billion when you can add another three zeroes?! —
on the college sector, which few people mistake as productive or
needy. Everyone involved would be invited to belly up to the
federal trough.

Warren’s educational
lobby bailout is a bad idea. But the biggest problem is principle,
not practical

Washington would eliminate tuition at public colleges and
universities. Government grants for student living expenses would
increase by $100 billion. A special fund of $50 billion would be
created for historically black schools. Write off most student
debt, estimated to be about $640 billion worth. Up to $50,000 in
student loans would be eliminated for students earning up to 100k a
year. A portion would be eliminated for those earning up to a
quarter of a million a year.

“This touches people’s lives,” Warren
exclaimed. But it would be easier to touch them by simply loading
up some B-52s with cash and bombing the countryside!

How to pay for it? Tax the rich, of course.

As giveaways go it’s a great plan. More than 42 million
Americans would benefit. About 75 percent of student debtors would
get a free ride. And the usual suspects employed by the educational
blob would get guaranteed jobs.

What’s not to like?

First, Sen. Warren appears to be spending her “tax the
rich” proceeds multiple times — she also wants
universal childcare, increased affordable housing, and, of course,
Medicare for all. That’s just to start before the first
debate and candidates in the rear begin throwing policy long-bombs
to get attention. As the European welfare states well know,
everyone has to pay more taxes to underwrite generous social
benefits. As a result, the European tax systems are less
progressive than America’s revenue structure. Thus, the rich
wouldn’t pay off the university sector under Warren’s
plan. All …read more

Source: OP-EDS

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