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Giving you public money for college is really, in the end, welfare

  • Published in Letters

To The Daily Sun,

This is a response to Gabe Varney, about to be a senior at Prospect Mountain high school In Alton.

First, I want to praise Gabe for giving thought to his future. Considering a college education is a major commitment, not only of time and effort, but college is a major financial commitment that has great potential to both help or hurt financially in the future. Going to college is surely a commitment that needs the greatest thought and consideration by you and your family.

The risks and benefits of attending college are as high as they have ever been in history. The number of people defaulting on college loans is at record numbers. The total amount owed on student loans is the highest ever, reaching well over a trillion dollars. More than charged on every credit card in America. The average debt students graduate with is at a record number. A college major must be chosen wisely that matches today's job market.

Even worse, the person who does not finish college (and tens of millions don't) will be forced to accept a very modest wage enduring a harsh burden for years paying the borrowed money back. That could delay future marriage plans or buying a home. You indeed do have a big bridge to cross over the next year, so it is good you are thinking today.

As for the cost of college and politicians voting or not voting to fund grants, subsidies, handouts or what ever you see as reducing the cost of college, I want you to expand your horizon and critical thinking skills. You seem to have concluded politicians taking money from others to hand to you is good. I want you to be sure you understand that hurts someone else.

As you were taught in school, every action has an equal and opposite reaction. Money isn't just plucked off some tree to give to you. Someone had to earn it, then have it taken from them through higher taxation. Giving you money someone else worked hard for is really in the end welfare. Politicians love to call welfare any thing but welfare, but that is exactly what it is. A grant or subsidy is, in the end, welfare.

You seem frustrated politicians won't vote you welfare as if you were entitled to it. I cannot think of anything any worse for any young person to have than than an entitlement attitude. That thinking will not help you get where you want in life, trust me on that. I want you to be the best success you can be. The better attitude is to be certain you can overcome any obstacle life puts in front of you through logic, hard work, imagination and creativity.

Here is your summer assignment. I ask you, Gabe, why is it that after every state and the federal government has given out (at taxpayers' expense) more subsidies, grants, loans and aid of every kind imaginable — in ever increasing amounts over the past 50 years, reaching amounts in the hundreds of billions — college and university costs are the highest today in history, with kids graduating with the greatest financial burdens in history?

There is not one shred of evidence handing you money, that you hand to the college reduces the cost of college for you or anyone else. It is a fact. Your research will lead you to discover, as I have, handouts to students from the state and government have only served to be gasoline on the justification for colleges to keep increasing their tuition costs. Colleges have been increasing tuition costs faster than inflation for 30 years straight. The student going off to college with money bags tied to them by the state and government have been seen by colleges as nothing more than walking gold mines to be harvested with higher tuition costs and zero reason to improve their productivity or cut costs to make your tuition less. Most colleges are highly inefficient bureaucracies, paying exorbitant wages to unionized professors determined to keep college costs skyrocketing and productivity low. The history of horrific and unjustified increases in the cost of college cannot be denies by anyone. It is Just one more place where union labor drives costs to the moon for all others, including you. Putting a saddle bag on you stuffed with money only keeps their higher tuition game going.

I hope I have expanded your thought process.

Tony Boutin