Larry Elder

Besides, government-provided funds for college actually cause an increase in tuition. Economist Thomas Sowell, in "Inside American Education," writes, "The specific terms under which the government provides student financial aid virtually guarantees tuition escalation to unaffordable levels. . . . The federal formula . . . first determines the 'expected family contribution,' based upon family income, assets, number of children, and other measures of ability to pay. Federal aid begins where tuition and other charges exceed this 'expected family contribution.' A private college or university which kept its tuition affordable -- that is, no greater than the 'expected family contribution' -- could forfeit millions of dollars annually in federal money. For example, if college X can provide a good education at $8,000 a year, while its average student's family can afford $9,000, then it loses opportunities to receive federal money. By raising its tuition to $12,000, it not only gets an additional $1,000 per student from their families but also an additional $3,000 per student from the government. In short, there is no incentive to keep tuition affordable and every incentive to make it unaffordable."

So Clinton's plan to help finance college becomes yet another solution in search of a problem.

Clinton's plan also creates unintended consequences. If people cannot feed, clothe, house and educate their children, should government provide incentives to have babies? Programs like school lunches, WIC (Women, Infants and Children), public housing, Aid to Families with Dependent Children, food stamps, transportation vouchers, daycare vouchers -- all make this statement: Have a child even if you lack the resources to do so. Breed irresponsibly and the government will compel taxpayers to step in.

Have they learned nothing from the Welfare Reform Act of 1996, signed into law by President Bill Clinton? Welfare rolls declined 50 percent without an increase in abortion. Able-bodied and able-minded people -- faced with time limits and denied increased monies for each new child -- got off the couch and went to work.

In 1972, George McGovern, arguably the most far-left candidate ever nominated, proposed giving $1,000 to every man, woman and child. Adjusted for inflation, that comes to almost $5,000 today. If at first you don't succeed.


Larry Elder

Larry Elder is a best-selling author and radio talk-show host. To find out more about Larry Elder, or become an "Elderado," visit www.LarryElder.com.

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