Community College Graduation

Barack Obama recently announced a plan to use taxpayer money to pay the full tuition of community college students. “Students would qualify if they attend at least halftime, maintain a 2.5 grade point average and make progress toward completing a degree or certificate program,” the Associated Press reports. This proposed program is immoral and destructive on several counts. Consider just a few.

To begin with, the program would violate the rights of taxpaying Americans who would be forced to fund the program and thus would not be able to spend that portion of their own money according to their own judgment. While one young adult might choose community college, another young adult might prefer to invest in a new business instead. Why should the second be forced to subsidize the first? Why should a young married couple who might prefer to spend their money on a new house or a Montessori preschool for their child be forced to pay someone else’s “free” tuition at a community college? Why should an older person who might prefer to put his money into a retirement fund or donate to a charity he believes in be so forced? Obama and company ignore all such pertinent questions.

Obama’s program would also unjustly discriminate against private for-profit and nonprofit career colleges—now major competitors to community colleges. These private colleges already operate under a severe competitive handicap because community colleges receive taxpayer subsidies. Obama’s scheme likely would drive some private colleges out of business.

It goes without saying that Obama’s plan would extend federal control over community colleges. . . .

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