President Obama has a brand new idea that sounds like most of his old ideas: he wants to make something “free” for millions of people. Even though the U.S. is $18 trillion in debt and money doesn’t grow on “free” trees in Washington, D.C., (the last time I checked, money had to be collected from taxpayers to fund the government, but someone can correct me if I’m wrong), Mr. Obama wants the first two years of community college to be “free” for anyone who chooses to explore that option.

Politico reported Thursday:

President Barack Obama will need the approval of Congress to realize his proposal for making two years of community college free for students.

So far, that plan doesn’t have an official price tag — other than “significant,” according to White House officials. If all 50 states participate, the proposal could benefit 9 million students each year and save students an average of $3,800 in tuition, the White House said. …

“What I’d like to do is to see the first two years of community college free for everybody who’s willing to work for it,” Obama said in a White House video posted Thursday evening. “It’s something we can accomplish, and it’s something that will train our workforce so that we can compete with anybody in the world.”

Here’s a little background on yours truly. When I got out of the military, I wanted to go to the University of Southern California. These days, tuition will cost a student roughly $64,000 per year. In my day, yearly tuition was roughly $35,000. The point is this: it’s expensive.

What did I do? I, as a former infantryman already wrestling with the belief that people thought I was stupid, swallowed my pride and signed up at a local community college. I took a job working the night shift at Target stocking shelves. A counselor at the community college asked me for my goal. When I told her I was going to transfer to USC, she literally burst out laughing. She told me — without having any information on my intelligence or background — that I might want to “reevaluate” my plans. I walked out of her office and vowed that I would get into USC and shove the acceptance letter down her throat. Less than two years later I received an acceptance letter in the mail, but instead of circling back with the woman in dramatic fashion I bought a plane ticket to Los Angeles and never looked back. Regular readers of this blog know where things went from there…

The moral of the story is that sometimes the biggest opportunities for personal growth come from the obstacles we must traverse. I learned valuable life lessons that benefit me to this day from the struggles I faced in my early twenties. Perseverance, fiscal responsibility, the value of hard work, never losing sight of the big picture, endurance, and the ability to apply a laser-like focus when necessary are just some of things that come to mind when I think of that period in my life.

The kind of liberalism espoused by President Obama is insulting. Individuals are supposed to embrace public policy meant for infants and invalids. The soothing salve of another man’s money is supposed to ease an individual’s mind and prepare him for the challenge of becoming who he is truly meant to be, when in fact all that it offers is spiritual atrophy.

Nothing is life is ever “free.” The push for “free” higher education is not an act of kindness, but a surreptitious way to create a soul-sucking umbilical cord around the necks of young voters. The worst part about making community college “free” won’t be the spike in tuition (yes, schools will hike prices on all services if it is established that the federal government will cover three-fourths of each bill), but the changes to the national psyche when individuals view it as the State’s job to clear all major life hurdles from their field of vision.



  1. Government subsidies tend to drive up prices, because the government is presumed to have deep pockets, and the merchants/vendors/service providers know that they will get paid, no matter what. So they have no incentive to keep prices down. If there were a public assistance program to pay 3/4 of the cost of a subscription to a comic book, then, eventually, the subscription would cost $6, 000 a year. Then the high prices create a need for more subsidies to pay the cost, so it’s a vicious circle.

    Ironically, limousine liberals like Obama tend to sneer at community college. (In their convoluted value system, if you got your first job when you were a teenager, and if you worked your way through college, you are inferior to some adultolescent who got his first job at 24 after his parents paid his way through college.) But Obama probably figures a community college degree is good enough for the gun-clinging, religion-clinging peasants out there in flyover country.

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