January 17, 2007

Six in Oh Six

I reacted negatively to the Democrats' "Six-in-06" initiatives (surprise!) I felt that the drug negotiation, stem cell research, alternative fuels subsidies, and minimum wage hike were anti-Hayekian. The 9/11 Commission recommendations should be debated and negotiated; it's a cop out to take them all.

I didn't take the time to object to their education subsidies, but the good folks at the WSJ Editorial Page have completed the task adroitly. Their problem is that the Government is subsidizing the interest paid on student loans. That will not help those who cannot afford education, it's a giveaway to college graduates.

In other words, the Democratic loan proposal isn't really about making college more affordable for low-income families. It's about expanding federal subsidies for college grads, including millions of middle-class men and women who will go on to do very well in life and hardly need such a government handout.

"The average college graduate leaves school with a debt of $17,500, which after consolidation and tax breaks comes to about $102 a month," says Brian Riedl of the Heritage Foundation. "If a college degree adds about a million dollars to your lifetime income, 102 bucks a month is manageable." Democrats know that subsidizing college graduates doesn't sound all that great as a political theme, so instead they pretend that cutting student-loan interest rates will somehow make higher education more "accessible."

Cui bono? Faculty and administrators who will now be able to raise tuition because Federal subsidies will defray the costs. The 110th is going to make college more affordable by raising tuition.

I score them 0-6 in '07.

110th Congress Posted by John Kranz at January 17, 2007 11:10 AM