The Wall Street Journal has an editorial out arguing against increasing the power of the federal government in higher ed reform, Obama State University. The President has been in the news for his most recent campus tour:
President Obama recently concluded a five-year campus speaking tour in which he explained to students how his financing programs were making college more affordable. Then on Thursday he kicked off a new campus speaking tour to tell students that college is unaffordable, and that the financing program he has championed faces increasing defaults.
“We’ve got a crisis in terms of college affordability and student debt,” said Mr. Obama, without a trace of irony at the State University of New York at Buffalo. The same man who three years ago forced through a plan to add $1 trillion in student loans to the federal balance sheet over a decade said on Thursday, “Our economy can’t afford the trillion dollars in outstanding student loan debt, much of which may not get repaid because students don’t have the capacity to pay it.”
Naturally, the President blamed somebody else and demanded more authority over higher education.
This paragraph is a nice summary of the case against more federal power over higher education:
As maddening as it can be to see how liberal academics spend the wealth created by hard-working citizens, Americans should think long and hard before allowing the federal government to dominate a system of higher education that is still by all accounts the envy of the world. If the feds are deciding what a quality education is in order to dole out billions in annual aid—in an era when most students can’t afford to matriculate without some form of aid—Washington will certainly dominate. Tying aid to whatever the bureaucrats decide is the right tuition is a back-door form of price controls. Even more disturbing is the idea that a federal political authority will decide which curricula at which institutions represent a good educational value.
This is a strong conclusion:
As fervently as many professors abhor the idea of free people operating in a free market, they may decide it’s better than federal politicians running their universities.
Take a moment to read the rest of the editorial.