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A Tax You Can (Almost) Like

Taxing college tuitions, though a really bad idea, has significant surface appeal.

by
Tom Blumer

Bio

December 18, 2009 - 12:00 am
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Many students have been led to believe by their state-loving profs, as well as by many elementary and secondary school educators who preceded them, that the government must always be granted whatever it needs to accomplish its objectives, regardless of the costs involved. Now these collegians have discovered that the government is not their presumptive friend and will eventually turn on them if not reined in. Many of them are currently having their entire cost of attendance, including living expenses, financed by the federal government and would be facing an immediate out-of-pocket cost that someone else isn’t paying for ranging from “$27 at the Community College of Allegheny County to $409 at Carnegie Mellon University.” They are not taking it well.

Faculty and administrators who so loathe the American capitalist model of free enterprise and competition have figured out that they would have an externally imposed competitive disadvantage against their peers outside of Pittsburgh. Perhaps they’ll take a belated interest in the city’s fiscal situation. If they do, they’ll likely discover that its annual municipal budget of roughly $450 million contains more than a little fat.

Moreover, radical faculty members would have a more difficult time justifying their ardent love of statism in front of their tax-paying students if the government begins in essence biting the hand that feeds it philosophical support for its voracious desires. These poor saps must be wondering how it can be that Democrat Ravenstahl, who attended Pitt for a time, is employing the tactics normally associated with romanticized thugs like Chavez, Castro, and Ahmadinejad on his “friends.” Perhaps they’ll begin to understand how the term “useful idiots” applies to them.

My goodness, students are even engaging in anti-tax and anti-spending protests like the tea partiers they’ve been taught to despise. What’s more, they’re coming up with constructive, cost-saving ideas of their own.

Perhaps during all of this the kids will meet up with patriotic everyday Americans who will impart important lessons about how free markets and limited government are supposed to work. These are lessons that they more than likely won’t learn or even hear about at their institutions of so-called higher learning. They might also come to understand that what Pittsburgh is attempting is a mere microcosm of what Social Security has been doing to the young people of America for decades.

These would be very good things. Maybe the mayor should threaten such a tax every year.

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Along with having a decades-long career in accounting, finance, training and development, Tom Blumer has written for several national online publications primarily on business, economics, politics and media bias. He has had his own blog, BizzyBlog.com, since 2005, and has been a PJM contributor since 2008.
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