President Barack Obama has a novel theory regarding the insanely escalating price of college tuition. It’s a little complicated. He thinks that because states are spending more money on prisons, keeping criminals off the streets, they’re spending less on university subsidies. That, says the president, is why you’re spending astronomical sums to get yourself or your kids a college education.

It’s a neat and convenient theory, but there’s no truth in it. There is no single cause that’s driving college tuition to increase at several times the rate of inflation. There are several. Obama is making at least one of them worse.

One of those is the proliferation of student loans — easy to get, hard to pay back. especially in Obama’s pitiful economy. Obama is making that worse by forgiving some of the debt that’s out there and pushing for even more demand on colleges, fueled by debt. Another is administrative bloat, as universities take on dozens and dozens of deans, who get to live the lives of petty aristocrats.

Obama’s blaming state spending on prisons is actually a pretty scary thing. Dangerous, even, when you realize what he’s up to.

Yesterday he dishonestly claimed that violent crime is “off the charts” in America. It’s not, but saying so gives him justification in his mind for coming after your guns. Violent crime is down and has been going down for years — because we lock up more criminals than we used to. Mandatory minimum sentences force liberal judges’ hands, and keep more violent criminals away from the rest of us. Obama sounds like he’s setting up an attack on mandatory minimums and on the concept of incarcerating violent criminals.

If he goes that route, he won’t bring college tuition down, but he will unleash a crime wave — which he could then, in his mind, use to justify amassing even more power for himself to “combat crime.”