As of now, I am in control here, in the White House

Obama Proposes Lots More Free Stuff

Updated 6:20 pm ET.

The White House today announced that President Obama wants to make the first two years of community college free for all, a new bundle of free stuff that of course isn’t free and could cost taxpayers tens of billions of dollars.

The White House was careful not to put out a price tag yet. Obama wants to presumably hear only cheers, not jeers, when he travels to Knoxville, Tennessee today to officially unveil the program. But White House officials said the plan could save up to nine million students an average of $3,800. Anyone with, say, a little community college can do the math.*

Combined with the president’s drive for universal early childhood education, the community college plan is the next piece in agenda that would have taxpayers foot the bill for a cradle-to-college education.

Such spending, of course, is labeled “investment” by the White House. Unfortunately, with the tab for federal “investments” having just broken the $18-trillion mark, it might be time to scale back some of the investing. Obama, rather, is scaling up.

Obama on counter

Yay! Free Stuff!

It’s not clear the investment will in this case be working very hard for you, dear taxpayer. Students need only maintain a C+ average – at a community college, not Harvard. They can attend half-time and need only show that they are making “steady progress” toward completing the two years.

Meanwhile, the federal government, which is already planning to issue “report cards” for private colleges and universities it helps fund and which is exerting control over schools through the “common core” education standards, gets even more influence over what students will learn.

According to a White House fact sheet, states participating will only have to pony up a quarter of the cost – the other three quarters a gift from the federal government, but must “coordinate high schools, community colleges, and four-year institutions to reduce the need for remediation and repeated courses and allocate a significant portion of funding based on performance.”

Uh oh. What’s does that mean? Coordination. Performance standards. I assume the Department of Education will decide how good the coordinating is going. Looks like more federal control of the curriculum to me.

“Giving away free stuff is a hard thing to compete with,” Mitt Romney said after losing the 2012 presidential election, to much criticism.

Of course, Romney hit on the eternal struggle for conservatives, opposing federal purview and spending while trying not to be cast as Grumbling Grinches. In this case, expect Obama to make the case that Republicans trying to thwart him on this don’t care about educating people – perhaps with a guest appearance by the income gap, with Obama suggesting Republicans want to keep the poor and the middle class from getting the knowledge they need for “good jobs.”

All in all, between now and 2016, we are in for a two-year education in art of class warfare.

*UPDATE: The White House said today they cost would by $60 billion over ten years.

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48 Responses to Obama Proposes Lots More Free Stuff

  1. This will give all of the illegals a break on college fees.

    There has got to be some kind of string attached here as per state funding for who knows what.

    OT. The House passed a bill resetting the full work week back to 40 hours in opposition to the requirements of the ACA.
    It now goes to the Senate.

  2. I work in higher education; just so you know…Community Colleges only offer 2 year degrees, and BTW, high schools, ccs and 4 years already coordinate regarding remedial coursework. Another piece of ignorant redudantism courtesy of BO.

    • Yes Joanne, but by God it sounds good !

      Just look at what I’m doing for the poor and the underprivileged.
      Damn I’m good !
      And thank you to all of the stupid folks out there that buy my rhetoric and have a sense of generosity to send these folks to college.

    • Thanks, most Americans know this as well. Seems Obama has yet to be advised. But it sounds good — and consider the audience — FSA — most of whom can’t speak very good English but understand their first American word “Free”.

    • Joanne, If I may ask, What are your thoughts on Common Core?
      I looked up a basic grammer school math problem early last year.
      It was very long and drawn out compare to how we learned.
      I just spoke to someone, who stated that it is set up that way to make it easer to go on to future math problems, (fractions, etc.)
      I also am thinking about the college professors, and what they will be dealing with.

  3. In order to “level the playing field”, will Obama order an automatic “C” (“C se puede”?) for anyone putting forth a half vast effort to attend school half time and take advantage of Obama’s half vast largesse? After all, it wouldn’t be fair to hold everyone to the same “standards” now, would it?

  4. To combat this sort of stuff, Conservatives (can’t count on the GOP) must simply come out and tell people the facts-the cost of it; the fact that there is no “free” thing; that they will be paying for it anyway.

    If they don’t listen-that’s nothing we can do. Have to start speaking straight and honest and let the chips fall

    • /sarc,….
      But Craig,….I would have to think.
      I would have to make an effort to reason on a human level.
      I would have to spend time listening to the news as opposed to the food channel and American idol.
      I just don’t have enough time in my day to pay any attention to all that stuff.
      /sarc off.

      I agree with you Craig.
      Screaming at sheep only leads to a sore throat.

  5. Several years ago, our stupid “boycott Arizona” congresscritter Raool Griijalva, proposed that our county Jr. College lower admission standards to a 4th grade reading level, to be fair to the illegals, who are already getting instate & free college educations. We have already fallen to those low standards. And the community college was put on probation for its poor standards & graduating idiots.

    • The federal government established the guideline that all notices from them reflect no words or understanding beyond the level of an 8th grader. This was long ago so I would bet that level has been reduced by now.

      • When I worked at a medicaid health plan, all written info could be no higher than sixth grade reading level…
        I talked with a 20 year teacher of jr college English & the standards have fallen so low they write like they FB or tweet. Very sad how fed govt had descended our intelligence levels. The fed gov has no right to be involved in state education. …butt…

  6. How about members of the “Democracy Alliance” pay for the free stuff: Michael Bloomberg, Warren Buffett, Pierre Omidyar, Tom Steyer, Jonathan Soros, Fred Eychaner, etc.

    • It was beyond pathetic. I know everyone hates impeachment, but come on — this is the Commander in Chief — the man in charge of keeping America safe from enemies — foreign and domestic — and he is handing out free worthless degrees to non Americans while the world is being terrorized. And he cannot be an adult enough to utter the word Islamist.

      Not a President — just very much ” that guy” — he belongs in high schools and community colleges buying cheers and voes from non Americans.

  7. I dont care… I am a US Vet (Conservative/’republican’) who had to drop-fail out of college because of health issues back in 2002-etc.

    I want to go back to Community College to get a 2 year degree.

  8. Obama forgot to mention his billionaire supporters have agreed to redistribute their wealth to pay for all educational expenses of every single person in the country, including illegals. And Bill Gates is going to furnish every child age 3-26 (yes, a child according to the government doesn’t become an adult until age 27-except if they are girls who want an abortion and in that case, they are an adult who does not need a parent’s permission), free computers or Microsoft tablets of their choice and replace them every 2-3 years. The only stipulation is all educational materials must be approved by him, George Soros, and the Democratic (sic) Party.

    • Bill Gates would prefer to keep his money in his own account and let everyone else write checks.

      But actually, he is more involved these days with controlling the population via vaccination.

  9. Every seemingly well intended government program has negative consequences. I suspect that one negative consequence of subsidizing community college attendance with a minimum grade requirement will be a degradation of the quality of education provided by those schools. This will happen because the schools will, in order to keep the income flowing, ensure that all of their students receive at least the minimum grade regardless of those students’ performance.

  10. There was a time up until the 60’s and the influx of minority groups that CC was FREE. Kids usually lived at home and registered for free classes at their local CC in order to placate their parents and contemplate life after HS. Because there was no tuition (only book and lab fees), it didn’t matter if they attended classes or not. It was FREE. It was also a time for partying and goofing off.

    It’s a totally different story today. Tuition only accounts for 21% of a student’s budget. Housing is the killer, followed by book and lab fees. Housing fees!!! I will never understand why anyone would pay for housing to attend a glorified HS for two years. But that’s beside the point.

    By offering FREE tuition, Obama is opening the floodgates for millions of kids to party on the taxpayer’s dime. The kids who are serious about education will go to the back of the line while the preferred minority groups go to the head of the line. If it’s FREE, they all come!

    • *** A better alternative for most of these kids would be trade or vocational schools for two years. They are beholden to no one. And taxpayers are off the hook.

      • A two year diploma will be as worthless as a high school diploma, if everyone has one. Trade school training would be a better option, it’s why we have to outsource or hire immigrants, because American population have no skills.

  11. “$60 Billion over two years” But then, the program won’t end in two years, will it? That’s $30 Billion/year in perpetuity! (Or until the Chinese foreclose on us!)

    And that’s before the bracket creep that happens whenever education is subsidized.

  12. The problem with 2 and 4 year degrees is that aren’t worth anything if there isn’t a job waiting on them after a student graduates. My son graduated 2 years ago and it is amazing how so many of his friends took jobs in fields that had nothing to do with their degree.

    One of the worst thing that happened to the education system is that the government took over the student loan financing system. This gave education institutes to raise tuition and fees without justification. They are more worries about health clubs, food courts and theaters vs. classrooms and professors.

    Another area that needs to be addressed is in the high schools. We need to bring back shop class, drafting, woodworking. Everyone, who graduates from high school will not go onto college but, they may become a mechanic. HVAC technician, welder or carpenter.

    i know a man who runs a welding shop in MO and they have plenty of jobs but they have to train the workers in simple math. The sad part is they get about half way through the training and the worker flake out because they don’t want to work because it is easier to be on welfare.

  13. I started to write about my personal Community College experience, but then something dawned on me that I didn’t learn in school…FOLLOW THE MONEY!
    Most states Community College teachers are unionized! Some are part of the same unions as the K-12 teachers, while some have their own unions. But, this is more about funneling money to the teachers unions than anything else IMO.
    My other thought is just like everything else the “folks” in the White House do, even if nothing ever comes of this proposal, people will remember the fact that he said he was going to do it and that’s as close to getting it done as most libs need.