Kurt Wallace: This is Kurt Wallace and our guest today on Rare is Caleb Bonham Editor-in-Chief of CampusReform.org. Caleb, thanks for being with us today.
Caleb Bonham: Thanks for having me Kurt.
Kurt Wallace: We’re here to discuss this new Obamacation or Obama education program. Free two year college tuition paid by somebody — the government or so. Obama said “Put simply, what I’d like to do is to see the first two years of community college free for everybody who is willing to work for it.” Sounds like a great idea?
Caleb Bonham: Well, it sounds like a great idea. But, with a lot of the policies that are presented these days, there’s not a whole lot of definition or understanding behind what the president means when he says “hey we’re going to have free community college to all who are willing to work for it”. Well, what does that even mean?
If you’re going to look at it a majority of this free community college is going to have to be provided to potentially every single American. And, it has some serious negative consequences. We’re seeing all of the people coming out and talking about the fact the president’s claiming it’s going to take — cost $60B over the span of 10 years.
Well, they’re staring to question how much that’s really going to cost. If you recall, when President Obama was running and trying to push through the Affordable Care Act, he was claiming that it was going to cost $900B. That was all.
Well, after it was put into place — after it was passed, the CBO came out and said “well, that was wrong. It’s actually going to cost $1.8 Trillion to go into effect”. So, it costs over double what the president promised. So, we know that this is going to be extremely expensive. We know that it’s most likely not going to pass. But, either way, it is a big deal to my generation and to the tax payers that are going to have to fund it.
Kurt Wallace: Many have criticized the Dept. of Education and the failure of education to stay at the top mark internationally with a decline in all areas, all subjects. Is there concern that if college education is free that the application of effort will be lessened and control over it like we’ve seen in standards across the board with no child left behind type of activities will occur and it really will destroy education.
Caleb Bonham: Well, it’s going to hurt. There’s no doubt. You cannot open up access completely without seeing some education diminish in one way or another. Because by opening access as we saw with healthcare reform. We saw increase access to people which is always a good thing. We always want people to get access to healthcare, access to education.
But, it’s a valuable resource and it comes with a cost, it comes with a price, because it’s valuable. You open it up or you control the market on what it can or cannot charge where you’re imposing regulations, you’re going to see consequences with either doctors leaving the market because they’re not being paid what they’re worth where there not being enough doctors to provide care. And, the same thing applies to education.
If you open up the market like this where there’s free community college. It’s not a free four year college. The first two years of college for free or paid for by the taxpayers essentially. You’re going to see a variety of different effects. One of the biggest things that the Washington Post reported on was taking a look at how the four year institution is set up.
The four year institution is set up to have really packed and generic first two year classes. And they do that to boost enrollment rates so they can then pay for the more specialized more tailored two year classes with smaller classes. And, those are the classes that are going to be preparing students for life after college.
So, if the government steps in and says we’re going to provide the first two years of community college for free, you’re going to see most likely a decrease in enrollment in the first two years of four year institutions because you’re getting your first two years for free.
They’re going to go over to the four year intuitions and those intuitions are going to have to either lay off teachers, they’re going to have to increase tuition rates astronomically. They’re going to have to do something and ultimately it’s going to diminish education. We’ve seen it happen in California. California has one of the lowest tuition rates in the country. Because of that they have a lot of people wanting to enroll, which is a good thing.
But, it has overloaded the system because you have over 470,000 students on waiting lists, according to statistics in 2012, that can’t get into community college. Because there’s so many trying to get in. And diminishing the ability for teachers to teach what they’re supposed to be teaching. Because they’re overloaded courses, students being enrolled in the classes. And don’t have the ability to pay these teachers what they’re worth.
Kurt Wallace: Now, in terms of being able to pass some kind of legislation like this, could the president use executive orders or executive privilege? Doesn’t he have to go through congress because this is a spending bill that congress has to approve and we have a Republican congress?
Caleb Bonham: Congress is going to have to approve of this spending. I can’t speak to where this congress is going to take it but I highly doubt a newly elected Republican congress is going to approve essentially a government takeover of community colleges. I highly doubt that’s going to happen. And, President Obama knows that.
All of the left, they know that this is not something that’s going to pass. However, and it failed in 2009 when President Obama proposed a $12B community college plan that failed with a Democratically controlled house and senate.
So, what they’re doing though here is setting up the play. They know that they could get this message out via social media President Obama released the first video on VINE. And it was like the most viewed video that the Whitehouse ever released. Millions of people watched it.
So, this wasn’t about actually getting a policy proposal completed. This was about getting a message out to people for the purpose of trying to generate future support for liberal candidates.
Kurt Wallace: So, this is a power play and an opportunity to try to sell votes to people or buy votes?
Caleb Bonham: Exactly, just like everything else that we’ve seen the modern left do. Under this administration they’ve been joking that this administration has become a giant infomercial. From the makers who brought you free healthcare and free phones and free amnesty comes free community college and you can get it for one low payment of only $60 billion. They’re just selling a bill of goods.
Kurt Wallace: Caleb tell us about CampusReform.org.
Caleb Bonham: CampusReform.org is a wonderful organization run by the Leadership Institute. We are focused on reporting the news on what’s going on on campus. So, we have a great team over here at Campus Reform of phenomenal editors and phenomenal reporters. We also have a great team of campus correspondence across the country.
We have coming on students reporting liberal bias abuse on campus. If you’re interested in learning more about CampusReform.org follow us on twitter @campusreform go to CampusReform.org and then make sure you like our Facebook page.
You’re learn all about Sterling Beard, Kaitlyn Schallhorn, Maggie Lit and the rest of our phenomenal team of reporters at Campus Reform. So, be sure to take a look and send us any tips at firstname.lastname@example.org
Kurt Wallace: Caleb Bonham, thanks for being with us today on Rare.
Caleb Bonham: Hey thanks for having me, take care.