Thursday, February 17, 2011


The other day there was a post on Senator Chuck Schumer's Facebook page that read "President's budget would make Chuck’s college tuition tax credit permanent- would save middle class families millions on college tuition". Other than misrepresenting the fact that no one legislator has the power to do anything, the concept is just plain wrong.

Grants for tuition have the same effect as government (you and me)-paid healthcare and the STAR program, for starters. When the government pays part of any service or fee, it gives the fee-setter license to raise the fees.

Think about this. If your school tax bill was $1500 before the STAR exemption, (and you were struggling to pay that), then New York State stepped in to pay a portion to relieve your burden -- do you think school boards would then be able to raise taxes further, since now you can pay (and not complain as much) your portion, and the rest of NYS can pay the rest of your portion?  Yes, it does sound like welfare in a prettier package.

If your tuition bill is $20,000 per year, and you received tax credits or grants from the government (you, me plus your friends and neighbors), tuition will continue to rise. You can now afford the lower tuition because I'm helping you pay for it. Which means the school can more easily RAISE tuition... and keep their students/consumers.

Supply and demand.  If we could no longer afford tuition, we would go to a cheaper school, or not go to school. Schools would have to lower tuition or go out of business.

Health care - if we can no longer afford a doctor visit on our own and the government pays the difference - the fees for doctor visits go up quicker. After all *we're* not paying for it - the insurance company or the government is. Who's the government?  If the health care community understands we can only pay what we can pay, the laws of economics demand they charge what we can pay or go out of business.

And health care is a business - it's not a right. Higher education is a business - not a right. I don't have a right to demand you pay for my degree.

I'm all for charity, and I give a lot of time and goods away. As a private citizen - not because the government makes me. In fact, I'm just stubborn enough to "forget" how to help others - if forced to do so. Corporate United Way, anyone?

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