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Something to Think About: The Problem with Free Tuition

Op/Ed By Michael Vaughn –


new michael vaughnWell, it has finally happened. Santa Clause Cuomo, the governor of the great tax state of New York, has been able to pass (along with the elves in the legislature) legislation that will provide free tuition for students going to state colleges and universities in New York.

And, the main requirement for this program is that a family has to have an income of $125,000, or less.

On the surface, no one can argue that this isn’t a wonderful gift our governor has provided.

With the cost of college skyrocketing, having such a gift will likely come in handy for people. However, similarly to the $15/hr minimum wage discussion, Santa Cuomo has neglected to share where this money will come from.

Anyone would be hard pressed to find fault with receiving a free education.

We would all like free things. However, mature people have learned early in life that nothing is really free.

We’ve seen how healthcare premiums have increased recently, and the way many insurers have opted out of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) because it has not been affordable for them.

If you give someone something free on one end, it means someone, somewhere, is going to have to pay more on the other.

As a result, one man’s free becomes another man’s extra tax burden.

And, usually it is an unfair tax burden the government comes and takes without your consent (I guess the fact that we elect the officials who vote for these insane taxes provides consent; but that is another article).

Somehow, somewhere along the line, a few folks have decided that the more you make, the more you should be taxed.

But, what this faulty logic seems to suggest is that someone should be penalized for being successful. If I have been abiding by the laws of the land, and I am still a wealthy individual, why make me out to be a bad guy?

When I hear folks say that wealthy people should contribute more of their income to those who are “less fortunate,” I wonder whether these folks are giving up their money to those who are “less fortunate.

Here is a revelation, no law needs to be passed, no deals need to be made, and no one needs to have a debate for someone to give their money to whomever they choose. Therefore, the people who are clamoring to give more money to those who are “less fortunate,” should start by volunteering their incomes first.

Instead of trying to get other people’s money, maybe they should be the first in line to give up theirs.

Free tuition will only mean higher taxes for families that are already trying to deal with the high taxation in New York State.

And, what the governor has failed to take into account is that many families who earn less than the required amount for college already have access to Federal Pell Grants and the New York State Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) Grant.

I know people who have essentially had college paid for them by the myriad of programs that are already available. Providing another taxpayer-funded program will only help New York secure its top ranking as a welfare state!

Another issue with giving away things for free is that folks do not typically take ownership of the things they’ve received.

We have seen some of that with this program, even before it has been implemented! With this plan, those who take advantage of it will have to stay in the state as long as they partake of the benefit.

However, some folks are saying that’s not fair! What???!!!! There is a scripture that states the “borrower is servant to the lender.

If the state is going to provide free tuition, then the state can decide the rules for obtaining that tuition.

However, when we raise people with the belief that money grows on trees, and the expectation that they are entitled to it, any constraints applied to it are then seen as mean-spirited, or not nice.

We have developed a welfare state, which has conditioned people into thinking they can get something for nothing, and that is the problem with things that are free.

It will be interesting to see how long it takes before the folks who don’t do well in this program will ask for their money back!

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