Using the high cost of a college education as cover, Donald Trump and senior advisor/daughter Ivanka released the Proposals to Reform the Higher Education Act. As is always the case whenever Washington uses the word “reform,” the result will be bigger government, more spending, and less liberty.
“We need to modernize our higher education system to make it affordable, flexible, and more outcome oriented so that all Americans, young and old, can learn the skills they need to secure and retain good-paying jobs,” Ivanka stated in a call with reporters.
Sounds noble, doesn’t it? Did you notice the absence of words like “personal accountability” and “free markets” and the use the pronoun “we” to describe the federal government? Nancy Pelosi would be so proud.
In reality, Daddy’s little girl is promoting the equivalent of Common Core for colleges where government money will only be doled out to those who “make the grade” — pardon the pun — as established by the government.
It makes sense when you think about it. Common Core fails to prepare students for college, and college fails to prepare students for the real world. Merging the two was inevitable.
In his overview of the proposal, Trump bragged about how he has “reversed regulatory initiatives that increased the cost of college, fueled skyrocketing student debt levels, and hampered innovation.” Ironic because he concluded by renewing his commitment to reform higher education “through legislation and regulatory reform.”
While including a mixed bag of good/bad principles, every “problem” came with a several big-government solutions.
“Congress should expand… Congress should reform… Congress should require…”
A few of the most troubling suggestions are: focusing on “student outcomes,” increasing “institutional accountability,” supporting “returning citizens,” and simplifying “student aid.”
While harmless-sounding on the surface, “student outcomes” and “institutional accountability” are buzzwords right out of the Common Core playbook.
Supporting “returning citizens,” aka criminals released from prison, sounds great. How else will the drug traffickers and gun felons released early from prison, thanks to Ivanka’s and Van Jones’ prisoner reform legislation, go to college?
Simplifying “student aid” sounds like a good idea until you get to the part where Trump proposes the expansion of student loan forgiveness. I guess borrowing money you never have repay is pretty simple. And as a man with numerous bankruptcies to his credit, it’s no surprise that he supports defacto bankruptcy on school loans.
Never having to repay taxpayer-funded student loans has always been a key part of Ivanka’s agenda. In Sept. 2018, she supported a bill proposed by Rep. Rodney Davis (R-IL) that would allow companies to cover student-loan payments as a tax-free benefit, the same way they are allowed to pay for college tuition reimbursement or for health insurance.
You may be thinking, “Doesn’t that mean the loan gets paid?” Yes and no. The loan is repaid, but as a tax-free benefit the employee pays no taxes on the money and the employer is able to reduce compensation costs. In the end, the cost of the student loan is shifted to the taxpayer.
Neal McCluskey, director of the CATO Institute’s Center for Educational Freedom blames the high cost of college on government handouts and tax breaks. And he believes that creating more giveaway programs will only make the situation worse.
In response to Davis’ bill, McCluskey stated that the government should get out of the education-financing business. “The root problem in American higher education is government subsidies, especially to students in the forms of federal grants, loans, and tax credits,” McCluskey said. “They enable colleges to raise their prices, often at rates well in excess of inflation, and students to demand lots of things that have little, if anything, to do with learning.”
McCluskey is right, but I have a feeling that Ivanka is about to chalk up another victory for her socialist feminist agenda by working “across the aisle” to make Common Core for college a reality … with Daddy’s blessing.
Free college at
government taxpayer expense is in Bernie Sanders’ platform, but it looks like Trump will beat him to it.
David Leach is the owner of The Strident Conservative. His politically incorrect and always “right” columns are also featured on NOQReport.com.
His daily radio commentary is distributed by the Salem Radio Network and is heard on stations across America.