Commentary

Debate over President’s community college proposal: Forward-looking common sense v. regressive clichés

Higher Ed.jpgAny outsider trying to grasp the essence of the ideological debate in modern America in 2015 would do well to look at the two competing takes on President Obama’s proposal to make two years of community college affordable to all Americans.

On the progressive, forward-looking side there are views like the one’s expressed in this morning’s Charlotte Observer editorial:

“President Obama’s proposal to give free tuition to community college students acknowledges a clear shift in the relationship between education and employment: A high school education is no longer enough to ensure a good chance at a decent job….

In states with tight budgets, such as North Carolina, that’s a potentially steep bill. But Gov. Pat McCrory has been a vocal supporter of community colleges, and legislators should recognize the payoff of this investment.

It’s no different, really, from the principles that have long supported K-12 public education. When children graduate from high school, they help themselves and their communities thrive. The jobs they want are changing, however. We need to change, too.”

And on the nay-saying, backward-looking, stuck-in-the-mud side there are views like this borderline offensive blog post on a local conservative group’s blog entitled “Time to Grab Some More ‘Free Stuff’ From the President”:

“It’s amazing how much ‘free’ stuff costs these days — so much so that President Obama declined to put a price tag on the ‘free’ community college prize package he offered up this week to ‘anyone who’s willing to work for it.’ Let’s see now. If someone is ‘willing to work for it,’ how about saving the money earned while ‘working for it’ and paying the tab for tuition? Evidently taking responsibility for one’s future doesn’t qualify as ‘working for it’ when it comes to a leftists such as President Obama.

4 Comments


  1. Alex

    January 12, 2015 at 10:17 am

    I can’t figure out why we continue to think that we can give everything for free when we are already running a $50 billion dollar deficit every month ? It borders on insanity.

  2. ML

    January 12, 2015 at 2:34 pm

    It is partnered with state governments but certainly the expense of such an undertaking is valid. However, I think the issue of whether or not we can afford such a program goes to whether we can afford to continue to cut taxes to levels only seen before the Great Depression and WWII.

  3. Jim Wiseman

    January 13, 2015 at 4:42 pm

    “Afford to cut taxes” makes it sound like my money belongs to the government. Uh, no.

  4. LayintheSmakDown

    January 14, 2015 at 7:25 pm

    Jim, you are on a progressive site. You know like good communists they assume all the means and results of production belong to the state.

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