Last week, President Obama unveiled a plan to pay for the first two years of community college if people worked for it. The President rolled this out, as usual, as a way to help the people. There has been no success criteria tied to this proposal like having X number of people fill critical positions. Even if it did it wouldn’t justify why taxpayers need to pay for it. Reason magazine gave a great description of how the plan is pointless in California due to both the low cost and the long wait lines. Others have pointed out that the plan would cost taxpayers somewhere between $34 and $60 Billion. As others debate the merits of his proposal, endstate asks what was Obama’s goal for this plan?
* Subsidizing school faculty. There has been a bit of turmoil among the left because they want low tuition for students (a plank of the left’s supporters) but the colleges have been increasing costs to pay for the heavily unionized faculty (another plank of the left’s supporters). So it’s a possible endstate here that Obama would reward the faculty with higher salaries (now that tuition would be covered) and make the youth vote happy. Of course the problem is that there are no limits to what the schools will charge on admission if they bill taxpayers instead of competing for students.
* Distract the new GOP Congress. The GOP is gearing up legislation. Undoubtedly, this will include some dilemmas where Obama would have to veto something and anger some part of the Democratic Party coalition. His proposal is an attempt to throw something popular among a large group (young students) and make the GOP kill it and then have Congress deal with the political fallout.
* Reassure the youth for 2016. The youth that rallied for Obama learned quickly that the Democrats are big on promises but short on delivery. Obama wants a legacy and keeping the White House blue in 2016 would go a long way towards that. He’ll need to rally his base to do that, especially since Hillary didn’t excite them before. This proposal is to tell the youth that they need to keep voting Democrat.
These possibilities show the shortsightedness of his political proposal. A shot out to get a small win by derailing the GOP Congress or a big win to pay back Obama’s major donors in unionized education or to suck the youth back in for 2016. In the end its just an attempt to bill the taxpayers for political points.
end state (n) – The set of required conditions that defines achievement of the commander’s objectives. (Department of Defense Joint Publication 3-0, 11 August 2011)
endstate is a series of articles looking at what proposals, programs, and legislation are really trying to achieve and if they do.
Elliot Schroeder is Chairman of the Republican Liberty Caucus of San Diego.