Hillary Clinton is desperately trying to position herself as a woman of the people, a populist who will magically fix things for struggling Americans everywhere. Part of that plan – insofar as it has been revealed – includes an overhaul of college financing. Clinton’s proposal is to develop a federal incentive system (price tag: $200 billion) that would give money to states that provide free college for residents.
Naturally, such a plan would involve raising taxes. Clinton, like all Democrats, knows just how to sell tax increases so they don’t really seem like tax increases. And if people see through this ruse, well, it’s just targeting the rich, right? Who cares about them? Clinton wants to fund this incentive program by cutting tax deductions on charitable donations. And that’s convenient, since private non-profits are a great enemy of the Democratic Party. If people can get help from a charity, they don’t need the government.
Two Republican presidential candidates were outspoken this week in their criticism of Clinton’s plan. Senator Marco Rubio appeared on Fox & Friends Monday to accuse Clinton of being behind the times on the subject of improving America’s higher learning system. He argued that it was time to shift the focus from expensive college tuitions to alternative educational plans like vocational school and online classes.
Rubio’s former mentor, Jeb Bush, was equally critical of the proposal:
This irresponsible proposal would raise taxes, increase government debt, and double-down on the failed Obama economic policies that have led to a “new normal” of sluggish economic growth, rising college costs spurred by Washington, and limited opportunities for all Americans – including recent college graduates.
Obama’s Third Term
By talking “federal incentives,” Clinton makes it obvious that she intends to follow in her predecessor’s footsteps. The Obama administration has made these incentives a way of life. Starting with the economic bailout and going straight through Obamacare and school lunches, Obama has used the federal carrot to exert his will over the states. And by hiding tax increases in “deduction reductions,” Clinton shows that she is fully willing to take advantage of – shall we say – the “ignorance of the American voter.”
Democrats thrive on giving away free stuff. You don’t have to sit and think about whether or not you want something for nothing, do you? No, even the greenest 18-year-old first-time voter can grasp that. What’s not to like?
It’s a little harder to explain that every tax increase – every small way in which the federal government grows larger – takes a toll on the American economy. We leave the free market a little further in the rearview mirror with every increase. And it’s up to Republicans to find a way to express this message that can convince the uninformed. Liberals and socialists are a lost cause, but there are millions of independent undecideds who aren’t. If Republicans can reach them, we can save this country from the federalized tyranny growing stronger with every passing day.