Friday, September 11, 2009


the same way public colleges and universities...

During his snake oil salesman, shut-up and buy my health care speech, Obama opined that a public option for health care would help keep costs down "the same way public colleges and universities..." do.
“It would also keep pressure on private insurers to keep their policies affordable and treat their customers better, the same way public colleges and universities provide additional choice and competition to students without in any way inhibiting a vibrant system of private colleges and universities.
Like most of his statements, there is no basis in reality, it just sounds good. Look at the chart below published this past July.


I have used this example many times. Government is a heavy player in higher education. More students probably attend public universities, colleges and community colleges that private ones. How's this worked out for keeping costs down? The answer is obvious.

Using the University of Tennessee, my alma pater, and one of the least expensive state universities in the country, as an example you can easily see the skyrocketing costs. My first quarter was summer of 1969 and I paid $110 in tuition which works out to $330 a year in tuition. Books might cost as much. Housing could be found for under $100 per month. A person could pay their way through college making minimum wage or a little more. I did.

Now, a full-time undergraduate can expect to pay $6,850 per year in tuition and fees at UT, more that 20 times the cost 40 years ago. That's over $761 per month for the 9 month school year and doesn't include books, or room and board. One would have to work just under 105 hours at the present federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour to earn $761 before taxes and other withholdings. If you make a little over $20 an hour, you can earn that in a week.

Obama refers to "my plan" as if he has a plan. The only plan on the Democratic side I know of is the plan the House passed. Obama didn't author that plan, it's not his. His plan doesn't exist except in his imagination. He's blowing smoke and those who fall for his empty rhetoric are inhaling.

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