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Despite No Money, Michigan Lawmakers Plan Free College

March 13, 2012 by  

Despite No Money, Michigan Lawmakers Plan Free College

Democratic lawmakers in Michigan, it seems, have taken the message of youthful 99 percenters to heart, their answer to the “everything should be free” crowd: How does free college tuition sound?

With a plan that teeters on being nothing more than public school for grown-ups, the lawmakers hope to raise $1.8 billion to pay for every student in Michigan to attend a two- or four-year college. The proposal would make every Michigan high school student eligible for a grant of $9,500 per year for educational purposes upon graduation for up to four years, according to CBS Detroit.

The lawmakers say they can pay the hefty price by closing tax loopholes, taxing Internet sales and cutting back on State contracts by 6 percent. They claim that the plan will not cost taxpayers in the State a cent, but it is expected to slash tax credits from many businesses.

According to recent news reports, Michigan’s unemployment rate hovers around 9 percent.

As the legislators look at ways to provide free education for students in the State, some cities such as Detroit, where economic distress has become the norm, are cutting back on basic public services. Police in the city recently unveiled a plan to restructure 911 services and advised residents not to call unless they are certain they will otherwise lose their life.

Sam Rolley

Staff writer Sam Rolley began a career in journalism working for a small town newspaper while seeking a B.A. in English. After learning about many of the biases present in most modern newsrooms, Rolley became determined to find a position in journalism that would allow him to combat the unsavory image that the news industry has gained. He is dedicated to seeking the truth and exposing the lies disseminated by the mainstream media at the behest of their corporate masters, special interest groups and information gatekeepers.

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  • Robert Smith

    Question asked: “How does free college tuition sound?”

    Sounds great! An educated workforce has been at the core of American success.

    That’s how Japan became strong then and how China is today.


    • Ted G

      Hey I’m over 50 where’s my $9,500.00 grant for each of 4 years to spend on my further education?

      If the state has that much money then they should give it back to the taxpayers and then they can afford to send their own kids to college. And if they don’t have kids then guess what…the state should not have been taking that money from us in the first place.

      • http://CAKINS EWARD

        How a bout free newspapers. Then those like Bob, Dick, and Harry won’t get paid. No pay, no taxes. Now I’m thinking like a Republican, working as a Democrat. How about we Independent citizens. Dont we get to work and eat too? I guess every State has its Smart people, it also has its Dumb people. We just haven’t been able to seperate them. We do try. Its called an National Election. I’m 88 years old and I’m going to make a guess. I’ll bet that those that we hear from now in the newspaperrs are the ones who don’t vote, To busy to stand in line, .To Smart. They also are the ones that tells us Dumb Ones how Smart they are, always ready to explain what we are not doing right. I’m going to vote for every Dumb person on the Ballot. If every person in the White House is considered Dumb, and I believe doing a darn good job, if the Smart One would get off their backs, then this Country would get back in shape again.
        Remember who the Dumb Ones are and you are a winner.

    • momo

      There’s nothing that’s free, there is always a price to be payed.

      • johnk

        The price to pay, is more government interference in our children`s education . Many of our elite colleges have been overrun by radical professors . We have racist, Communist, and anti-Americans filling our kids heads with their political ideologies .
        I guarantee that must of the “Free Education” goes to non-Americans and kids with sub par High School grades .
        Most colleges are subsidized by Uncle Sam, which entitles the Government to set rules, and curriculum .

    • pilot

      Actually their educatuion is not free! And they have something called ambition, and desire! None of these young people will tell you that their govenment owes them anything!.. They actually study almost every waking moment in some cases,— and if they are not good enough to keep up and are “flunked out” many commit suicide! Now this assures a high amount of education !! Can you see our “students” doing this?? Now these colleges actually turn out educated people,– they do not give token degrees like many of our “free public schools”! .. In Japan and China, – students in grammer school and high school grades do not recieve a “certificate”,- which means they attended (most) of classes to “graduation day”,– These kids (many times) graduate with alomst same abilitys as our (College) students do in many cases!

      These countrys do not have much of a “welfare state” either, — so if they do not get and keep a job, the government is not going to keep them “comfortable”,– (at least if they are physically capable of working)!!

      So all we have to do is change our standards to Japan’s and China’s , – and we should do just fine!!

    • Dale on the left coast

      Japan Strong????? They have been in a recession since the early 90′s . . . debt way over GDP . . . what you smokin Rob???

      • Ted Crawford

        It would seem that Chinas fiat economy is on the verge of a hugh correction as well Dale!

    • Vicki

      Robert Smith says:

      Question asked: “How does free college tuition sound?”

      Sounds great! An educated workforce has been at the core of American success.

      Cool. Hey everyone Robert Smith is going to teach us all for free.

      What? Robert. You just said that free college sounded great. Since the government has no money to pay teachers you weren’t planning on enslaving them were you? Thus we presumed that you were volunteering to teach us.

      • DanB

        But oh, this deal is much, much better…. Government money never comes without strings attached. Even if there is not strings at first, they WILL come. For once the government money starts flowing, if you step out of line then government can just threaten to remove the money flow…. Plus you pick up 100+ administrators (however many is the state/federal legislature and the various government agencies). And if this wasn’t good enough for education, to ensure that the cost of running a school went up with all the rules (written and unspoken) to abide by. There is also the fact that which receives government funding also goes up in cost. Government loans haven’t made education or housing cheaper. With more money in the system, prices escalated because those selling could demand more and get it. So education costs WILL go up. So whatever they calculate the cost to be will always be less than the education costs because the cost tomorrow will always be higher than it is today because they are eliminating so many market conditions that keep costs down…..

    • Ellen

      Robert, Those people were successful because of their ambition, not just because they went to college. College is hard and you must apply yourself to succeed. Your parents won’t pay for college if you slack off and you won’t slack off if you are paying for college by yourself. The minute college is free, there will be no competition to get there, which will dumb down our K-12 even more. People will go to college for a few years, at taxpayers expense, then quit because it’s too much work. That is a colossal waste of money. People don’t appreciate what they get for free and eventually feel entitled to it. Just look at welfare; it was once a lifeline and now it is a way of life for generations. Look at our Historically Black Colleges – the students attend for free and only 37% graduate. Taxpayers are already funding that boondoggle and all the data is there for review. Instead, liberal pretend this data doesn’t exist and that everyone must go to college. Ambitious people can go to college, even if their parents can’t afford it.

    • Andrew Chase (@AndrewakaAnimal)

      Government subsidized college has also worked in Canada, Britain, Sweden, Germany, France, Australia,…. Those countries have recognized that it’s in their best interests to have a highly educated population.

  • absolutely amazed

    Education is the foundation of society and civilization. Whatever can be done to insure that individuals of ambition, ability, and merit have access to it should be encouraged and supported. Please tell me how a person from other than an incredibly privileged background can begin to pay for a college education prior to being in the workplace? We are getting buried by our competition in the international arena where education is actually valued – we can make a decision to go forward or go back to 1840.

    • Warrior

      This sounds like a great deal since the cost of yearly tuition for our public scrool children is over $15K/year. Go figure.

    • Chuck

      How far is $9,500 going to get someone, checked prices at UofM, Eastern, State, lately?

      • absolutely amazed

        One hell of a lot further than nothing at all! A chance to get a leg up. No education, no advancement, regressing further in the international arena. Absent education, you had better pry for divine intervention, but I haven’t seen much of that lately except in the Southern primaries.

    • winder50d

      Nowhere in the article does it say that it would be limited to kids with amition, ability, and need. I am all for helping those kids, but everyone does not need a four year college education. some should be encouraged to go into vocational schools, we are always needing plumbers, electrticians, hair dressers, mechanics, healthcare workers, you name it, and some of those will come out in two years and make more than some with masters degrees. We have let kids think they are all intitled to a huge saliry and a four yeaer degree, and that is simply not true, and not in their best interests

      • John


      • jeff

        This proposal makes perfect sense because not everyone is college bound and every person is different. There are people that want to work with their hands – give them money to go to vocational schools (cheaper)

      • absolutely amazed

        I wholeheartedly agree – there is a tremendous need for vocational education, and those professions/jobs are rewarding from every perspective – economic, satisfaction in a job well done, creativity. Everyone needs access and support to these various types of education – it does not have to be traditional college, but it must be learning something that contributes to the person and to society. But absolutely everyone should have the basics of history, geography, government, and ethics – so we don’t get involved in these international interventionist catastrophes like Iraq, Afghanistan, and now potentially Iran.

      • Andrew Chase (@AndrewakaAnimal)

        The trades are pretty much dead. Electricians, carpenters, plumbers, etc, are a dime a dozen. Too many skilled workers and not enough work to go around. And in many parts of the country, they can’t compete with illegals with the same skills willing to work for $10 an hour or less.

    • texasnation

      Leave it up to the Democrats. Just as the Republican Governor and State Reps started making headway into the budget, reduced taxes and started bringing new business back to the State, now the Democrats want to go back to the good old days of tax and spend, tax and spend. Some people never lever learn.

  • combat seabee

    Great, who’s paying for it?? The TAXPAYERS AGAIN!!!! I’m NOT for sending some elses kid to college, it’s bad enough that we have to pay for elementary through high school. even if we have NO KIDS!!!!

    • Jim S

      I agree. Why do I have to pay school taxes when I have no kids in school. I probably wouldn’t mind so much if it was really going to educate the kids, which it isn’t.

      The districts are complaining about the budget shortfalls causing cutbacks. They ask teachers to retire or leave early so they can retain other teachers. They charge parents for their children to ride the school bus. Then they pay their superintendent a salary of several hundred thousand dollars and build multi-million dollar elementary schools. I haven’t seen a superintendent yet give up a little salary to retain a teacher or help a classroom have supplies. I have yet to see them build a school with the basic needs for education instead of some grandiose monument to the area. Why do school buildings need cupolas, bell towers, etc.?

      So, I ask again, “Why am I paying school taxes when I have no children in school?”

      • Jerome Bigge

        Maybe we should tax the people who have children instead of giving them tax deductions for having children? Why should college cost more than high school? They are still teaching established knowledge just like in high school. Knowledge that is available in books. Why not just study the book, take a test, be certified as to your knowledge?

      • absolutely amazed

        You pay taxes for education so someone has the ability to develop the things that help you – medicines, health care, airplanes, automobiles, iPhones, and the like. Otherwise, just go out and farm your backyard for all you personally need, like they did in the dark ages. Where in Middle Earth are you coming from?

  • Sirian

    LOL, if this isn’t an open picture as to what lengths politicians will go to hold onto their power and sustain their ego’s. Detroit is the perfect example of just how much good it would do. All you have to do is look. HA, Detroit has become one of the biggest jokes on how good the politicians will make it. Free college tuition? If that isn’t a joke and a half!! Scarf it up kool-aid drinkers, scarf it up.

  • TIME

    WOW, what a Great idea, ok lets see if all public workers and teachers work for FREE, now how can you beat that?

    Oh wait, did they want to be paid for their work?

    Really to the mindless this all sounds good on paper and looks super to the blind sheep, but just how well will it really work out?

    The question still exist, ” who’s paying for all this Nirvana?”

    Peace and Love.

  • Morgan Spector (@eclectichorzman)

    How does “free tuition” sound? Can anyone say “oxymoron”?

    In California we had one of the best systems in the country, if not the world, for access to higher education with the University of California, the State Colleges and a publicly supported community college system. Today it is in shambles. What happened to it? Money (as in “lack of”) happened to it. Turns out “free” is not free, even in California.

    A “college education” in the abstract sounds great, but it is largely overrated. Young people need marketable skills and don’t have them. That’s a product of a deeply flawed high school system. In California they are more concerned with teaching “sensitivity to the GBLT (I know, sounds like a sandwich) lifestyle” than with essentials such as the “Three Rs”. How are people to succeed in college not even having learned to write a coherent sentence? Easy: focus the college curricula on “advanced sensitivity to GBLT issues”. But at the end of the day, these “Doctors of Thinkology” are no more prepared to function in the real world than is Obama.

    So yes, for most people (including yours truly with my law degree) a trades education is the best first answer. A more general education is always available throughout one’s lifetime assuming that you have learned to learn.

    • independant thinker

      I don’t know if it is true or not but many years ago I was told that every college graduate in West Germany (pre reunification) had to also get a degree in a trade such as plumber, carpenter, etc.

  • Lady Kroft

    You know…that salty sea air is affecting the brains of otherwise intelligent easterners and midwesterners. Salt is corrosive and can render a brain irrational and nonfunctional as demonstrated in our House and Senate. I say we outlaw salty air as it has an adverse impact on the thought processes of our officials.

    What a bunch of morons.

  • GENE

    30 Detroit high schools graduate less than 40% of students. I do not think the problem is college funding?? Do you? More political games!

  • pilot

    Well for the last 50 years or so,– we have been doing stuff for “free”! And we paid for it out of taxes,- (except for “unapprppriated projects”),- We stole money from Medicare and Social security… This could be paying double right now and make SS large enough that the “aged” could actually live comfortably! And of course grandiose ideas like Obamacare would not be putting the aged on a “death list”! But I guess We don’t matter, – we just spent our life “paying way to much in taxes,- and getting way too little” for it! I only paid in aboiut 55- 60 years, (since I stil worked to make ends meet after SS, – and stil had to pay in because of that)! .. Now our leader treats me like a “deadbeat”, and claims it is an “entitlement”…….. Just like paying an insurance company for automtive insurance for 20 years or so,- and then having a “fender-bender,- and then being told that “they don’t want to pay, because they are against entitlements’! If so then— what was I payiing into SS for 50+ years for anyway??

    There is another problem here too… how about the lazy ones that don’t want to study,- do they then get “disability checks” immeditaely, because they can not compete with these “highly educated” people with college degrees!! Do you see the “High School dropout” rate by any chance! They are “disadvantaged” you know! And our government always shovels loads of money on the disadvantaged (especially illegal aliens, and the lazy)!!

    By the way, – $9000 to a “trade school’ — just might be enough to educate somebody that wants to study something they like rather than lots of stuff they don’t! College cirriculum does not teach mostly “mechanics, and associtaed subjects” for a trade,– it covers tons of very un-interesting stuff you will never use in “real life”

    This “freebie” should work out just great– look at past performances!!

  • Ted Crawford

    This exact situation was predicted about 225 years ago! We lost our Constitutional Republic under Lincoln and became simply a Constitutional Democracy. With the election of Woodrow Wilson we further allowed the deterioration of our Government into a simple Democracy, which has been further reduced to the current form of a Democratic Socialism!
    In 1887 Alexander Fraser Tytler warned what would happen if we lost our Republic! ” A Democracy cannot exist as a permenant form of government. It can only exist untill the voters discover they can vote themselves largesse from the Public Treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates promising the most benifits from the Public Treasury, with the results that a Democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy and is always followed by a Dictatorship”

    • Mike

      Well said, Ted! Some fine lessons from history for those that care to be educated about them. These are the kinds of lessons that would be at least minimized if not left out all together in a “free” educational system. We can all contribute to the common good, but lets be sure it’s good first. This idea has the odor of more control about it!

  • ChuckL

    Perhaps we should remember that what you get is what you pay for it.
    If someone will give you a “FREE” education it is much more likely to be a FREE INDOCTRINATION to their agenda.

  • Mike

    I can’t beleive what I’m hearing. The state is going to be allowed to RAISE MORE TAXES! My god they’ve squandered what they already have and that fact is virtually indesputable! Take money out of government and put it back where it came from! Education is VERY important but not at the price of destroying ambition. Keep government OUT of higher education or before you know it the Education czar will be dictating what can be taught and how. Why the hell do you think the primary & secondary schools are such a mess? Everyone vying for Federal aid while common sense in taught NOWHERE!

    • Andrew Chase (@AndrewakaAnimal)

      K-12 is a mess partially because for the last 40 years, they’ve been run like prisons.

      Another cause is mainstreaming retarded kids into regular classes along with the smarter kids and those who barely speak English. The result there is that the learning pace ends up getting slowed down so the slower kids can keep up, or the teacher can repeat the lesson in Spanish.

      Another reason is that teachers are forced to teach to standardized tests, thanks to No Child Left Behind, which was a failure in Texas before Bush II pushed it nationally.

      Another is over-emphasis on sports and a culture that stresses them over science, cheerleading over the arts. Many schools can’t afford up to date textbooks, computers, or to pay competent teachers enough to stay on, but somehow they can ALWAYS find a way to finance a new gym or stadium, new uniforms for the football/baseball/basketball team, etc. In most countries, kids wanting to play a sport have to join a local club or collective for it.

      Possibly the biggest reason that our schools are dysfunctional are parents and lawyers. When I was in school, if I got a bad grade or got in trouble, I got in twice as much trouble at home. Now, if someone gets in trouble or gets a grade any lower than a “C”, their parents sue the teacher, the school, the district, etc. It’s gotten to where teachers can’t even defend themselves against a student attacking them with the intent to kill them or cause serious bodily harm without risking losing their job or even going to jail.

  • TL Heart

    Those kind of dumb ideas are the reason they have a Detriot, with half the population not being able to read. Now why do you think that is. Duh!

  • James

    The only jobs that are available in Michigan don’t require a college degree.

    • Andrew Chase (@AndrewakaAnimal)

      Maybe if we quit shipping jobs overseas or giving them to foreign guest workers….

  • Big Al

    Everyone seams to know what is wrong but nobody has an answer. I say stop paying taxes. Claim 10 & let our gov figure out how to spend nothing. They seam togive money to all foreign co. so lets cut the money off. First before giving money to them tell them to pay SS back all the money they have stole.

  • donald

    This is a good example of why liberals should not be allowed to hold public office. They seem to be living in a fantasy land totally without logical thinking.

  • Speak2Truth

    So, tax the employers even more to pay for this scheme.

    Remember, the OTHER complaint of the “Occupy” group is… no jobs.


  • Neil

    Will the last employer to leave Michigan please turn out the light?

  • Charlie Brown

    What will you use the diploma for, Toilet paper?

  • Randy

    $9500 a year? You must be kidding??!?!? That won’t put a dent in college costs. Student housing costs almost that much! While it is commendable Michigan is giving the grants, it’s not going to make college “free.” Not even close.

  • Alex Frazier

    Bastiat really put this nonsense into perspective. We have things so backwards it’s not funny. Education is a wonderful thing, and certainly useful for the advancement of our society. But at the same time, as he put it, we are teaching our children to read before teaching them how to make bread. Food is a necessity. Education is a luxury. If your family is poor, your number one priority should be work so you can put food on the table. If you find time for repose, then improve your lot in life through education.

    But we’ve dealt with the simplicity of that basic problem. We have basic public education. Our kids learn to read and write. They learn mathematics, literature, etc.

    Why we need to provide them with higher education at the expense of the tax payer is beyond me.

    I can tell you one thing, though. The law makers in Michigan aren’t very bright. If they pass that law, the first thing I’m going to do is send my kids to Michigan as soon as they are ready for college. I’ll live here in South Carolina where I pay no Michigan taxes, and I’ll send them to live in Michigan (tax exempt since they are students) to get their four year degree at the expense of the Michigan tax payers. Then bring them home to start careers in a state that doesn’t have that sort of nonsense going on.

    Any time there’s a loophole in a system, smart people will find ways to exploit it. Maybe if we all send our kids to Michigan, we’ll bankrupt them. When the taxes get high enough, it won’t just be the businesses that leave. It’ll be the people too.

  • diamondbaby50

    Free is good in somethings, but in Education, I am not sure that most people would appreciate it. For those who could not afford to go to school and really want to, I believe if we just make it affordable enough then more could make the effort to go. I also agree that we need to up our standards in education so that we can compete in the world wide market and not leave so many people feeling helpless. Sometimes its laziness, but a lot of the time its hopelessness; If I must continue to pay taxes, when I no longer have children in school then it needs to be used wisely..Whatever happened to the lottery monies being used for education. That was just a big fat farce to get people to gamble. If the money given to winnings was used as the liars said then we would not be having this conversation. Why not make Education all inclusive…books, room, classroom…It’s bad enough to pay 15,000 to 30,00 or more just to go to class, then have to pay for all of the extras; outrageous amount for books that go outdated the minute you use them; so ridiculous!! I understand the cost of living goes up, but so should pay…


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