Dear Future President,
Recently, there has been a lot of controversy surrounding college tuition. While a college degree without tuition sounds great, our country cannot afford ‘free’ college. Instead of being truly ‘free,’ this scheme would do one of three things: it would increase national debt, increase in taxes and/or cause a decrease in individual freedoms education wise.
Our country cannot afford to start a program to pay for all student’s college education. The United States debt continues to pile up as time goes on. Paying for students continuing education is no simple task. According to William Hoar, in his book, “The New American,” “With a national debt driving toward $20 trillion, the country can't afford a new program totaling $450 billion, or likely much more, that will make matters worse”(Hoar, 2). College education is too expensive for the government to pay for. If our country continues to take on new programs, we will eventually go bankrupt. Though I agree that a less expensive college degree would be very beneficial to our country, our country’s already large debt will only grow, causing more problems in the future.
Nothing is ever really ‘free’, American taxpayers will have to carry the cost of college tuition. Overall, taxes would increase by a large amount and the American people will not be able to keep up the standard of living they enjoy today. These taxes would be hurtful to the majority of our society, “It might be immediately cheaper to the particular student getting the subsidy, but it would be paid for by all of us, including the 70 percent or so of the American population without a college degree”(Hoar,1). People without a college degree, or people who have paid theirs off would have to pick up the costs of the American youth’s education. This is unfair and unreasonable. One can look to countries who have adopted a paid for continued education plan like Germany to understand the impact of ‘free’ college tuition. According to Christopher Denhart in “Forbes Magazine,” “Sooner or later this “free” higher education will feel less and less free as increasing taxes will likely drive the most educated, highest earning, most able Germans away from Germany and into societies where they can take home a greater percentage of their pay”(Denhart, 1). Like in Germany, many people would lose their reason to stay in the U.S. because they can take their money elsewhere to receive a greater margin of the money in which they earn. This will cause a downward spiral pushing more taxes onto lower income families. This is more hurtful than college debt because it will never go away. Through my dad’s work, he has met many people who moved away from Germany because taxes were too high and they enjoy a higher standard of living here in the United States. On my parent’s trip to Norway, a country that pays for college education, they found that the sales tax was so high, simple items like a can of pop cost at least double the amount they do in the United States. If taxes were to pay for a ‘free’ college education, the American standard of living would change in a very drastic way.
When a government is more involved in their people’s lives, the citizens have limited freedoms. My parents noticed when they traveled to Norway, that the government paid for more things in citizens lives but in return, the government gets a say in the citizens live their lives. For example, Norway pays for medicine and care of senior citizens which sounds helpful, but when the government tells its citizens it is time for them to move into a nursing home, they have no choice but to leave their house and move into assisted living. If our government pays for our college tuition they will need to set restrictions to make sure the taxpayers money is going to good use. Students will have less freedom than they do now when making decisions on how to plan their education.
‘Free’ college would be extremely hurtful to American society. While it is true that a smaller tuition would be extremely helpful to many college students, it does not necessarily take into account that nothing is really free. Someone will have to pick up the costs of a continued education. The United States would suffer from an increase in national debt, an increase in taxes and/or a decrease in individual freedoms. As the president of the United States, I do not recommend creating a ‘free’ education. Instead of promising something that is unsustainable, we should focus on the reasons why college tuition costs are going up so fast.
Denhart, Christopher. "There Is No Such Thing As A Free College Education." Forbes. Forbes Magazine, 32014. Web. 18 Oct. 2016.
Hoar, William P. "Beware the high cost of free college." The New American 22 Aug. 2016: 41+.Academic OneFile. Web. 19 Oct. 2016.