Sunday, March 11, 2012

Lawmakers Should Look in the Mirror Before Decrying High Tuition

In their own way, Michigan Republicans like Sen. Joe Hune and Rep. Bill Rogers seem to agree with GOP presidential contender Rick Santorum that people who go to college are "snobs."

In an article in the Livingston Press and Argus on Sunday (March 11, 2012), both Hune and Rogers came out against a Democratic plan to eliminate $1.8 billion in business tax credits and direct the money to lowering tuition costs at state universities.

Hune found it unacceptable. Why, the very idea that businesses should pay to help educate their future employees -- the engineers, accountants, computer programers, and others who will do the work that produces their profits -- was beyond Hune's comprehension. Somebody else should pay for that, apparently, so businesses can reap the benefit at no cost to themselves.

Rogers came across as clueless as to what has happened to higher education funding in Michigan in the last decade. Decrying tuition increases, Rogers demanded to know "where is that money going."

Sad to say Bill, but it has gone to replace the funds that state government used to provide -- like the more than $800 per student cut in higher education funding you approved last year.

Ir Rogers wants to know why college tuition is up to $400 per credit hour at Michigan State University, he should look in the mirror.

1 comment:

Communications guru said...

Wow, Senator Hune says the plan to invest in Michigan’s future is “the typical liberal mantra" of raising taxes and spending, but then says “hadn't reviewed the plan.” He should. It’s also nice to know his constitutes are the “businesses in my community” and not the people. I guess that’s why senior citizens are seeing their pensions taxed in order to give corporation a $1.8 billion tax cut.

I agree with Rep. Rogers that the real problem is the cost of tuition, but that’s because the state has cut aid to the universities, and that has to be made up by students. According to Bridge Magazine, owned by the former owner of this newspaper, “a decades-long decision to skim money from the state’s 15 public universities means Michigan teens face a higher hurdle to attend college and leave campus with more debt than their peers in other states.”

The fact is the best investment Michigan can make to rebuild our economy and bring job providers to our state is in our students, and that is this 2020 plan. It would be funded entirely by eliminating ineffective corporate tax loopholes that are carved out by special interest lobbyists, as well as cutting costs within the thousands of contracts that the state currently administers. Michigan currently grants nearly $35 billion annually in tax credits with little transparency or accountability that ensures they are effective in growing our economy or job market. Eliminating a mere 5 percent of those tax credits would more than fund the Michigan 2020 Plan.