At quick glance, much of the American public erupted with accolades over the gift of free college, while others voiced swift protest. Proposed on Friday, January 9th, the Obama administration announced an $80 billion dollar program to provide “free” tuition for United States students to attend community college.
While 25% of these funds would be required for individual states to fund over 10 years and Forbes figures pointing to a monumental 538% increase in the cost of higher education since 1985, we could crunch numbers and debate figures until the Oakland Raiders win a Super Bowl.
The big question here is not if this proposal is “good” or “bad,” not what the final costs will be and certainly not if education is important (all these and other side notes will dominate the narrative).
The real question that needs to be asked is: “Does Obama truly think this will pass, and if not, what does he, his administration, and their party gain by its proposal?”
The answer might shed light on nothing more than a massive PR campaign that is three-fold: Bolster the story of a benevolent yet marked man who couldn’t possibly get good things passed due to obstructionist conservatives, place pressure on “moderate conservatives” to support the initiative for fear of losing power, and most important, paint Liberty Movement representatives as the most egregious bunch this country has ever seen.
Think about how this could possibly play out. At face value, the administration doesn’t have the numbers. After the 2014 election, the Senate tips 54-44 to the Republican Party, the House tips 246-188 with the same leaning. By quick measure, this proposal would most likely be DOA.
However, this is a win-win scenario for the administration on every front. While many potentials exist, we can break it down in two ways; it passes or it fails. Either way, this is a brilliant piece of PR.
THE PROPOSAL PASSES:
Victory for the little guy
Moderate conservatives are now seeing it our way, they finally saw the light
We must move forward, this is only the beginning
THE PROPOSAL FAILS:
Some sensible conservatives were with us, now let’s name names of those who were not
2016 mainstream media bait (picture the messaging)
Liberty Movement Representatives
- are out of touch
- do not support education
- are against the poor
- will obstruct good intention at all cost
- are controlled by lobbyists
- want anything but what is good for our children
- are nothing more than radicals bent on destroying opportunity for those who need it most
- (we could fill pages)
Is this a set up with victory assured regardless of the outcome? Who has most to gain?
While the United States borrows 46 cents on every dollar spent and is burdened with a national debt surpassing $18 trillion dollars, we are needless to say, tight on cash. Truth be told, that does not matter. Free market solutions do not matter. The fact that nothing is “free” will not matter either. What will matter is perception and political opportunity, especially at the cost of the Liberty Movement. Win and you win, lose and you win by default by spinning a manufactured crisis.
“You never let a serious crisis go to waste. And what I mean by that it’s an opportunity to do things you think you could not do before.”