Saturday, December 19, 2009

Pittsburgh Inadvertently Teaches College Students About The Ills Of Statism?

The mayor of Pittsburgh, PA, wants to impose a 1% tax on tuitions for the college and university students in the city to, and I quote, “to help pay for pensions of retired city employees.” You might imagine that the students are none too happy about this.

Many students have been led to believe by their state-loving profs, as well as by many elementary and secondary school educators who preceded them, that the government must always be granted whatever it needs to accomplish its objectives, regardless of the costs involved. Now these collegians have discovered that the government is not their presumptive friend and will eventually turn on them if not reined in. Many of them are currently having their entire cost of attendance, including living expenses, financed by the federal government and would be facing an immediate out-of-pocket cost that someone else isn’t paying for ranging from “$27 at the Community College of Allegheny County to $409 at Carnegie Mellon University.” They are not taking it well.

Faculty and administrators who so loathe the American capitalist model of free enterprise and competition have figured out that they would have an externally imposed competitive disadvantage against their peers outside of Pittsburgh. Perhaps they’ll take a belated interest in the city’s fiscal situation. If they do, they’ll likely discover that its annual municipal budget of roughly $450 million contains more than a little fat.

Moreover, radical faculty members would have a more difficult time justifying their ardent love of statism in front of their tax-paying students if the government begins in essence biting the hand that feeds it philosophical support for its voracious desires. These poor saps must be wondering how it can be that Democrat Ravenstahl, who attended Pitt for a time, is employing the tactics normally associated with romanticized thugs like Chavez, Castro, and Ahmadinejad on his “friends.” Perhaps they’ll begin to understand how the term “useful idiots” applies to them.

My goodness, students are even engaging in anti-tax and anti-spending protests like the tea partiers they’ve been taught to despise. What’s more, they’re coming up with constructive, cost-saving ideas of their own.

Perhaps during all of this the kids will meet up with patriotic everyday Americans who will impart important lessons about how free markets and limited government are supposed to work.

It's hard not to giggle, isn't it?

The first comment on the story at the link goes the opposite direction from giggling:

Classic case of, ”I was a liberal until I got mugged.” Personally, I wouldn’t be disturbed one bit if an even higher tax was imposed. And, I think it would be a great idea to impose a ”tenure tax” on professors, a special levy on research grants, a special tax on university investment income to pay for ‘’social projects” in the community, tuition surcharges to pay for increased diversity, and any other taxes anyone can think of on students & faculty – in other words, take their lefty ideology & shove it down their throats until they choke on it.

Trust me, it will definitely be an educational experience.

Update, 12/22/09: I'm almost disappointed that this didn't drag on a little longer. Maybe some liberal students and professors would have learned something from it:

In what he described as a “leap of faith,” Mayor Luke Ravenstahl of Pittsburgh agreed on Monday to shelve his plans for the nation’s first tax on college tuition in exchange for an increase in voluntary contributions from local colleges and universities to the city...

He threatened, they caved.

By the by, wasn't Pittsburgh the city that President Obama praised in front of the G20? Why yes, it was. And yet the city has to threaten college students, who prop up the economy already, just to make ends meet? Lefties, God love 'em!


KauaiMark said...

great comment...

Ellen K said...

Like the universities are not already creating their own pork fest with fees, addends and other needless expenses. I wonder if this mayor would also charge these taxes to foreign students and illegals who attend these colleges at a reduced or in state level.