Although there are many reasons why President’s Obama’s proposal to provide free community college is problematic (e.g., it’s actually not “free” since it would cost taxpayers about $60 billion dollars), there is actually one positive idea that could emerge.
How about free community college for elected officials?
Granted, many of these individuals have degrees from some of the most prestigious universities in the country. Some are lawyers, doctors, and business people with an MBA. How would free community college benefit these people?
Let’s take President Obama as an example. He has degrees from Columbia University and Harvard Law School. On paper, that’s certainly nothing to sneeze at.
Yet, despite the impressive credentials, the president doesn’t seem to have the foggiest idea about basic subjects necessary to run the government like economics, accounting, and history.
His lack of knowledge on the latter subject is frequently on display. Recently, it was most notably evident at the National Prayer Service breakfast when the president harkened back several hundred years to the Crusades to draw an analogy to terrorism today. While instructing his audience to get off their “high horse” he clearly got on his and attempted to draw analogies that don’t really work for those with a basic understanding of the history of the Crusades. He also managed to tick off a few million Christians in the process which calls into question his knowledge of sociology and psychology as well.
Obama’s attempt to draw tortured historical analogies is not new. On a number of occasions he’s not only provided odd historical analysis but also made factual misstatements about historical events.
Geography is another area where a little freshman refresher course on the subject might do him a world of good. He wouldn’t even need to sit through the entire class. By simply focusing on U.S. geography, the president could be clear on the number of states in the United States. Remember when he famously said there are 57 states?
While his knowledge of history is frankly embarrassing his problem understanding economics and how it all relates to business is of greater concern. His “spread the wealth around” comment a few years ago and “you didn’t build that” perhaps explains our current slow economic recovery. Also, combining history and economics, he’d soon learn the lesson from old Herbert Hoover that raising taxes on job creators in a serious economic downturn is not a great recipe for wild economic success.
Finally, both Accounting 101 and Introduction to U.S. Government would be incredibly helpful. Just knowing the basics might help the administration finally deliver a proposed federal budget that balances. Also, imagine how much better things would run with a nice tutorial on separation of powers.
This is not meant to pick on Obama alone. Many elected officials demonstrate a stunning lack of knowledge on these subjects and more. Many of their alma maters probably wish these people would all hang their diplomas facing the wall.
This is why I’m all for free community college. If not for everyone (at least while we clearly can’t afford it and the economics don’t entirely work) then at least for the people who clearly need the information the most and immediately (i.e., elected officials) since they are the ones making critical decisions affecting us all.