Another school year beckons, which means its time for President Obama to go on another college retreat. He loves college tours, says Ohio Universitys Richard Vedder, who directs the Center for College Affordability and Productivity. Colleges are an escape from reality. Believe me, Ive lived in one for half a century. Its like living in Disneyland. Theyre these little isolated enclaves of nonreality.
Mr. Vedder, age 72, has taught college economics since 1965 and published papers on the likes of Scandinavian migration, racial disparities in unemployment and tax reform. Over the last decade hes made himself Americas foremost expert on the economics of higher education, which he distilled in his 2004 book Going Broke by Degree: Why College Costs Too Much. His analysis isnt the same as President Obamas.
This week on his back-to-school tour of New York and Pennsylvania colleges, Mr. Obama presented a new plan to make college more affordable. If the federal government keeps on putting more and more money in the system, he noted at the State University of New York at Buffalo on Thursday, and if the cost is going up by 250% and tax revenues arent going up 250%, at some point, the government will run out of money.