FILE - In this Aug. 17, 2012 file photo, alleged counterfeit $100 U.S. dollar notes sit on display during a media presentation in Lima, Peru. Unlike most other counterfeiters, who rely on sophisticated late-model inkjet printers, the Peruvians generally go a step further _ finishing each bill by hand. (AP Photo/Karel Navarro, File)

California to Provide Free College by Taxing Millionaires

In response to anticipated tuition hikes at public colleges and universities, California state lawmakers are springing into action with a plan to alleviate the pain those hikes would cause to in-state students.

Are they going to create a series of merit-based scholarships to help the brightest and most motivated students mitigate the rising cost of college?  No.

Are they embracing market-based ideas, like reducing government hand-outs to force students to find ways to pay for college themselves and thereby entice universities to lower their tuition to keep new students coming in?  Not exactly.

Are they launching new initiatives to show the value of honest, hard work to prospective students so that they realize that a college education straight out of high school isn’t necessary to lead a full and rewarding life?  Please.

No, in true socialist fashion California state lawmakers want to provide free college tuition to all in-state students by (you guessed it) taxing the rich.

Assemblyman Susan Eggman (Democrat) has proposed a plan to cover the cost of tuition and fees at California public colleges by imposing a new 1% annual tax on household incomes of greater than or equal to $1 million.

Of course, this plan does nothing to actually curb the rising costs of college tuition.  It merely hides it.  It also doesn’t make college “free.”  It just forces people who aren’t going to college to pay for everyone who does.

Eggman claims that the new 1% tax on millionaires will generate a state income of approximately $2.2 billion each year.  She didn’t say if this figure factors in the households that will leave the state or find other ways to reduce their income to avoid paying yet another new tax.

Fortunately, California voters have a chance to stop this madness.  This bill has to be approved by two-thirds majorities in both houses of the California state legislature.  If that happens, then the measure goes before the voters for final approval.

Let’s hope it never gets to that point.

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Russell Patten

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