Monday, March 31, 2008

Center for College Affordability and Productivity: Pig Out Time for Lobbyists

By CCAP contributor Richard Vedder:
The economy may be shaky (although I think the threat may be less than meets the eye), markets may be down, and people may be distressed. But there is one group that is booming this year --higher education lobbyists, who continue to buy their Porsche Boxers and Gucci shoes in record numbers as their billable hours climb nearly exponentially.

To be sure, the Higher Education Act reauthorization, which is forever being delayed, is up for renewal (latest deadline date --April 30). And, as a Congressional Quarterly analysis on yesterday pointed out, the lobbyists are using the Easter recess to work their targets harder than ever. Let me comment a bit on three issues.


The House wants state appropriations for higher ed to be maintained at current levels or above....


Congress wants to get into the regulation of textbook prices business. Bad idea...


For some reason, for profit schools can get no more than 90 percent of their money via student loans. The schools want a liberalized definition of what is included in the 10 percent non-governmental money, for example funds from tax exempt 529 savings plans. That money is privately provided, albeit with tax assistance, and logically should not be considered as "government funds." So I am with the for profits on this issue...


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