Higher tuition hikes — for what purpose?

Higher tuition hikes — for what purpose?


boa constrictorLast week, on a post-election panel presented by Capitol Weekly, I raised the issue of potential tax increases being contemplated by public unions and other groups in the next election and said that one of the reasons more revenue was sought was to cover pension obligations.

A union representative on the panel scoffed that pensions were “yesterday’s news.”

Actually, pensions were that day’s news if you read accounts about the University of California’s request that tuition be raised by 5 percent a year for a five year period.

The chief reason for the tuition increase appears to be retirement costs.

According to the Sacramento Bee,  U.C. Chief Financial Officer Nathan Brostrom cited retirement costs in explaining the need for tuition hikes. This is how the Bee put it: “Brostrom emphasized that UC feels it is not getting what was promised to the university with the Proposition 30 tax hikes, which increased revenues by 8 percent, and that it could avoid raising tuition if the state helped fund its retiree costs.” (My emphasis.)

How can you read that without concluding that the money is for retirement costs?


Like other government budgets, pension costs are squeezing the college budgets like a boa constrictor. When pro-tax advocates talk about the need for more money to pay for services, we should ask for a list of how that money will be spent and how much will be used to offset pension costs.

Higher education costs do seem out of control, rising 100 percent in the last decade. The debt burden on student loans is unconscionable and should be dealt with, starting with an examination of student loan interest rates.

What are the other costs driving up costs of higher education?

Before tuition is raised, the Regents should audit the system to see what is driving the cost.

But let’s not hide from pensions’ sizable role in any budget debate.

That is not yesterday’s news. It is today’s news and tomorrow’s news until some reforms come to be.


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  1. LetitCollapse
    LetitCollapse 11 November, 2014, 09:19

    When are these kids and their parents going to start organizing effective protests like we used to have when I was their age? For God sakes, the collective student debt in America exceeds credit card debt and exceeds $1 trillion dollars! lol. The state is turning these kids into lifelong debt slaves so that the faculty at these eggheaded institutions can retire like kings and queens!!! lol. Besides, most of what kids learn in college is worthless and has no application in the real life. Studies have proven that about 3 years after graduation a typical college student forgets about 80%-90% of what he or she learned in the classroom! lol. And for that they take out $70,000 loans to get a stupid 4 year degree??? lol. If I had a kid in high school, unless he or she had the potential to be a doctor or an engineer or a CPA, etc…. I wouldn’t spend a dime on a college education. I would gladly send him or her to a good trade school to learn a marketable skill. Or they could do like I did and go in the military and come out with the GI Bill and finance their own college education. The college system in America has become a racket. It’s there to fleece you and turn you into a pauper. Imagine starting out life @ age 23 with a $70,000 student debt hanging over your head!!! HAH! God almighty!!! How depressing would that be, especially if you’re a sociology major and can’t even find a $15/hr job!!! lol! 🙂

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  2. LetitCollapse
    LetitCollapse 11 November, 2014, 10:15

    Btw, the article didn’t even mention that POTUS Obola’s former homeland security chief, Janet Napolitano, is the President of the UC system. I thought Janet was going to be the warm & friendly one who wasn’t going to screw the students with another tuition hike? Another broken promise, eh? What more would you expect from some scoundrel bureaucrat who worked for Obola? Looks like he mentored her well, eh??? 😉

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  3. maximilian
    maximilian 11 November, 2014, 10:19

    LC…you’re on the mark. I did some work on pension reform a few years ago when Gov. Brown was pushing his legislative pension plan. A select subcommittee was created in the Assembly to travel the state and gather input to be used to write this legislation destined to “reform” state pensions. In one session at the Capitol, representatives from county & city agencies, CalSTRS. CalPERS, Cal Sate University, UC, etc. made individual presentations on their own fiscal condition and suggestions for the legislation. I remember UC’s numbers and comments: $12B unfunded pension liability and $10B in health care liabilities that they had yet to even consider. They were trying to get pensions under control and acted as if health care ($10B) had just appeared. They seemed desperate.

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  4. LetitCollapse
    LetitCollapse 11 November, 2014, 11:00

    I just read a study in The Economist that showed the top 0.1% in America now possesses more wealth than the bottom 90%! lol. If that isn’t a banana republic, what is??? If I were 20 years old again I’ll be damned if I’d spend $70,000 on a stupid college degree as the middle class is being destroyed before our very eyes. I wouldn’t be anybody’s debt slave. I’d ‘Go Galt’! I’d follow the financial incentives and give as little as possible and take as much as I could. It’s sad that these kids have such a myopic vision. When I was their age a student could work 2 part time jobs and earn enough to pay for 90% of his college. Today that would be utterly impossible. I had one friend in college who had a debt of $7,000 after 6 years of college with an M.S. degree and I freaked out. I was shocked that he accumulated that much debt! lol. 😀

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  5. Queeg
    Queeg 11 November, 2014, 11:51

    Time to be fiscally aware.

    Tax anything that moves, drinks, moans!

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  6. LetitCollapse
    LetitCollapse 11 November, 2014, 12:40

    Just a matter of time before they tax sexual intercourse performed without the intent to procreate. Don’t laugh. 20 years ago they would have called me nuts if I told them that they would be forced to purchase health care insurance or be subject to a hefty penalty by the IRS and that the high court would rule their premiums to be a ‘tax’. At some point “going Galt” is simply a sound business decision. 🙂

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  7. maximilian
    maximilian 11 November, 2014, 13:19

    So far, pension-related bankruptcies (large cities/counties/municipalities) include Vallejo (in and out and preparing to go back in?), city of Detroit, city of San Bernardino, Calif., town of Mammoth Lakes, Calf., city of Stockton, Calif., Jefferson County, Ala., city of Harrisburg, Pa., city of Central Falls, R.I., Boise County, Idaho. And, there’s a monster on the horizon…Chicago looks like it wants to join the ranks in the near future. I was thinking about having sex until I read LC’s latest post…Gulp!

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    • LetitCollapse
      LetitCollapse 11 November, 2014, 15:26

      “I was thinking about having sex until I read LC’s latest post…Gulp!”

      Don’t worry, max. First they have to install gov surveillance cameras in your bedroom and that’s at least 5 years away. Then they have to enact laws on regulating intercourse, which will take at least another 5 years. By that time chances are you’ll be older than 60 and it won’t matter anyhow! 😀

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    • Ted E Mind of your Godhead Ted
      Ted E Mind of your Godhead Ted 11 November, 2014, 21:21

      LOL Max— we are doomed— only 35,988 cities left in America left!!! They will probably all go bk in a week or so– we’re doooooooooooooooooooomed!!

      I am stock piling food and freedom guns!

      Reply this comment
  8. Ulysses Uhaul
    Ulysses Uhaul 11 November, 2014, 20:59

    Dirty ole men!

    Reply this comment
  9. LetitCollapse
    LetitCollapse 11 November, 2014, 22:52

    I wouldn’t want to be living in St. Louis, Mo about now. The grand jury decision re: the cop that shot Michael Brown is due sometime this month. Store owners are already boarding up their plate glass windows! lol. The Nasty Guard in on standby. lol. Hundreds of thousands spent on more tear gas and flash bangs! lol. I hope the GJ doesn’t announce the decision over the weekend and screw up the NCAA football game schedule. Just glad I’ll be watching from the west coast. If I lived in St. Louis I would be stockpiling food and guns. And that’s no joke. The Mo Governor (Nixon) came on TV and said he’s not playing around – that he won’t tolerate any funny business on the streets of Mo. lol. We’ll see. Darryl Gates said the same damn thing in 1992 then told the boys in blue to retreat back to the precinct and let the thugs loot the big box stores! lol. The Korean storeowners had to protect their own properties. The LA cops were nowhere to be found! lol! Fing cowards! 😀

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  10. Richard Rider
    Richard Rider 12 November, 2014, 09:59

    While I agree that most CA tax and “fee” increases are for the benefit of the public employees (and to pay for past funding mistakes), let’s not get too excited about the middle class not being able to afford college in the “Golden State.”

    Complaints about increased UC student fees too often ignore one crucial point — all poor and many middle class students don’t pay the “fees” (our state’s euphemism for tuition). There are no fees for most California families with under $80K income.

    Perhaps such students and their parents SHOULD be paying more for their college educations, and we taxpayers paying less. Let’s get student families to have more “skin in the game.” Certainly it would give them more interest in the costs of the education they benefit from.

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    • LetitCollapse
      LetitCollapse 12 November, 2014, 13:01

      Richard, I wondered what was up with all these kids from East LA and South Central taking college bus tours across the state to decide which colleges to attend. I wondered how they could afford those steep college costs. You answered that for me. All paid for by the taxpayers – soup to nuts! No wonder the colleges are packed. I guess the ones taking out student loans are the kids with successful parents who make a decent living. This should make one think twice about dreaming to achieve success. The more I watch the direction of our society the more I believe that the answer is to ‘Go Galt’. From education to health care to government employment……it just goes to show that ‘excellence’ is no longer rewarded. Mediocrity is where it’s at! Strive to be below average and let someone else carry you!!! That’s the modern day ticket to ‘success’ in America!!! HAH! 😀

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      • Richard Rider
        Richard Rider 12 November, 2014, 13:20

        Sadly, too many of those low income “scholarships” give people a shot at a degree, but not many get something useful. Too many can’t hack it and drop out (perhaps doing some community college courses instead). Yes, the UC system STILL practices DE FACTO reverse discrimination to admit “diverse” but less qualified students — discriminating primarily against Asians — the law notwithstanding.

        Others get largely useless liberal arts degrees where standards have been dropped to accommodate the lack of prior education or talent.

        Worst are the “oppression theology” degrees in Black Studies, Gender Studies, etc., etc. Those that earn such a pathetic indoctrination degree come out politicized and largely unemployable — hence “verifying” all the “oppression” crap they were taught.

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        • LetitCollapse
          LetitCollapse 12 November, 2014, 18:58

          Don’t hold back, Richard! lol. 😀

          But, of course, you’re correct on all counts. College is a ripoff for at least 50% of the student body. The way they treat those kids (like Chattel) should be a crime. They goad them into worthless curriculums that have little payoff. And they walk away with a useless sheepskin and $50k-$70k in debt. Naturally, the banker and the university president are delighted! Most of the parents are as ignorant as their kids and don’t know any better. It’s sad. Nothing will change until the kids refuse to enroll. And if it’s free (taxpayer funded) for all those with parents earning less than $80,000 I think we’re looking at perpetual slavery until the entire house of cards comes falling down. When Humpty finally falls off the wall he will be irreparable. 😉

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        • LetitCollapse
          LetitCollapse 13 November, 2014, 07:04

          Richard, there is nothing more dangerous to society than a kid with a worthless college degree who thinks he’s entitled to success and can’t find a job that pays more than $13/hr. Those are the ones to watch. They have been fed the illusion that if they got their degree in minority studies that the world would be their oyster. That within 2 years of graduation they’d own a pad in Rolling Hills and have a brand new Escalade in the garage. The only hope those kids have at survival is a job in the gubmint handing out free cheese and Obola phones! hah. But all of them can’t leech off the taxpayers. There’s not enough money in the country to support them all. They’d have to change the Constitution and give each state the right to print US currency. With all the entitlement mentality that has infected this nation, when the next crash hits it’s going to get real ugly. There’s going to be a war between the welfare parasites and the pensioniers, fighting for whatever table scraps are left over. And the pensioniers are going to come up on the short end of the stick. With Obola’s pending executive order for amnesty – the indigent peasants are going to overwhelm the nation by sheer numbers, especially since they still reproduce like rabbits with no regard for financial responsibility. This nation was a great experiment, Richard. In the end, it failed!!! 😉

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