Tuition Soars Due to Knowledge Shortfall

Every sentient, literate adult knows that the current spike in gas prices is 90 percent due to forces completely beyond the control of Congress, the White House or even "Big Oil" itself. The laws of supply and demand determine gas prices the same way those laws determine the price of eggs, acid-washed blue jeans and Kanye West downloads.

What determines the price of college tuition? It certainly isn’t the quality of the product — as copiously demonstrated in David Horowitz’s new book, "The Professors: The 101 Most Dangerous Academics in America."

The two big topics on CNN last week were 1) high gas prices and 2) the high cost of college tuition. (Also a story about an angry Hispanic lacrosse player who vanished from a cruise ship during Bush’s low poll numbers.)

CNN reports that college tuition has risen an astonishing 40 percent since 2000. But the proposed solutions to the exact same problem — high prices for gasoline and tuition, respectively — were diametrically opposed.

The only solution to high gas prices considered on CNN was to pay oil company executives less, perhaps by order of the president. But somehow, no one ever suggested that the solution to the high price of college — far outpacing inflation — was to pay professors less. In that case, the solution is for the government to subsidize college professors’ salaries even more than it already does.

Based on CNN’s special coverage of high gas prices, the unfolding crisis in college tuition ought to be reported like this:

Coming up, soaring prices at the colleges. Who’s to blame? How can you keep your child in college and cash in your wallet? And Harvard outrage, big education makes big bucks, but we pay the price. So should President Bush limit prices? …

To our top story now. It seems like a summer ritual. Rising professors’ salaries mean rising tuition prices. But this year, sticker shock at the tuition window is fueling more concern than ever. And it has many people asking where is it going to end?

JAMIE COURT, CONSUMER RIGHTS ADVOCATE: Every time you see the price of tuition go up, you can hear "ka-ching, ka-ching" in the bank accounts of the college professors.

That’s how oil company profits are reported. Why not subsidize the oil companies, which provide a product essential to allowing 300 million Americans to live, and put a cap on the price of college, which seems designed to turn out more liberal parasites on the productive?

As economist Richard Vedder of Ohio University has demonstrated, every time the government subsidizes college tuition through tuition tax credits, college tuition rises by the precise amount of the tuition tax credit.

How about investigating the "shameful display of greed" by college professors?

Liberals think hardworking taxpayers who can’t afford gas should pay more in taxes because it is vitally important that young people be taught that America is the worst country on Earth and that the American bond traders who were murdered on 9/11 deserved it.

Maybe with a little less subsidized tuition, colleges couldn’t afford luxuries like non-Indian of Indian studies professor Ward Churchill. He makes $120,000 a year as a department head at the University of Colorado, in addition to many speaking fees paid to him by other institutions of higher learning — all heavily subsidized by taxpayers.

In addition to providing a vital product, former Exxon CEO Lee Raymond has a Ph.D. in chemical engineering.

Churchill doesn’t have a Ph.D., not even one of those phony ones you have to buy on the Internet before you can host your own show on Air America Radio. He does not produce a product that allows New Yorkers to eat without turning 90 percent of the city into an agricultural processing plant.

His list of academic achievements consists of his majoring in communications and graphic arts. That’s the only part of his resume that has not already been proved false, probably because no one would make that up.

Churchill’s written oeuvre consists of rants about how the Americans who died in the World Trade Center on 9/11 deserved it: "Well, really. Let’s get a grip here, shall we? True enough, they were civilians of a sort. But innocent? Gimme a break. … If there was a better, more effective, or in fact any other way of visiting some penalty befitting their participation upon the little Eichmanns inhabiting the sterile sanctuary of the twin towers, I’d really be interested in hearing about it."

And thus, Churchill joined the ranks of Shakespeare, Tolstoy, Faulkner and other great writers who use the phrase, "Gimme a break." Perhaps he expresses himself better in "graphic arts."

American taxpayers subsidize the most cretinous, idiotic, hate-filled lunatics in the universe — and liberals are demanding that we direct our hate toward people like Lee Raymond who allow us to go to the bathroom indoors.

How about Congress having weekly hearings on the price of college and the salaries of professors like Churchill? Horowitz has already provided the witness list for the first two years.