When the government is in the business of handing out money, interest groups lobby to get it — or advocate to receive more than they are already getting.
So it is with spending on higher education.
As the Michigan Legislature debates the state budget for the upcoming fiscal year, more money for preschool, college and everything in between is being proposed. Over the long-term, the funding for those areas has increased dramatically. Taxpayers should be skeptical of the current reasons for subsidizing universities further.
Requests for more higher education funding is reported willingly in the media: It’s the “most important investment” people can make. It “returns $17 in economic benefits” per dollar spent. It results in “lifetime earning power.”
But the central arguments are dubious for five main reasons: