Phi Beta Cons

Middle Class Welfare

More evidence that college student governments are now little more than lobbying groups for increased higher education subsidies — an AARP for the 18-24-year-old set. During this spring break week, some student politicos in the UT Student Government joined students from other Big 12 schools in Washington, D.C.to argue for more middle class welfare in the form of more college student grants and loans.
Unfortunately, the Republican congressmen who represents the University of Texas district, Lamar Smith, regularly boasts about how much higher education pork he brings back to the district.
To add insult to proverbial injury, this trip was bankrolled in part by a $7,000 grant from the UT-Austin Office of the President and the Office of the Vice-President of Research.
The irony here is that many young people, including perhaps some of the students who traveled to D.C. this week, are starting to realize that they won’t be able to count on programs like Social Security and Medicare in their golden years and have, accordingly, started organizing politically to reform these multi-trillion dollar entitlement programs.
As with so many other political issues, the credibility of student politicos on important matters like Social Security and Medicare reform would be greatly enhanced by a demonstration that college students are willing to give up their own welfare programs like higher education subsidies in order to address ticking time bombs like the status of the Social Security program 50 years from now.  Unfortunately, it looks like most  student politicians in college today are willing to see college students continue as just another special interest group.