Dear Elizabeth Warren, Why Not Let Us Invest In Ourselves?

There was a time some years ago when Elizabeth Warren could make sense for a five-minute stretch. If you ever get a chance to see the documentary “Maxed Out,” I think you can catch her in one of her lucid moments. Since she decided to run for Senator, I think she stopped having such episodes. About the only hope I have for her is that she might run against Hillary, which I think would be entertaining.

Now this, as reported in CNS News:

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) says she plans to introduce legislation that would tax the wealthy more and use the money to refinance high-interest student loans. Warren also said she’ll look for ways to “meaningfully reduce college tuition.”

“Dollar for dollar, we can invest in billionaires, or we can invest in our students,” Warren said in a speech on the Senate floor last week.

Warren said the problem of skyrocketing college costs is “made worse by a federal student loan program with high interest rates that will produce obscene profits for the U.S. government.”

She plans to introduce legislation that allows borrowers with older, higher-interest loans to refinance at the lower rates currently being offered to new borrowers in the federal student loan program.

Warren’s confusion and ignorance here is embarrassing. By providing attractive, subsidized interest rates for college tuition, the government attracts more students to enroll in college. This means that tuition rates go up because of the increased demand that the government has made available. The government’s student loan subsidization program is a major driver in the swiftly rising tuition rates.

Her reasoning doesn’t make any sense to me. If the profits the government will make on the higher interest rates are so “obscene” then why not use them to subsidize the students? Why does she have to resort to new taxes on billionaires?

But, more importantly, why should we “invest” in anyone at all? Colleges and Universities can’t stay in business without students. They have every incentive to attract students. Likewise, students have every incentive to find a way to go to college. Why interfere with the setting of the price point between those two parities?

And why should “we” invest? The person who will most personally and most directly profit from a valuable college education is the student himself. I have other things I need to invest in. So why should I have my ability to invest in myself weakened because Warren thinks students are more important than me? This logic implies equally to billionaires who might want to invest in industries that create jobs. After all, without jobs there is no point in many people getting a college diploma.

Warren has no way of knowing what resources should be devoted to college versus job creation or anything else. She needs to stop pretending otherwise. More importantly, voters need to stop believing her.