In an outstanding post on Jay P. Greene's Blog entitled "Obama's Higher Education Plan: Throw Money Now, Ask Questions Later?" about Obama's proposed $4000 "gift" to every college student, Mathew Ladner gets to the heart of the matter:
"The Congress has been chasing its own tail on "college affordability" for decades -- providing more and more subsidies, watching costs go up and up, begin process again. Einstein's definition of insanity certainly comes to mind."
"Sadly, the Obama plan would simply add more fuel to the fire and leave our very serious higher education problems unaddressed. We need to take a long, hard look at higher education, not simply throw more money at the problem."
With with lower academic standards gaining acceptance at our institutions of higher education and no check on higher costs, much of what we are going to see is colleges growing larger on borrowed taxpayer money turning out less-educated graduates and charging much higher fees for the whole mess.
Better to spend more on merit-based aid, less on need-based aid, and watch education results and consumer value appreciate.