Free! Free! Free from the Federal Government. Of course we all like free stuff. But when do we say no?

From Rasmussen Reports:

Voters tend to like President Obama’s idea of free community college for millions of students – as long as it doesn’t cost them anything.

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 47% of Likely U.S. Voters favor a new government program that would make community college tuition-free. Thirty-nine percent (39%) are opposed. Fourteen percent (14%) are undecided. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

Read it here.

From Constant Commoner:

When people in that “gap” group need healthcare, it’s usually received at local ERs and paid for by a combination of taxpayer dollars and insurance premiums adjusted to fit the cost of that care.  What Medicaid expansion will do is shift most of the cost of that care to the federal government.


Let’s expand Medicaid 

Read it here.

Free College. Free Health coverage. Free, Free, Free from the federal government!  It kind of sounds like Matthew Lesko on television telling people to buy his book because of all the free stuff we can get.  But of course, it isn’t free. We either pay from one pocket, or it gets squeezed out of another. The more government does for us, the more it’s going to cost us.

And the more the federal government does, the fewer decisions South Dakota Legislators can make.

Earlier this year, Northern Plains News service noted in a story how South Dakota is one of the most dependent states on federal funds. And that makes sense, given the national need for highways, our expansive geography, as well as hosting several federal Indian Reservations.  But with those funds come those strings.  And as we’ve experienced with Obamacare, it requires states to do a lot, and it dictates those things with great detail.

Back in 2008, The Heritage Foundation wrote a report about Federal Funds and State Fiscal Independence. In other words, what we have to give up for what we get:

Federal aid to states is not a new phenomenon. In 1929, federal aid to states accounted for 2 per­cent of state consumption expenditures. It spiked in the early 1930s, increasing to 12 percent, where it remained until the early 1960s.[4]

As Chart 1 shows, the state dependency rate has risen significantly over the past half-century, espe­cially since the introduction of Medicaid in 1965. The only period with a distinct decline is the Reagan years, when it fell from a peak of 33 percent during the Carter Administration to 25 percent by the end of the 1980s.

Chart 2 shows Medicaid spending as a percent­age of total state expenditures since 1970, further underscoring Medicaid’s role in driving the rise in state spending over the past decades.


Moreover, as states become more dependent on federal funding, they begin to lose their ability to set priorities and make policy decisions that are best-suited to their specific needs. Federal aid to states streamlines how states spend money and, consequently, how they collect their revenues. Fed­eral aid also makes it increasingly difficult for the states to pursue different fiscal policies based on the demographic, political, and other preferences of their residents.

On top of this, the spending on state–federal joint ventures blurs the lines of accountability between federal and state lawmakers. Voters find it increasingly difficult to determine whom to hold responsible.


Federal funds weaken incentives to restrain health care consumption. The public sees these services as “free,” which leads to an open-ended demand through programs such as Medicaid and SCHIP.

Federal aid to states also distorts incentives for state legislators. They are given a reason to expand their spending—usually unwisely—to meet Wash­ington’s priorities and to maximize federal aid. Together with blurred accountability and the dis­torted consumer incentives, this perpetuates and aggravates state and individual dependence on fed­eral funds.

Read that here.

From 2% to Federal Funding infusing nearly 45% into South Dakota’s budget in less than a century. People are calling for more and more. But at what cost?

There was a tremendous debate over South Dakota’s implementation of Obamacare, which we rejected as much as we could. The latest debate is over whether we should expand Medicaid, which we’ve resisted to date. The next one coming will likely be implementation for Obama’s college entitlement plan.

Where should the point be where we say “no?”

12 thoughts on “Free! Free! Free from the Federal Government. Of course we all like free stuff. But when do we say no?”

  1. Where should the point be where we say “no?”

    If Conservative, just before you lose your liberty.
    If Republican, just before you lose your sovereignty.

  2. It’s not free. The assertion that it is amounts to a lie. There ain’t no such thing as a free lunch – or free tuition, or free health care, or free anything. Somebody is going to pay for it.

    The people who will pay for it are most often the people who think they’re getting it for “free” – although perhaps that payment will be deferred until the debt we’re incurring causes a general collapse, in which case it may be their children and/or grandchildren. But it will be the middle class and working poor who pay.

    Regardless, a government that is $17-18 trillion in debt can’t afford to be offering more middle-class welfare.

  3. The Republican-controlled Congress will never pay for this.
    Notice the term “community college,” not “university.”
    More likely the plan will be an unfunded mandate from the Dept of Education that local school districts will have to provide K-14 education instead of K-12.

    We should hold Mike Rounds to his campaign promise to eliminate the DOE

    1. agreed about the republican response. why didn’t potus freebie unveil this six years ago or four years ago? because he already had harry reid to bottle up republicans in both houses. now he’s setting off a series of landmines on the road forward for the new republican congress. he could give a crap about anyone’s level of free education. it’s the next faux crisis.

  4. This is just Obama’s first step to free college education for everyone, just like Obamacare was his first step to universal free health care. The only problem is that the so-called free stuff (from Obama’s stash) is not free because it has to be paid for somehow. JUST SAY NO!!!! And say it LOUDLY!!

    I think it is also part of Obama’s strategy to use freebies to garner votes from the younger generation, and to paint the GOP as the party of no which doesn’t want to help people.

    1. Spot on, Springer. A big concern is that if people don’t have to pay for it (how they see it in their mind) they are going to be less concerned about doing well. This is typical, and liberals can squawk all they want about opportunity, but if someone doesn’t have any “skin in the game” they are more apt to abuse the system. Look at state-paid health care. Do you think that those who don’t have to pay a dime for their care are more or less likely to bring their kid to the emergency room if he or she sneezes? I’d say more.

      I think that anyone who gets this “free” tuition should have to pay something back in additional taxes so that they understand that there will come a time when they will have to reimburse the rest of us for their “free” education.

    1. $%$#@! You beat me to it! Education has enough problems right now. We graduate students unready for the world, whether it be for work or to go to college. What do you think 2 years of CC are going to do? I suspect it will get people ready to go to college.

  5. This is a horrible idea for a number of reasons. First: look at what federal backing of loans has done to cost. It has caused outrageous rent-seeking behavior from institutes of higher learning, skyrocketing the cost of education and leaving today’s graduates unable to get home loans because of astronomical income to debt ratios. Anyone wondering why the housing market is still so bleak despite the economy’s improvements?

    Second, because schools have such enormous financial incentives to keep people in college, it is decreasingly acting as a sorting mechanism for tomorrow’s leaders and is graduating, calling a spade a spade, more idiots. And this is coming from the same damn president whose last budget proposal wanted to yank out vast amounts of funding from the PSLF program and apply it retroactively when people had already taken out enormous sums of money based on promises the program made to them.

    His education policy is, at best, schizophrenic.

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