Colleges and universities have been overcharging students and taxpayers for decades.
When I tell college students today that during my first year at the University of Tennessee tuition was $90 a quarter, gasps go through the room.
Students used to be able to work part time and pay their way through college, and it should still be that way today. Almost no one left college in debt in the1960’s and early 1970’s, but today almost everyone does.
If I went to any college campus and told those students that the Federal Student Loan Program is one of the worst things that ever happened to them, they would stare at me probably in disbelief. And yet it really is one of the worst things that ever happened to them, because throughout our history, college tuition and fees went up very, very slowly, and went up at the rate of inflation or even less until that loan program came in.
Now, tuition and fees are three or four or five-hundred percent higher than they would have been if we'd just left the thing totally alone.
The only way to get college costs down is to reduce federal loans at colleges and universities that do not hold their increases to the rate of inflation or less.
No Child Left Behind
In 2001, I was the only Member of the Tennessee Congressional delegation to vote against the No Child Left Behind law. It has turned out to be one of my most popular votes, especially with Tennessee teachers.
This law was a tremendous over-reach by the federal government to address failed school systems in some of our Nation’s biggest cities, and it was definitely not needed in the schools of East Tennessee.