College-age Americans are waking up to the fact that their interests are not being protected by the politicians they helped elect. As cities and states seek to confiscate more of their citizens' wealth to fund gold-plated pension for government employees, college students are being hit with the prospect of increased fees. California has led the way with plans to impose more fees on them, where University of Californian student fees could increase by more than $2500; but other cities and states are seeking to resort to such fees, as well. The Wall Street Journal reports today that Pittsburgh is trying to play the same gambit in order to pay for munificent pension granted to government workers.
Facing big unfunded pension liabilities for city workers, Pittsburgh is proposing what appears to be a one-of-a-kind 1% tuition tax on local university and college students, who claim the tax is illegal and unfair.
More than 100 students filled Pittsburgh City Council chambers Monday morning, many bearing signs like "No Taxation Without Representation" to protest the tax, which, if passed this week, could become effective next year.
"This is going to be a double taxation of students in the city," said Daniel Jimenez, 27 years old, a Ph.D. student in neuroscience at the University of Pittsburgh, who pays property taxes on a home he bought in 2004.
The tuition tax, which would raise an estimated $16 million, threatens to drive a wedge between the city and its universities, which have been credited with fueling much of Pittsburgh's economic transformation from an industrial city to an education and medical-services center
The superb young journalist James Kirchick has noted that young people, who are usually a reliable Democratic voting bloc and who came out in droves to push Obama into the Oval Office, have plenty of reasons to feel betrayed these days.
Obama and Democrats in Congress look to impose a huge increase in their expenses on students by requiring them to buy health insurance, while the huge deficits he is creating will impose huge taxes that will penalize the young for decades to come. Obama's perceived indifference to the rights of gay people (a popular cause among the young) may also be creating a climate that may not bode well for Democrats and their tax and spend philosophy.
The French have sparred for years with college age students who have resisted and revolted against government efforts to increase their tuition and school expenses. Of course, we know that campuses in America are often cockpits for social and political protests. But this time will the protests be against Democrats? Will tea party protests be coming to a campus near you?