Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Count Me Out On College Bonds

My objections are three-fold. One is the way about half the money is being used to allegedly "pay off" old debt, and the other is that many of the new projects will be used to expand capacity beyond what our economy is able to absorb. The third objection is that we have ample cash on hand to meet higher eds true qualitative improvement needs without new debt.

Only $150 million of the $250 million bond money would go into new projects. $100 million would be put in a fund and invested in the hopes that the investments make enough to pay off previous bonds as they come due. There are no guarantees our returns will be high enough to make that profitable. Why pay interest and fund management fees when we have a surplus? Why not just pay the bonds off as they come due, since you can't pay them off early anyway? Some fund manager is going to make a ton of state government money off of this. I’d rather the people kept their money.

The focus of the spending should be on increasing the quality of the university system rather than expanding its capacity. It’s a mistake to go into debt to over-expand your higher-ed capacity beyond the quality jobs available. You have to start with making the general business climate in the state more favorable. The key to that is to cut taxes, over-regulation, and public debt. Once the jobs are here, it will power the economy. Money to expand the education system capacity will follow. If you start by expanding the capacity of the University System beyond availability of the good jobs, all you are going to do is subsidize the economies of Dallas and Chicago. Our college graduates would have to go there to get good jobs. We in Arkansas would provide the training costs, and those other places would reap the benefits.

Lastly, we don't need to use debt. In December, the project they talked about the most was the E-corridor. They said we needed the bonds to build the E-corridor. A week after the people voted the bonds down the first time the U of A Fayetteville announced they had the money to do it anyway. They ‘found’ $6.4 million of the $10 million or so needed to wire the whole state system. I think the same thing will happen with many of these projects. Let’s say “no” to the bonds, get the higher ed system about half of that $150 million from using about 10% of the surplus and some of our General Improvement Fund money. Then the people will have no new debt, no fund management fees, and no new interest payments. The colleges can pick the projects they think are most important.

13 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

That's right. Universities will "find" the money by raising tuition on students like me. Who needs higher education anyway, right? An educated citizenry would eradicate the usefulness of fear and hatred. And that's bad for America.

8:14 AM, October 24, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So, the taxpayers of Arkansas- most of whom don't have higher education degrees- should have to pay for your tuition so you can get a tertiary education in underwater basket weaving?

Roll up your sleeves and pay for it yourself, whiner. Keep your hands out of my pockets.

9:13 AM, October 24, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rasmussen has a new poll showing Beebe up by 8 points -- Beebe 49 Hutchinson 41. Care to tell us why this one is wrong, since according to you, every poll except the Zogby internet polls have been wrong.

www.mysterypollster.com

12:18 PM, October 24, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

9:13

Underwater basket weaving? Awww... is the dummy upset with him lot in life? Hmm? Is him upset?

(Grammatical errors are purposeful and meant to add to the condescending nature of my reply)

12:23 PM, October 24, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I thoroughly enjoy my "lot in life," except for the part where I have to pay exorbitant taxes so that, among other things, liberals like yourself can spend 10 years playing "college" at the public's expense, all the while lecturing "ignorant" folk like me about how "hateful" we are for not enjoying the "privilege" of paying for your expenses.

1:39 PM, October 24, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It takes 10 years to go to college? When did that happen??

2:13 PM, October 24, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

When you stopped paying for it yourself.

3:04 PM, October 24, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

??

I finished a four year degree in four years. Crazy huh?

Would you agree that an educated population is crucial to Arkansas' success in the job market? Mr. Holt and Hutchinson's FANTASTIC jobs aren't going to come anywhere near AR if we have an uneducated citizenry. And by the way, liberal is not a dirty word. Some examples of dirty words could be: pedophile, crook, Foley, Hastert, bigot, so on and so forth...

3:12 PM, October 24, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sure, an educated populace is imporant. But there's no reason I should have to pay for your college degree. Crazy huh, that you'd have to pay for your own choices in life?!

3:28 PM, October 24, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Screw your fellow man. Is that the attitude?

5:07 PM, October 24, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Only a whiney liberal socialist feels like he's getting mistreated when he has to pay for his own things. After all, why should you spend your own money when you can use the government to steal money from us, right?

5:35 PM, October 24, 2006  
Blogger Mark Moore (Moderator) said...

Didn't you read the guy's article? His point was that you had to start with the business growth FIRST, then build a higher ed structure. If you start out with the higher ed, all you will do is produce a bunch of graduates that will go out of state to find work!

6:37 PM, October 24, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was a strong supporter of the first initiative but have come to believe it is a bad idea. Colleges & universities in Arkansas are raising their tuitions at eyepopping rates each year and have huge fund balances. Let's tell them no again.

Sincerely,
A true conservative

6:39 PM, October 24, 2006  

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