Stop referring to Murphy’s plan as “free” tuition; N.J. taxpayers will foot the bill! | Rooney

By Matt Rooney

The vacationing Governor Phil Murphy’s plan for “free tuition” at New Jersey community colleges isn’t new, Save Jerseyans, but it’s no less terrible than when the idea first cropped up last fall, during the gubernatorial race. Early estimates peg the cost of the anticipated expanded program at $200 to $400 million; as we’ve previously reported, the taxpayers won’t be reimbursed if the students quit or flunk out.

That last point brings us to our yuge-est, ultimate point. Our old friend Brian McGovern (former managing editor of this site) said it best:

There’s still no such thing as a “free” lunch.

Why is the Media by and large letting Murphy get away with calling it that? Though I will give some rare credit for placing the word free in quotation marks.

“Free community college sounds great, but nothing is really free,” said State Senator Tom Kean, Jr. on Wednesday. “The Governor’s plan simply shifts $20 million of tuition costs for a handful of students to New Jersey taxpayers who are already overburdened. It’s a huge and unnecessary expense that the State cannot afford to assume.”

Again, $20 million is just the cost of the pilot.

“The Governor just told taxpayers that New Jersey is in such dire financial straits that he had to raise taxes by nearly $1.5 billion,” added Kean. “The truth is that the higher taxes Governor Murphy implemented this year on families and businesses were only necessary to fund new spending on unnecessary programs like ‘free’ community college. He hasn’t told us yet which taxes he’ll propose raising next to pay for the full cost of this scheme.”

I’ll do the good senator one better:

If this plan is so good, why did Murphy wait to announce it when he was safely 8-9 hours away by airplane, on vacation at this plush multi-million dollar Italian villa in Umbria?

He knows we’re catching on.

“Free” has never been more expensive — and wasteful — than it is in Phil Murphy’s New Jersey.

Click here for an extended discussion on the issues with this idea BEYOND cost.