Why is the Republican party attacking education?  Why are they opposed to our younger generation going to college?  The answer is simple…Democrats hold a wide advantage over Republicans with college graduates.  If you reduce the number of college educated voters, you increase the Republican constituency.

In a recent Pew Research Center survey, 58% of Republicans and conservative-leaning respondents said they felt that colleges and universities negatively affect the U.S. By comparison, only 19% of Democrats and liberal-leaning respondents felt the same way.

In 1992, 49% of college graduates preferred the GOP, while 45% affiliated with the Democratic Party. The Republican Party began to lose ground among college graduates in the second half of George W. Bush’s first term, and by 2008, the Democratic Party held a 10-point edge in leaned party affiliation among college graduates (51% to 41%). The Democratic advantage narrowed by the midterm election year of 2010, but has reemerged over the last six years.The Democratic Party currently holds a 53% to 41% advantage party identification among voters with a college degree or more.

So what better way to build your constituency than to keep them uneducated (notice I refrained from using the word “stupid”).  Republicans have complained for years that universities are bastions of liberalism filled with Communist professors who are just waiting for our simple minded children so they can fill their minds full of liberal dogma.  I don’t deny that there are liberal professors…I’m sure there are.  But I just don’t recall my Calculus or Chemistry professor going on and on about the greatness of Stalin or Castro.  And it seems like hearing opposing positions would be a good thing…it makes you THINK!!!

Getting a college degree is quite beneficial in many ways.  Over the last 40 years, the difference between the average salaries of college and high school graduates doubled from 40 percent to 80 percent while the share of low-skill jobs fell from 39 percent to 29 percent of the workforce. “The U.S. economy’s largest and fastest growing sectors—business services, finance, healthcare and education—have little room for high school educated workers,” notes a report from Georgetown University’s Center on Education and the Workforce.

But don’t take my word for it.  Just look at some of the actions of the GOP in this attack on education.  The 2012 Texas GOP Platform came out fully against teaching critical thinking skills to our school children in public schools.  Who needs these skills…certainly not the future generations of America.

Knowledge-Based Education – We oppose the teaching of Higher Order Thinking Skills (HOTS) (values clarification), critical thinking skills and similar programs that are simply a relabeling of Outcome-Based Education (OBE) (mastery learning) which focus on behavior modification and have the purpose of challenging the student’s fixed beliefs and undermining parental authority….2012 Texas GOP Platform

But that was way back in 2012.  Surely the GOP has come to it’s senses now, right?  Wrong.

The current GOP tax bill that the House of Representatives passed quite clearly continues it’s attack on education.

  1. The GOP wants to combine three separate tax credits for higher education expenses into one, and eliminate both the student loan interest deduction and tax-free tuition reimbursement from employers.  The GOP plan would repeal two of three existing tax credits: the Lifetime Learning Credit and Hope Scholarship Credit. The Lifetime Learning Credit offsets 20% of the first $10,000 of qualified education expenses—reducing your tax bill by as much as $2,000—and can be used for as many years as you want. 
  2. The GOP plan also eliminates the student loan interest deduction. Under current rules, borrowers paying off education loans can deduct up to $2,500 of interest paid on student loans.

At a time when the cost of a college education is quickly becoming out of reach for many families, the GOP has decided to make it more expensive.  It should be very clear that their plan to eliminate the teaching of critical thinking skills and reduce the chance of people getting a college education is nothing more than a drive to increase their constituency in the future.

And what will they have?  A constituency of dunces.