Massachusetts: Punishing success and independence is our policy

The Massachusetts Board of Higher Education handles the financial-aid requirements of Bay State college students, and gets a rather hefty hunk of change from Massachusetts taxpayers each year. And in their latest move to “meet the needs” of those students, they’ve decided to screw the middle class at the expense of the neediest.

13,000 students whose families make a bit too much money, as far as the Board is concerned, and will no longer be eligible for Gilbert and Access grants, and be left high and dry. Instead, the money will go towards increasing the ceiling on grants and allowing the poorest students to get “free rides” at state schools.

I’m no expert on this sort of thing, but it seems to me that this move is a simple income-redistribution move — an attempt to raise up the poorest, while cutting at those who are just barely getting along.

To me, this is a horrid idea. The vast majority of taxes are paid by the middle class, and these grants are one of the few ways they get their money back. Instead, they see the state take more and more from them, while “punishing” them for not being dependent on the state.

A few more cynical souls have speculated that this might be tied in to the move to grant in-state tuition rates to illegal aliens. Last week the Massachusetts legislature adjourned without passing a law to do just that (after a huge hue and cry), but they could bring it back in January. Proponents say that they don’t plan to make illegal aliens eligible for scholarships, grants, loans, and other financial assistance, but believing the word of Massachusetts lawmakers when money is concerned is one of the dumbest things you can do. It’s like hiring Michael Jackson as a junior high gym coach, or having Teddy Kennedy manage your liquor store.

But hey, it’s Massachusetts. If they ever regained their sanity and acted in a decent, honorable, intelligent fashion, I’d lose about half my source material to blog about.

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  1. Boyd November 20, 2005
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