Empty Promises: The Peril of Political Pledges

Posted on Sun 20 February 2022 in The Good Fight

Barack Obama is currently championing a tax credit for college tuition, and I fervently hope that this remains nothing more than a promise, never to be realized. I recently came across an intriguing notion that a politician's primary duty is to make promises, with no obligation to actually fulfill them. So, why am I opposed to a tax credit?


One compelling argument was presented during a brief interview on my local news station. The speaker posited that this tax credit could potentially enable students to attend larger, more expensive universities. In her view, the tax credit might encourage students to allocate more funds toward education, whereas Obama's intention was to alleviate the financial burden of tuition.


In a scenario devoid of intervention, colleges would be compelled by the market to lower their prices if the cost of education became prohibitively high. The only reason we might find it necessary to implement a tax credit to facilitate access to education is if existing regulations have already disrupted this natural market mechanism.


Rather than resorting to a tax credit as a means to rectify regulatory interference, why not consider abolishing those regulations that are skewing the market in the first place? Why does addressing issues always entail the creation of more laws? Given that the market is adept at functioning autonomously, perhaps our approach to "doing something" should involve stepping aside and allowing the market to flourish independently.