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Santorum: Obama’s Plan For Higher Education Is About ‘Indoctrination’

By Pat Garofalo  

"Santorum: Obama’s Plan For Higher Education Is About ‘Indoctrination’"

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Earlier this month, 2012 GOP presidential hopeful Rick Santorum accused President Obama of “elitist snobbery” for wanting every American to go to college. Now that Obama laid out more details of his vision for higher education in the State of the Union, Santorum is taking his rhetoric a step further, claiming that Obama’s desire to see all Americans obtain a college degree is about “indoctrination“:

It’s no wonder President Obama wants every kid go to go college,” Santorum said Wednesday in Florida, according to CBS News. “The indoctrination that occurs in American universities is one of the keys to the left holding and maintaining power in America. And it is indoctrination. If it was the other way around, the ACLU would be out there making sure there wasn’t one penny of government dollars going to colleges and universities, right?”

Actually, universal access to higher education is about building a stronger economy. The United States used to have the world’s highest percentage of college graduates, but we’ve plummeted to 14th in recent decades, as more and more younger Americans eschew the degrees that earlier generations pursued. According to the National Center on Public Policy and Education, just 35 percent of 18-to-24-year-olds were enrolled in some form of higher education in 2008, compared to more than 50 percent of South Koreans.

And its no secret that those with higher degrees earn more. According to the Lumina Foundation, “Since 1975, the average earnings of high school dropouts and high school graduates fell in real terms (by 15 percent and 1 percent, respectively) while those of college graduates rose by 19 percent.” In 2009, the median annual income of a young college-educated person was $45,000 while a young person with just a high school diploma made $21,000.

Santorum may see this as indoctrination, but those earning more, spending more in the economy, and raising their quality of life through higher education, likely see their degree as something worth having.

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