An elegant whine against taxing university endowments

From Harvard law profs Jack Goldsmith and Adrian Vermeule at the Washington Post:

Drew Gilpin Faust, the president of Harvard University, has been lobbying in Washington against a Republican proposal to tax large university endowments and make other tax and spending changes that might adversely affect universities. Faust says the endowment tax would be a “blow at the strength of American higher education” and that the suite of proposals lacks “policy logic.” Perhaps so, but they have a political logic. We hope that Harvard and other elite universities will reflect on their part in these developments.

The proposed tax and spending policies aimed at universities are surely related to the sharp recent drop in support by conservatives for colleges and universities. According to a recent Pew Research Center report, 58 percent of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents say that colleges and universities have a negative effect on the way things are going in the country, a figure that has grown significantly in the past two years. This development likely reflects four related trends.

First is the obvious progressive tilt in universities, especially elite universities. More.

Reality check: It’s really difficult for many of today’s profs to understand, isn’t it? Much of the American public opposes special tax breaks for training camps for baby fascists. And in a remarkable bid for freedom, they have started to act on that conviction. It would be nice if the mood spread to Canada.

See also: Survivor of communism wants millennials to know that communism sucks. But he doesn’t seem to understand that the millennials’ children in college will be the ones with the boots, not the faces:

Orwell: If you want a vision of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face – forever.

Share