President Obama said in his State of the Union Address that he is putting colleges on notice to lower costs. A few days later, he spoke to students at the University of Michigan, with a promise of more federal aid. Politicians claim they can make college affordable. No They Can't!
In the last 30 years, inflation is up 160%, but tuition costs are up 750%.
It's because colleges have no incentive to cut prices when students can get money from government. Federal aid, adjusted for inflation, increased from 32 billion in 1987, to 169 billion in 2010.
Government tells us, "Here's the gap between what you can afford and what the college is charging, we will now make up that gap. And then the college just inches up the tuition a little bit higher," says Naomi Riley author of The Faculty Lounges: and Other Reasons Why You Won't Get the College Education You Paid For.
Colleges don't use all or even most of that money in the classroom. We were stunned at the gyms and dining halls that serve lobster and sushi. Check out the University of Missouri, which is proud of its spa, rock climbing wall and "Tiger Grotto" - an elaborate pool complex.
Government creates perverse incentives. Colleges compete on prestige and luxury amenities, not their price tag. Administrators don't worry about high tuition costs because their customers have government subsidies.
- NO THEY CAN'T
This Week's Show -- July 10, 2014
CENSORSHIP AT CBS: Investigative reporter Sharyl Attkisson has a similar story. She explains why she left CBS after it became "harder and harder to get stories on television" that criticized this government and "any powers that be."
IS STOSSEL BIASED?: Years ago, journalist Howard Kurtz criticized me for not being objective. I said it's impossible for any journalist to be completely objective. Now that Howard Kurtz is on Fox, we debate again.
THE OBJECTIVITY MYTH: Andrew Kirell of Mediaite.com says, "every journalist has a point of view and they don't just magically check it the minute they walk in the newsroom door."
NEW MEDIA: Reason TV's Remy Munasifi uses music videos and parodies to complain about things like politicians' spending. One of his latest parodies highlights the scandal surrounding the VA hospitals. Munasifi discusses his videos, which have gone viral on YouTube.
RETRO REPORT: It's great there's a new media organization called Retro Report, which reveals media hype of the past ("crack babies," America's landfill "crisis," the "superpredator," etc.) and corrects stories everyone in the media got wrong. I discuss the new show with its executive producer, Kyra Darnton.
REAL OR FAKE?: Sometimes people in the media say things that are so bizarre, you'd think they were made up. Kennedy of The Independents quizzes FoxBusiness.com's Kate Rogers, Fox Business host Charles Payne and me to see if any of us can tell which quotes are real, and which were made up by my staff.
MY TAKE: I used to report on lots of scares. CBS even ran an ad for me where someone called me a "guardian angel."
That's bunk. The only guardian angel is a free and open society. That's what allows innovation, gives people longer lives, and lifts billions out of poverty. But these gradual improvements aren't newsworthy. Scares and disaster make the news.
News is broken not just because we're biased but because most good and important news happens slowly.
9PM ET on Fox Business Network