When it comes to public policy, killing two birds with one stone is always ideal, and some House lawmakers are trying to accomplish that goal by defunding a harmful regulation, while also reducing wasteful government spending.
A recently released House Appropriations Committee draft bill to fund the 2012 budgets of the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education takes a huge whack at an Obama Administration regulation that will inhibit thousands of Americans from attending the college or university of their choice.
The budget proposal includes a provision that prevents the Department of Education from using Federal dollars to enforce its so-called “gainful employment” rule. Defunding the rule ensures college hopefuls will have access to badly needed financial aid so they can advance their skills and careers.
An added benefit to blocking funding for this burdensome rule and other wasteful Federal programs is a $4 billion savings for taxpayers according to bill sponsors. At a time of record deficits and voter outrage at the level of profligate government spending, this is welcome news for everybody.
With stubborn unemployment and a lack of confidence in the business community, the dismissal of wasteful regulations is an added step in restoring certainty for our limping economy. Indeed, the Obama Administration has made a push as of late to reduce regulations that waste taxpayer dollars and create insecurity for business owners. The HouseAppropriations Committee proposal will reinforce what the administration has already set as a priority.
The fact is, private sector colleges and universities have begun to play a pivotal role in training a new American workforce that can compete in the global economy. It is becoming increasingly apparent that 21st Century jobs are and will be in high-tech, healthcare and business management sectors. That means an emphasis on career-focused curriculum is an essential aspect of college training so that students are prepared toenter the workforce with the specialized skills unique to their desired profession.
When looking across the spectrum of post-secondary schools, it is clear that career focused private sector institutions are tailoring programs to meet the demands of this increasingly competitive job market.
It is welcome news to see the president finally take on unemployment and start creating jobs. And the new Congressional super-committee tasked with reducing the deficit should produce some valuable and fair savings for the government. But going forward, it will be responsible budgets like the proposal put forward by the House Appropriations Committee that will put America on a path toward fiscal sanity, giving businesses the confidence toinvest and expand.
More importantly, college hopefuls will be able to go back to having access to the degree program that best fits their needs without having to worry about whether the government will interfere.
Henry Herzing is the founder and chancellor of Herzing University.