Where do politicians get the idea that they can spend their way out of a recession? Maybe from the universities they incubate from. Case in point: George Washington University, which by virtue of its location in Washington, D. C. and reputation is a feeder line for presidential administrations, particularly during the Clinton years, profoundly influences federal policy.
Currently, with university donations that went overwhelmingly to the President and his Secretary of State, that influence shows no signs of ebbing, to put it mildly. “The University plans to increase its investment in research and academic programs by an additional $60 million each year for the next five years in its quest to become a top-tier institution, University President Steven Knapp announced Friday morning,” Lauren French reported in the GW Hatchet Online. “Speaking at the University’s Board of Trustees meeting, Knapp said the $60 million would come from fundraising and multi-million dollar savings from changes to the University’s administrative and academic functions to be brainstormed by a new Innovation Task Force.”
“The University receives about $60 million every year from its endowment, and Knapp said the additional $60 million would allow the University to ‘effectively double the endowment’s impact’ without having to wait to double the endowment itself.” Change the millions to billions or even trillions and you have the U. S. government’s formula for success for saving health care, the auto industry, banks, real estate, fill in the blank.
Malcolm A. Kline is the executive director of Accuracy in Academia.