back to top

ROBERT L. MARONIC: Harvard Is A Leech Of The Worst Kind

Merriam-Webster defines a leech as “any of numerous carnivorous or bloodsucking [my emphasis] usually freshwater annelid worms (class Hirudinea) that have typically a flattened lanceolate segmented body with a sucker at each end.”

On August 9, Yahoo Finance reported that Harvard University had urged its graduate students last April to apply for SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) or food stamps to supplement their stipends and financial aid. Why this news about Harvard resurfaced last month I highly suspect coincided with the start of the fall semester and not a slow news week.

However, what is astounding is that Harvard has a huge tax free endowment of $53.2 billion making it the wealthiest university in the world. I cannot begin to imagine what the university’s return on investment is every year, which I estimate to be at least $2.1 billion (4%).

The university’s endowment is so immense that it is greater than the gross domestic product (GDP) of such countries as Sudan ($51.6 billion) and Jordan ($47.4 billion) along with 119 others according to the World Bank (2022). If Harvard were a country, its GDP would unbelievably rank as the eighty-eighth highest in the world.

It would clearly appear that this elite Ivy League university has become a leech of the worst kind while the U.S. taxpayer has become its unwitting host and chump.

I strongly suspect that if Harvard has been urging its graduate students to apply for SNAP, then mostly all the other nearly 4,300 (2018) “degree-granting postsecondary institutions” in the U.S. have been doing likewise. I also suspect that SNAP usage by both graduate and undergraduate students has been occurring to a lesser or similar degree since the 1980s.

According to my own Google research, what was interesting was that none of the U.S. mainstream media such as The New York Times, CBS and CNN ever covered this story either last month or April because it was probably not considered revelatory or newsworthy. That also included such conservative media outlets as the New York Post and Newsmax but not Fox News.

As I searched on Google using the two keywords “Harvard, SNAP” the only exception was MSN, which was the twentieth in my search results. However, two British newspapers, the Daily Mail and Daily Express (US), reported the story.

The Daily Mail succinctly observed that “Harvard has some 21,766 graduate students. If the university were to sacrifice 1/50th of its $53.2 billion endowment, it could, in theory, pay each student $48,883 – a nearly $9,000 increase over their current stipends of $40,0000.” Problem solved.

In my opinion, Harvard is both a disgrace and leech of the worst bloodsucking kind for encouraging its students to apply for SNAP when its huge endowment of $53.2 billion easily makes it the wealthiest university in the world.

I strongly believe that Harvard is just the tip of the iceberg for U.S. universities, colleges and other postsecondary institutions, which probably all have encouraged both their undergraduate and graduate students since the 1980s to apply for SNAP and leech off the U.S. taxpayers in order to supplement their underfunded financial aid and food insecurity. The Daily Mail commonsensical recommendation cited above is most likely not going to happen.

Therefore, Congressman Ben Cline (R-VA) needs to introduce legislation requiring the federal government to bill annually every college, university and postsecondary institution regardless of endowment whenever their students receive SNAP. The students should also be given full anonymity in order to prevent any retaliatory reduction in their financial aid.

The Department of Agriculture should then publish online how much each college or university is annually billed so that U.S. taxpayers know exactly how their taxes are being spent until reimbursement to the U.S. Treasury.

Perhaps public shaming will convince some postsecondary institutions such as Harvard to provide the necessary financial aid to their students? If all else fails, I recommend placing an annual 1% tax on their bloated endowments if they exceed $25 million, and significantly increasing that tax if their annual increase in tuition and fees exceeds the inflation rate.

After all, our national debt is quickly approaching $33 trillion, our gross domestic product (GDP) is barely $27 trillion, our federal debt to GDP ratio is a most worrisome 122.02%, our credit card debt is at a record all-time high of $1.03 trillion, and we pay over a whopping $673 billion in yearly interest (net), which is quickly approaching our annual defense spending of $793.4 billion.

– Robert L. Maronic

Latest Articles

- Advertisement -Fox Radio CBS Sports Radio Advertisement

Latest Articles

- Advertisement -Fox Radio CBS Sports Radio Advertisement

Related Articles