"Free" is a word with a powerful appeal. And in the past year or so it has been tossed around a lot, followed by another word: "college."
Both Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton spent a lot of time talking about free tuition. And this week, the promise has been taken up by one of the largest public university systems in the country: New York State's.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo unveiled a proposal that would offer free tuition at state-run colleges for students from families earning less than $125,000 a year. Called the Excelsior Scholarship, his plan — which needs approval by the legislature — would grant full-rides to qualifying students as long as they attend one of the state's public two- or four-year colleges.
Cuomo's proposal, in the lexicon of "free-college" policymaking, is what's called a "last dollar" program...