cost of University in the States.

So the common figure cited is that in the states a bachelors degree is worth about a million dollars over a lifetime of earning. I understand that there could be flaws with that figure because it may not take into account inflation, the cost of school and lost wages if you had been working for the 4 years instead of going to school…BUT, am I missing something by saying that it makes economic sense for a government to pay the full cost of a students college because they would assume to get somewhere between 20-40% of that million dollars (or whatever that figure is) return in taxes?
I’m sure someone has done all this research, but if I’m right then it’s a very good investment for the state to encourage as many people as possible to go to University, and to pay for all of it (up to say 100,000USD)…It seems really short-sighted to cut University funding (i.e. make students pay more).
So why are governments doing this? Is it purely a short-sighted, near-term political “ploy” or am I really missing something in the figures?

This just occurred to me a few days ago since I have been thinking about college (in case I don’t get to stick around Italy)…I’m sure this idea has been covered to exhaustion…I’ve just never seen any discussion on it.

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