"Free". You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means. They pay out the ass in taxes for that "free" education and over the course of their career, they'll pay more money than if they just took out loans and paid for it themselves. But sure, keep using the word "free" for things paid for via taxes.
You know what else you get for all those taxes? A work/life balance, health care, retirement, and a lot of other benefits.
Seriously, this excuse that Americans "save" money by paying for everything individually is crap. You pay federal taxes, state taxes, sales taxes (you have now taxed me three times for each dollar spent, thanks). I have to work out my tax liability myself, unlike the Germans, who get a government estimate. Then I pay for half of my health care premiums on top of that. Since Obamacare, premiums have gone up for me and coverage has gone down, so I pay more money for each non-wellcare doctor's visit. (And then taxes on top of that.) I get two weeks of vacation a year (which I will be unofficially penalized at work if I actually use all of it) and no paternity leave.
Let's not forget the 401K that constitutes the entirety of my retirement savings, since pensions no longer exist for younger workers in the US. (They are even taking them away for older workers now!) I also have no paid retirement health care (a future financial concern for me), so that will be an out of pocket expense too. And, on top of all that, I have to pay for college out of pocket and save for my childrens' potential college costs (and who knows if they will even want to go).
So, explain to me again how paying a 50% tax rate instead of a 25% tax rate saves me money in the long run. I still have to pay for the same things, but they are future expenses with unknown costs that will definitely be higher than an additional 25% of my tax rate.