Why I am against the cuts to UK higher education: Tuition fees with big sticker prices hurt the working class, not the middle class. Middle class families will figure out how to work the system, while working class families take one look at the sticker price and figure there's no way they can afford that. Yes, debt distorts the life-chances of all but the most affluent, but the middle class will pony up. You'll see.
Also, to UK commentators who seem to have no clue how US higher ed actually works: So-called "private" colleges and universities in the United States still receive an important indirect public subsidy. They receive tax breaks if (as all the reputable ones are) they are registered non-profit organizations, and everybody, for-profit and non-profit alike, qualifies for federally-backed student loan money. (This, by the way, is the US version of the for-profit scandal. Why should the student loan system subsidize some corporation's capitalist accumulation?)
By the way, you shouldn't be using the THE rankings to assess anything about universities in the US, most especially not undergraduate education. Harvard ain't Cambridge. Most SLACs and regional institutions, where the best undergraduate teaching happens, do not appear on the list because their primary mission is teaching, not research. That said, I am a liberal arts college graduate and would be the first to line up in support of the foundation of a real US-style liberal arts college in the UK. (But New College of the Humanities ain't it.)