When you budget – it’s all about priorities. Yes – it will cost the government an extra $70 billion a year. Allowing the Bush tax cuts for the rich to expire will bring in more than $80 billion a year. We can find more than $70 billion a year in “wasteful spending” at the Pentagon – absolutely. There is something very wrong about a country that says … “get as much education as you can afford” like Mitt Romney has said (source). College students shouldn’t have to be forever in debt because they want to get the best education possible; I realize conservatives call that socialism but I do not subscribe to the “I’ve got mine, you get yours” Ayn Rand philosophy being preached by conservatives.
I take issue with anyone who thinks America isn’t exceptional enough to make college available for every American; the question isn’t whether it is possible financially …. the question is whether or not it is possible politically. An education isn’t welfare. Today’s students are tomorrow’s taxpayers and if we don’t make a college level education more readily available to all Americans … America will not be prepared for the next generation economy.
Andrew Ross says we can do this HERE:
On a rough estimate, it would only take $70 billion of the federal budget to cover the tuition costs at every two- and four-year public college. This happens to be the sum the Pentagon wastes annually in “unaccountable spending,” according to a recent audit, a testimony to how skewed our national priorities have become.
He talks about the costs for those unable to pay for college:
On one of my campus visits, a student told me that her father had been laid off, and the family had fallen behind in its mortgage payments. A cosigner of her loans, her father had also been using home equity loans to pay some of her college bills. That source of credit was now closed off, and the family’s balance sheets were deep in negative territory. At the same time, her parents were landed with some of her grandmother’s hospital bills. The student had considered dropping out. Instead, she had turned to her two credit cards to fund her degree, opening up yet another door for creditors to come knocking. Fading fast were the college dreams of her younger sister, a recent high-school graduate who was about to join her mother on payroll at their local Walmart Supercenter to help tide over the family.
And then there was this news today HERE:
Today, Governor Jerry Brown signed a monumental set of bills that create the nation’s first free online textbook library, an effort aimed at alleviating the burden of rising costs to students attending California’s public postsecondary institutions. California is now set to become the nation’s first state to create a digital textbook library free of charge for the state’s most popular college courses, says the 20 Million Minds Foundation.
Pew just conducted a study finding a record 19% of American households now have student loan debt HERE:
About one out of five (19%) of the nation’s households owed student debt in 2010, more than double the share two decades earlier1 and a significant rise from the 15% that owed such debt in 2007, just prior to the onset of the Great Recession, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of newly available government data.
The Pew Research analysis also finds that a record 40% of all households headed by someone younger than age 35 owe such debt, by far the highest share among any age group.
It also finds that, whether computed as a share of household income or assets, the relative burden of student loan debt is greatest for households in the bottom fifth of the income spectrum, even though members of such households are less likely than those in other groups to attend college in the first place.
That should be a SIN. It should be a Scarlet Letter on the forehead of our country. It doesn’t have to be this way; we can afford this … it is just all about priorities.
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