Hillary Clinton mounted a novel attack on Bernie Sanders’ free college proposal during the last CNN debate: Republican governors will have to pay for a portion of tuition. Whereas in previous debates, she’d countered that under her proposal, costs would be cut, student debt would be reduced and higher education shouldn’t be completely free, Clinton now takes this very strange new tack:
Republican governors will have to pay for a quarter of the cost? Sacre bleu! Is the objection a defense of red states or is it some odd inference that red states do not provide free college? If it’s the latter, then we know for a fact that it just isn’t the case that GOP governors don’t subsidize state college tuition in their states: they all do and it is hardly a new thing.
Several different programs across the country could show us how to get every high school student the option of free community college.
[…] But thousands of high school graduates have just started community college for free, with the first batch enrolled in independent first-year programs in Tennessee, Chicago and soon Oregon doing so under different price tags and philosophies – offering templates of how a federal program might look and potential glitches.
That said, do red states like Wisconsin try to do away with publicly funded education? You bet! Scott Walker has been attacking public higher education through his state budget in many ways, but Wisconsin still offers in-state tuition to its residents at its universities and low tuition costs at its community colleges.
Hillary Clinton, when you listen to her answers in any given debate, always leaves it up to the states to decide whether and how to implement policies enacted at the federal level. This not only runs counter to the current views and wishes of democratic voters, but it perpetuates the oppression by states in the Deep South ever since the end of the civil war, through the granting of states’ rights. American citizens should have equal access to benefits granted under federal law. This should be as true of the minimum wage, healthcare and, now, free higher education.
How crazy is Sanders’ proposal? It is wicked smart and, as the senator says at every opportunity he has, it is a necessity. Today’s bachelor’s degree is yesteryear’s high school diploma. Whether we are talking about a vocational degree at a community college or a four-year degree, high school graduates absolutely need one or the other in order to succeed. In addition, also as Sanders very often points out, if most nations on earth manage to educate their own and guarantee healthcare, then damn straight America should finally get on board and do the right thing.
“As my father used to say, if somebody promises you something for free, read the fine print…”
What a strange thing to say… Who was she accusing Sanders of cheating, and of what? Hillary Clinton seems to spend far too much time reliving her Goldwater Girl youth and applying the racially-tinged Goldwaterite logic and ethic her conservative father seems to have inculcated in her and her brother. She’s a Democrat now, and democrats have long fought for and believed in the right to healthcare and a good education.
As for those poor Republican governors? Let them object! Let them grumble! Let Congress show all states that they can no longer oppress through states’ rights. As Senator Sanders said in his ABC This Week interview on Sunday:
“I am trying to lead this country in a different direction. What Secretary Clinton just told you is, well, yes, if the state does it, I’ll sign the bill. But I want to lead that effort, not just follow.”
The power of the executive, through the presidency, is about national leadership. A political revolution is what we must achieve by re-balancing a distribution of power that has been co-opted.
Note: YouTube has been removing what few recordings of the last Democratic debate were uploaded. Should this link no longer work, please let me know.