by Kim Ward
Bernie’s “Free College for All” bill says that states will be paying 33% of that cost and if they do not, then they will not get the 67% that will be paid by the federal government. Why is he saying that Wall Street will pay for it? Even if Wall Street’s financial products and transactions are taxed enough to cover part of the funding, we cannot FORCE the states to pay their share and accept the federal funding. If you live in a red state, you are out of luck because they will opt out of paying their share, just like they opted out of the ACA. Bernie lied about the weakness in his plan. He simplified it as “free tuition” to lure in the millennials. But considering how K-12 education is funded, there is no reason to believe he will keep his word to tax Wall Street for education when historically, this burden has been thrown back to the taxpayers in the form of hiked up property taxes.
If Bernie is so concerned about education, why isn’t he addressing the whole system, including the important developmental years that prepare children for college? Republicans take money away from K-12 public school funds all the time. State by state, the education budget is always the first to get raided when tightening purse strings. They are constantly pitching privatization in order to create a price-gauging private industry, which ironically is more costly than expanding public schools. Why should our taxes go to a middle man and exorbitant CEO salaries? Charter schools reject students who struggle academically, creating a caste system within the school districts. Why didn’t Bernie figure out a tax plan to cover that cost first so teachers are not starved out of their profession and schools get what they need? Because his target voters, inexperienced millennials, don’t have school-age children yet, and are focused on their own personal problems at the expense of the rest of society. While President Obama and Hillary Clinton are viewing the future of publicly funded education as kindergarten-through-college by addressing the cost of tuition in increments, starting with forgiving some debts and lowering tuition and interest rates, Bernie is cherry-picking public college tuition only, and gambling on his ability to get an obstructive Congress to finance it through taxes that don’t exist yet.
My property taxes are itemized, and 33% already goes directly to schools. If Bernie’s plan to tax Wall Street falls through, the burden of funding his college plan will be shifted to homeowners who are a range of generations older than the millennials lining up for free college. How many of us will be pressured to refinance our homes or even have to sell them, if the property taxes are raised? Many of these kids have never seen a paycheck and have no idea what is taken out of it already. They plan to eventually own a home, and will be stunned to find out that the money they saved on tuition is going to be taken from them in a myriad of other ways, and it will be taken for the rest of their lives. Four years of free school up front, for a lifetime of higher taxes on the back end- does that sound like a reasonable deal?
The people have been conned. The middle class simply cannot afford Bernie’s free stuff. It’s unlikely to make it through the gridlock of Congress, anyway. If Bernie is the nominee, he will not be funding down-ticket Democrats, and will not be able to get the votes to support his plans. Republicans will crush every bill he puts forth. You think they don’t like the ACA? Wait until he tries his Medicare for All plan. Hillary has a healthcare plan that will work, as it builds on the success of President Obama’s plan. She has outlined her method of paying for it, which more reasonably calls for closing loopholes that the rich use to evade taxes. There is no way they can shift that burden to the middle class because it isn’t a tax. She has made a solemn promise to the middle class that she will NOT raise OUR taxes. I don’t want to pay for putting Donald Trump’s family through college or pay for his healthcare. Bernie doesn’t make such distinctions in his plans, but Hillary very clearly cuts the rich off from receiving assistance they don’t need, and she is not afraid to ratify this legislation at the federal level to protect it from the poor judgment of red state leadership. She is the candidate who is truly the representative of the people. Hillary has the vision to make the best plans for us, and the courage to deliver on them. #ImWithHer