Make college affordable
How to afford a college education: take a risk, shop around, borrow money from your parents, says Mitt Romney.
That formula works well if your parents have $70,000 they don’t need for groceries, housing, clothing and health care. But that advice rings hollow to folks who have trouble making ends meet in a weak economy that didn’t begin just four years ago.
If Romney’s suggestion had been my only option in 1967, I would have followed my father into the South Carolina cotton mills. I would be unemployed since those mills no longer exist.
I was fortunate. National Defense Student Loans were available for kids like me who wanted to go to college but lacked funds. My parents helped — co-signed loans, prodded us to make grades, sent what they could afford. But without federal help, a college degree would have been out of reach.
We’ve lost sight of the value of making college affordable to all but the well-heeled. We’ve lost touch with the value of education and dedicated teachers. Consider the number of teachers who lost jobs in recent government cutbacks.
Romney and Republican allies claim to be in touch with the American people, but his lack of understanding about how any but the wealthiest of citizens struggle to make ends meet puts him so far beyond the reality of most of us that he might as well be on another planet.
Perhaps he is.
Having lived my life in Texas and Oklahoma and having many dear Republican friends, I remain confused with the politics. Both states are solidly Republican, voted in by vast majority. Observing this track record, here are four reasons to vote Republican:
1. Desire for Congress to do nothing. In 2010, we sent many Republicans to Congress and nothing got done. Instead of governing, there was much blocking by these “hot button-issue” candidates, focused only on their particular issue.
2. Wanting the rich to get richer and the poor poorer. Tax burdens fall on the middle class and poor because of belief in trickle-down economics, a failed strategy. If we quit protecting the wealthy from taxes, we could balance the budget.
3. Education of our children is not a priority. Our governor continues to play with teachers’ retirement funds and the (Texas) Congress voted to reduce education money.
4. The environment is low in priority. Republicans voted against all bills to help the Earth recover from poisons in the air, water, soil and our bodies.
Futures of grandchildren and our planet have not been considered.
President Bush inherited a surplus budget from Clinton, but built up the biggest deficit in history with Republicans ruling Congress.
Why do we continue to send people to Congress who are conservative? Are they really serving us well?