April 15, 2004

TUITION

I saw an AP article with the intriguing title Iraq War Proves Thorny Issue for Kerry. What struck me was this unrelated paragraph towards the end:

During his day on campus, Kerry promoted his plan to give a free college education to students who agree to public service. He said he would pay for it using $13 million that banks earn for issuing government-backed student loans.

Huh? So I decided to check it out. First I found a little more info in the original article from Iowa:

Kerry proposed the "Service for College" initiative to help make college affordable and strengthen America's security. According to this initiative, for two years of service to the United States, every young person can earn the equivalent of the state's four-year public college tuition. Students could also get two years of college tuition in exchange for one year of service.

"It is great because it offers tuition to students and at the same time helps out the whole country by getting students involved in service like AmeriCorps, Peace Corps or the military," Schoenthal-Muse said.

We already have that for the military: it's called ROTC. Still not satisfied that I understood exactly what Kerry is proposing, I went right to the link at his website.

Now, I was a little disgusted when I read the opening paragraph

On September 11th, 2001, America experienced the most terrible and deadly attack in its history. Yet, President Bush's response was to call on Americans to wait in long lines at airports, go shopping, or wrap their windows in plastic.

which has nothing at all to do with education, but somehow Kerry ties it in to making our nation stronger by calling on young people to get into public service. I don't know what that has to do with 9/11 or the jab at Bush, but whatever.

So I finally got to the pdf file of his proposal, and I see that he's offering

a simple deal to hundreds of thousands of America's young people: If you will serve for two years in one of America's toughest and most important jobs, we will pay for four years of tuition at the typical public university. Young people will also be able to use their educational awards to pay off student loans if they have already finished college or to enter job training, start a small business, or buy a first home.

Forget for a moment the big question of where the money will come from to implement this plan and focus on some fine print. My big question is whether you get a salary while you're doing your two years of service. Are those two years done for no money and then you just get tuition at the end, or do you make some sort of salary for the service in addition to the college tuition? That's a big difference, and it's not addresed.

If you're working and making a salary for two years, plus you get free college, then that's a lot of money that has to materialize out of nowhere. I'm nowhere near competent in economics or business (wish the husband were here), but this sounds fishy to me.

Does anyone else understand how this could work?

Posted by: Sarah at 09:45 AM | Comments (4) | Add Comment
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April 05, 2004

VANDALS

I've said before that I think many on the Left use the empty Support Our Troops claim to soften the blow when they rally against President Bush. (Others just say what they really mean.) Most of the time I doubt their sincerity, because you can't fully support the troops without understanding them. So I wasn't that surprised when I found this today on LGF:

Sometime overnight, someone used yellow spray paint to write “Kill Bush” on a section of the memorial where names of local veterans are displayed on a sloping wall. The same slogan, along with others, was repeated on the back of the memorial.

A lot of people will do whatever it takes to get their point across, even if it comes to vandalizing something as significant as a veteran's memorial. As long as word gets out that Bush is evil. I've come to expect this from the Left, and it really makes me sad.

Comments of some others who stopped by the memorial Saturday morning are unfit for publishing in a family newspaper.

I wish I could have met and talked to those people.

Posted by: Sarah at 02:43 AM | Comments (6) | Add Comment
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