Thursday, July 07, 2016

Clinton Evolves... Bernie-- And America's Working Families-- Win On Free College. Next Up: TPP


Bernie helps make Hillary more electable

Who's old enough to remember when all the crusader-rabbit liberals backing Hillary-- like this asshole-- were screaming month after month that free tuition college for in-state public institutions was impossible and insane and irresponsible to even discuss-- and nothing anyone wishing to be seen as "serious" would ever countenance? Like Virginia Slims, we've come a long way, baby.

Yesterday the I'm With Her campaign announced plans "to eliminate college tuition at in-state public colleges and universities for families with annual incomes under $125,000-- a significant nod to a core position of Senator Bernie Sanders, who had pledged to make tuition at public institutions free for all students." You go, girl! I have to admit, I'm impressed (no, for real). This is how Hillary's campaign put it:
Today, Hillary for America is announcing additional measures to her New College Compact to make debt-free college available to all American families. In addition to existing provisions such as allowing students to refinance their loans and enroll in income-based repayment plans, defending Pell Grants to let them cover some costs for living expenses and three-year student loan payment deferral for aspiring entrepreneurs, Clinton’s proposal will include a three-month moratorium for federal student loan payments, as well as a new measure to eliminate college tuition for working families.

“American families are drowning in debt caused by ever-rising college costs,” Hillary Clinton said, “and it is imperative that the next president put forward a bold plan to make debt-free college available to all. My New College Compact will do just that-- by making sure that working families can send a child or loved one to college tuition-free and by giving student debt-holders immediate relief. While Donald Trump offers little more than broken promises to get rich quick, I remain committed to ensuring that a college degree is attainable for anyone in this country with the desire and determination to earn one.”

As president, Clinton would take executive action to offer a three-month moratorium on student loan payments to all federal loan borrowers. During this period, the Department of Education would provide dedicated assistance to every borrower so they would be able to consolidate their loans, enroll in income-based repayment plans and take direct advantage of opportunities to reduce monthly interest payments and fees. Borrowers who are delinquent or in default will receive additional rehabilitation options to help them get back on their feet.

Additionally, Clinton’s plan would eliminate college tuition for working families by saying that families with income up to $125,000 will pay no tuition at in-state public colleges and universities-- which would cover more than 80 percent of all families. The plan will phase in, with families earning $85,000 a year or less immediately able to attend a four-year public college or university tuition-free upon enactment. The income threshold will increase by $10,000 a year each year over four years so that, by 2021, all students with a family income of $125,000 or less will have the opportunity to receive a college education tuition-free.

Clinton’s New College Compact is centered on two promises to American families: that costs won’t be a barrier to attending college, and that debt will not hold individuals back from achieving their goals upon completing their eduction. In addition to the proposals outlined above, it includes specific provisions to benefit Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), Hispanic Serving Institutions and other minority-serving institutions, and to support parents who are balancing earning a degree with raising a child.
So... despite Democratic Party reactionaries in Congress booing him yesterday (particularly far right corporate whore Sanford Bishop of Georgia), when he was advocating for a stronger $15 minimum wage plank and an anti-TPP plank-- it looks to me like Bernie showed these pathetic idiots how to use political power to advance one of the progressive ideals that motivated his whole campaign (while they threw banana peels from the sidelines). Hillary has taken a big step away from her original proposal of free community college for poor kids. Here's how Bernie responded to Clinton's announcement. (Note: if you contributed to Bernie's campaign here or here, this was you're victory. So... thanks and congratulations.
U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders today welcomed a proposal by Secretary Hillary Clinton which combines the best features of plans that she and Sanders brought forth during the campaign to make higher education affordable for all and substantially reduces student debt.

“As I’ve traveled throughout the country during this campaign, I have heard over and over again from young people and their parents what the high cost of college and student debt is doing to their lives. For some, it means not being able to go to college at all, and that’s the case for hundreds of thousands of high school graduates.

“These are young people who will find it harder to make it into the middle class and fulfill their dreams. For others, it means graduating school deeply in debt, and being forced to pay off that debt year after year after year. And that may mean not being able to buy a home, get married or have kids.

“I want to take this opportunity to applaud Secretary Clinton for the very bold initiative she has just brought forth today for the financing of higher education. This proposal combines some of the strongest ideas she fought for during the campaign with some of the principles that I fought for. The final product is a result of the work of both campaigns.

“Let me be very clear. This proposal, when implemented, will revolutionize the funding of higher education in America, improve the economic future of our country and make life immediately better for tens of millions of people stuck with high levels of student debt.

“This proposed legislation will provide free tuition at public colleges and universities for all families in America earning $125,000 a year or less-- 83 percent of our families.

“In other words, the dream of higher education in America will become a reality for all, regardless of the income of one’s family. This proposal will also provide very substantial relief for students and families carrying student debt.

“In the year 2016, we should be encouraging our people to get the best education they can, not punishing them.

“Our goal should be to have the best educated country in the world. In a highly-competitive global economy, it is insane that hundreds of thousands of bright young people are unable to afford the high cost of college and millions more leave school deeply in debt.

“I thank Secretary Clinton for introducing this proposal which, in my view, will have a profound impact on the future of our country.”
When's the last time you heard Bernie sounding this happy? (Bonus over and above the spectacular policy achievement: It will certainly make it a lot easier for him to support her and for some of his most ideological followers to do so as well.) But now, some big time work has to be done to stop the TPP and to make sure Clinton knows how important this is to voters. Senators Jeff Merkley and Elizabeth Warren and future senator Alan Grayson have been three of the most determined-- along with Bernie-- to stop this madness. This week Merkley told Oregon voters that "starting with NAFTA, 'free trade' deals have devastated working families across America: 5 million good-paying jobs vanished. Tens of thousands of factories shuttered.  Entire communities economically wiped off the map. Middle class families impoverished. That’s why we have to oppose the Trans-Pacific Partnership. It enforces no minimum wage, forcing American workers to 'compete' with workers overseas earning $2 per hour or less. The minimal labor and environmental protections it contains would be difficult to enforce-- and as we've seen with every other trade deal, gross violations in other countries are hardly ever challenged.  Elizabeth Warren, like Bernie, Grayson and Merkley, has been keeping the pressure on-- regardless of corporate shills like... well you know who. Watch this video she did with CREDO today-- and hope Hillary does too:

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At 4:36 AM, Blogger Unknown said...

Typo alert
"Vitginia Slims"
I don't remember buying those for my Grandma. 😉

At 7:33 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

America is NOT getting free college. Even Wall St publications are now tearing apart her so-called proposal as not being enough to do as claimed.


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