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Monday, February 29, 2016

Question for Sanders Supporters

I posted this in my facebook page but decided to post it here too. I really would like some answers.
As I've said before, I like a lot of Bernie Sanders plans in theory. But I have many questions on how some of these plans would actually be implemented. First, a question about Bernie Sanders’ free college for all plan. According to the summary on his site, Sanders’ plan states that total tuition at public colleges and universities amounts to about $70 billion per year. Of that cost, under the Sanders plan the federal government would be responsible for 67% of the cost while the states would be required to pick up the remaining 33% .
But states are cash strapped, and education has been taking a hit in state budgets. According to data from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, states have been cutting funding for K-12 programs since the 2008 recession and most states have not restored those earlier levels. In fact, in about half the states reporting, less general aid per student is being provided now than in 2008, and In three states, including Alabama, funding cuts are 15% or more.
The cuts also affect higher education. While state funding for higher education has been rising slightly in the last couple of years, there is still a large reliance on student tuition to fund higher education. US News reports that, “Overall, half of states now receive more financial support from tuition dollars than from state or local funding. And the reliance on tuition revenue varies widely between states, from a low of 15.1 percent in Wyoming to a high of 84.5 percent in Vermont.”
Sanders’ plan calls for financing the federal portion by Imposing a Robin Hood Tax on Wall Street, a speculation fee on investment houses, hedge funds, and other speculators of 0.5% on stock trades (50 cents for every $100 worth of stock), a 0.1% fee on bonds, and a 0.005%fee on derivatives. He estimates that this fee will raise the necessary money with some left over, but nowhere in the plan does he address the problem of where the already cash-strapped states are going to come up with their share, nor of what happens to the federal funding if there is another recession or a drop in speculation, stock trades, etc.

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