The last time student loan forgiveness was in the news, a very conservative friend of mine posted her opposition to it on Facebook. Several of her like-minded friends jumped in and they all had one collective reason for opposing the government wiping out student debt and providing free college: They had to pay for college so future generations should have to pay as well.
If this is your only reason to oppose free college, then you suck. What happened to working hard so our kids can have an easier life? This attitude that other people should suffer because you suffered is cruel and is another example of why Republican candidates appeal to assholes. It’s because Republicans are assholes.
Surprise! The send-them-back party and gang who loves to separate families and throw the babies into cages are opposed to free college. So, what’s wrong with free college? We already provide free education K-12. Why can’t we add four more? Or at the very least, this nation should provide free two-year community college. Conservatives argue that free college is too expensive and we don’t have the money for it. But we do have the money for it.
Free college would probably cost us around $55 billion a year. Ouch, right? But we spend over $700 billion on defense. If we pulled the funds for free college from defense alone that’d only leave defense with $645 billion. How many billions have we spent on tanks that are just sitting in storage?
At least 55 of our nation’s largest corporations didn’t pay taxes in 2020. The statutory federal tax rate for corporate profits is 21 percent, but these companies didn’t pay that, which would have added up to over $8.5 billion. If you add that up with the $3.5 billion in rebates, it comes to $12 billion. That could have gone toward free college, which is something corporate America would have recruited from.
Remember the Wall Street bailout of 2008? We initially set out to give banks over $700 billion, but it eventually came down to $426 billion. Sure, we got that money back, and with a profit of around $17 billion. This was an investment. $55 billion a year to provide free college so we can keep up with the rest of first-world nations would also be an investment.
We spend about $20 billion a year subsidizing the oil industry which does not give us a price break at the pump during a world crisis like we’re experiencing now. Chevron alone has quadrupled its profits and last Friday posted its highest quarterly profit in 10 years.
Donald Trump’s company made over $1.6 billion during the four years he was president (sic). Part of that was the $2.5 million the United States government paid to his golf resorts. If you’re one of those praising him for donating his $400,000 yearly salary back to the government while he raked in over $2.5 million from taxpayers, and additional millions from violating the emoluments clause, shut up and sit down.
We can afford free college. We can debate forgiving all the debt that’s out there, but that’s something we can wipe out too while we restructure the system. Even if we don’t wipe out loans, we should provide free four-year college. There can still be private universities if you’re too snooty for public schools, but the options should be out there. We can keep a loan system in place for those who choose to continue pursuing their education after four years.
Just like we were with health care (and still are), we’re behind the rest of the civilized world with free college. $55 billion a year is too much to spend on free college? We currently spend over $80 billion annually on prisons.
Personally, I think college is a better investment than stuff like prisons, oil companies, and Trumps.
Music Note: It took the entire length of The Foo Fighters “The Colour and the Shape” to color this cartoon.
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