Education for all
Even some liberals will pooh-pooh this proposal as pie-in-the-sky or inconsistent with putative American values, despite powerful precedents in lived American history. Under the Servicemen’s Readjustment Act of 1944, a k a the GI Bill: the federal government–funded education grant for all veterans returning from World War II that covered tuition, lab fees, books, health insurance, and supplies. Students received living stipends for dependents, in 2015 dollars, of up to $19,035. By 1952, the federal government had spent $125,706,792,450 in 2015 dollars on education and job training for 7.8 million veterans, half of which went to college and graduate-school expenses for 2.2 million GIs.
The point is clear: We’ve done it before, and we can do it again. It is a matter of political will. We believe that Bernie Sanders’s candidacy can be a clarion call to galvanize millions of working- and middle-class Americans to fight for a policy vision that can invigorate the public, and make paramount our interests and concerns.
I’m all in favor of student loan reform.1 I’m also of the mindset that taking the money to finance it from Wall Street is the sort of thing I’d be in favor of anyways – even if it was going to stuff I don’t have a vested interest in, I think we need significantly heavier regulation of Big Finance.
- Said the college student who’s already collected five digits of debt paying for college. ↩