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Columnist advocates free college for everyone

Is anyone listening to the realities of our nation’s fiscal health? Please tell me there is someone out there with a grasp on reality. After reading an editorial comment made by Washington Post columnist Katrina vanden Heuvel, I am wondering if there is a total disconnect in our nation’s capital.

She is advocating, get this, free college for every U.S. citizen. Come to think of it, she may be advocating free college for illegals as well. Apparently, vanden Heuvel hasn’t been listening to news reports that student loans amount to $1 trillion at present and that the nation’s total indebtedness is approaching $16 trillion (that’s an estimated $50,267.22 for each citizen).

Perhaps vanden Heuvel was in touch with Michael Ramirez, a political cartoonist for Creators News Service, that satirizes a college student sitting on a couch with her parents and informing them that she expects them to “Pay for my birth control. Pay for my electric car. Pay for my health care. Weatherize my house. Loan me money for college. Repay my college loans. Pay for my unemployment. Pay for my solar panels. Pay for my job training. Pay for my mortgage. Pay for my entitlements, food stamps....” Get the picture?

Has vanden Heuvel lost her mind? Or have we bought into the entitlement society so we pick up on her mind-set and see her point of view as reasonable? If so, perhaps we are on the same path that Greece is on, one of total financial meltdown.

Her idea is not new. California, before its current fiscal mess, had provided free post-secondary education for its residents. How did that turn out? Well, take a look at the mess Gov. Jerry Brown is trying to solve.

As a nation, we must be willing to face the harsh reality that we cannot afford the entitlements that began with Social Security and have mushroomed into a total nanny state. We must accept the fact that our nation, along with socialist Europe cannot afford to spend every dime we have and continue to borrow from the future. It’s not healthy for individuals, families or us as citizens of this great nation. We need to tell our elected officials to stop spending until we can afford the programs we can afford. If we have to tighten our belts, then do what is necessary to bring our spending within the means generated by taxes and not one penny more. If we fail to demand such discipline from our elected officials, expect U.S. to follow the same path as Greece, Spain, Italy, Ireland, and eventually, France and Germany.

—Keith Hansen

Denton (Denny) Newman Jr.
I've worked at the Brainerd Dispatch with various duties since Dec. 7, 1983. Starting off as an Ad Designer and currently Director of Audience Development. The Dispatch has been an interesting and challenging place to work. I'm fortunate to have made many friends, both co-workers and customers.
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