[h/t David at Video Cafe]
What a shining example this is of Mitt Romney's policy ideas. In his stump speech yesterday, he mocked President Obama's vision of fairness and opportunity for all by saying he agreed with it. It's mockery because of course he does not agree with it, as he reveals a few short words later. Here is America, according to Mitt:
Let me tell you though, there's one thing the President said in his speech I agree with. He said that every American deserves a fair shot and I could not agree more. I think this is a land of opportunity for every single person, every single citizen of this great nation. I want to make sure we keep America a place of opportunity, where everyone has a fair shot, they get as much education as they can afford, with their time they're able to get it, and if they have a willingness to work hard and the right values, they ought to have a shot at realizing their dreams.
Some definitions, so that his statement may be parsed more clearly:
- "Every single citizen" means people who reside in this country legally but also excludes those who are undocumented workers, especially if they are brown or black.
- "Place of opportunity" means a place where one navigates all barriers with no safety nets or possibility of a hand up. It is a meritocracy where one must have at least one special advantage (obsequiousness is helpful) in order to grasp the opportunities in that place.
- "Willingness to work hard" means they may not ever join their collective voices in a union or expect fair wages or any benefits whatsoever, but instead accept jobs with substandard pay and scrape together whatever they possibly can to advance to the next rung on the ladder. It is especially important that these people with this willingness also agree to pay their dues to Wall Street and the bankers.
- "Right values" means these people must, at all times, look down on others who are poorer, less educated, and have fewer advantages than they. They must not, under any circumstances, view women as equals. That goes for LGBT as well. It's fine to pay lipservice to both groups but when it comes to matters of consequence, it's critical that Those With Right Values turn their backs and discriminate as much as they possibly can. Right Values also include God and Guns.
Provided a person meets those requirements, Mr. Romney then affirms that they should have as much education as "they can afford."
This is a man who wants to privatize our K-12 education system, who slashed Massachusetts' education budget by large margins, increased class sizes to unmanageable levels, attended an exclusive private school, exclusive private colleges, and has the means to send his children to any college they can afford so that they too, can make tons of money by stripping other people of their jobs and futures.
...they should have as much education as they can afford...
This, from the man who thinks it's just so easy to go borrow money from Mom and Dad for that startup no one with real money will fund. This, from the man who thinks borrowing from Mom and Dad for college is just as simple as a trip home for dinner.
In two months my two youngest kids will both be in college at the same time. One lives at home; the other will be living at school. When they were born, we resolved that as far as it depended on us, our kids would have a 4-year degree without debt. Anything after that would be their responsibility. Back then, tuition was about $500 per semester at California State schools and about three times that at University of California schools. Now we will be paying close to 30 percent of what we earn to make sure those kids get their degree, and that's after the grants, scholarships, on-campus work credits they earn.
It was shocking to see the financial aid numbers fly around us this year. The suggestion most often advanced was that the student should borrow $5,000 per year personally and her parents should borrow another $23,000 or so. For one year. It doesn't take a math major to figure out what that totals. For a STATE university, my friends. That's all the education we can't afford but will figure out how to get anyway.
Imagine what that would be like if Mittens had his way. It wouldn't just be college, it would be K-12. Those who merit, get the good education. They can afford it. Those who don't, don't.