Betsy DeVos is Donald Trump’s pick for Secretary of Education. During her confirmation hearing, Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) questioned her about her wealth and the idea of “tuition-free” college.
Sanders pointed out that DeVos is a “multibillionaire” who’s contributed upwards of $200 million to the Republican Party. Although DeVos said she wasn’t sure, she said it was possible that she and her family have contributed collectively that much to the GOP over the years.
So, if she’s that rich, and she and her family have donated that much money to Republicans while taking advantage of tax “loopholes” to avoid paying certain taxes, how is that fair when lower income young people can’t even afford a college education? Shouldn’t college be “tuition-free?”
“Some of us believe that we should make public colleges and universities tuition-free so that every young person in this country regardless of income does have that option,” Sanders said to DeVos. “That’s not the case today.”
Sanders asked her, “Will you work with me and others to make public colleges and universities tuition-free through federal and state efforts?”
“Senator, I think that’s a really interesting idea, and it’s really great to consider and think about,” DeVos responded. “But I also think we have to consider the fact that there’s nothing in life that’s truly free.”
“Somebody’s going to pay for it,” she said.
“Ohh, yes, you’re right,” Sanders responded. “Somebody will pay for it. But that takes us to another issue.” And that other issue is that it’s not fair for billionaires to take advantage of tax laws in order to avoid paying certain taxes, while lower income people can’t afford college.
If he wants to pay for lower income people to go to college, I think he’s more than within his rights to do so. I just don’t think he should be able to use the force of government to take money from those he deems to have made too much money and give it to other people, no matter how well-intentioned he is. It’s always easy to be generous with other people’s money.
Here was their exchange:
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