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Free College in Tennessee Works. The Same Model Won't Work For All 50 States.
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Free College in Tennessee Works. The Same Model Won't Work For All 50 States.

President Obama has issued another proposal to increase the national debt while not solving any problems.

Well he has done it, again.

The president has followed the good old political playbooks of past liberals.

When your poll numbers take a dip and you need to distract the masses serve up a free, taxpayer funded billion-dollar program.

Last week the president introduced a free community college program via web video and speech with the vice president and second lady in Tennessee, which he is calling, “America’s College Promise.”

The president stated in his video address, "we also have to make sure that everybody has the opportunity to constantly train themselves for better jobs, better wages, better benefits."

President Barack Obama gestures as he speaks during a news conference in the East Room of the White House, on Wednesday, Nov. 5, 2014, in Washington. Obama is holding an afternoon news conference Wednesday to share his take on the midterm election results after his party lost control of the Senate, and lost more turf in the GOP-controlled House while putting a series of Democratic-leaning states under control of new Republican governors. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais) (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

The president also stated that this program has bipartisan support, referencing the Tennessee Promise, which was created by Gov. Bill Haslam (R). The Tennessee Promise provides tuition and fees that Pell grants do not cover to high school graduates who meet certain criteria.

The president is using this model as a ploy to reach out to his “soldiers” of millennials who have deserted him and sadly it will not work. The president has yet again missed the mark with this precocious generation.

When looking at the Tennessee Promise and the president’s proposal there are several important differences to note.

The major difference is that what works for Tennessee will not necessarily work for the other 49 states, as seen in RomneyCare vs. Obamacare. Thus, turning this proposal into another bureaucratic NIGHTMARE, like Obamacare. And the obsessive need the federal government feels that it has to institute a "one size fits all" referendum on the entire American populace is a major flaw by our representatives illustrating why the 10th Amendment is so vital to the success of America.

This United States must also remember that since the creation of the Department of Education in 1979 by President Jimmy Carter the graduation rate has never reached the national high of 79 percent showing that more federal government intrusion into education equals a less educated America.

The United States has recently crossed the $18 trillion national debt mark and this proposed “free” community college tuition is estimated to cost the U.S. taxpayer $60 billion over 10 years. Tennessee currently has $300 million in a lottery fund which funds higher education and can afford to incentivize high school students, whereas the federal government cannot. It is also important to remember that just covering tuition will not do anything to offset the cost of education crisis in this country and the severe economic hardships millennials are under.

Courtesy: Shutterstock Courtesy: Shutterstock

As a reminder, there is over $1 TRILLION in outstanding student loan debt; the average millennial holds almost $30,000 in student loan debt; the cost of education is rising uncontrollably; youth unemployment is currently at 18.1 percent, and millennials are being forced to cover the Obamacare bill.

The president’s proposal is not the answer to the cost of education in this country nor is it the answer to access to education. A huge issue many have with this proposal, excluding the billions it will add the national debt, is that it is accessible to 9 million students of any socioeconomic background. Whether a student comes from a family making $30,000 a year or a million dollars a year, they can take advantage of this free tuition.

The proposal does not answer the question of making education more attainable to lower socioeconomic groups. And that is a severe mistake he has made from his elite castle on the hill.

Although, the president’s proposal makes an even bigger mistake. It is free. When a person is given something for free it loses its value. The most redeeming and impressive provision in the Tennessee promise is that recipients need to complete eight hours of community service per term enrolled. This provision adds value to the education these students are receiving for free.

The solution for millennials and college education is for the federal government to look at staying out of the student loan business. Because the government and Sally Mae back student loans, educational institutions feel comfortable raising their tuition to unimaginable heights.

It is time the president, Democrats, and Republicans look at the harmful role they are playing in the cost of education and ballooning student loan debt. And turning their sites towards the Dynamic Student Loan Repayment Act introduced by Sens. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and Mark Warner (D-Va.) is an excellent place to start.

Every time, it seems, that our government gets involved in offering a new and free service it feels artificial. Look at how they have handled our vets, our sub-par education system, our healthcare; the list goes on and the problems get worse.

Tennessee did something that was great for their state and their people, while other states are free to emulate Tennessee, this isn't the answer to our problems. Rather, it is simply more pork, handouts, and aimed at distracting the masses -- much like the "Obama phone.”

Salvator La Mastra is a youth vote and millennials expert. Follow @SalvatorV. Contact at Sal.Lamastra@gmail.com

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