Monday, July 2, 2012

Affording Something? Now That is a Luxury!

    Now that Congress and the White House have protected student loan recipients from the catastrophic 25¢ per day increase that was scheduled to hit July 1st, the president has perhaps realized that this savings might not quite be enough to bring college within the grasp of all Americans.  Although it is unclear what new initiatives the president has in mind, he wasted no time in drawing a clear distinction between his views on paying for higher education and those of Mitt Romney:

As HotAir likes to say from time to time, it's come to this: A candidate for president of the United States of America can be derided for opining that students should "get as much education as they can afford."  I am sure that Mitt Romney provided some context for this statement of his, but frankly, I didn't even look it up because what in the world is wrong with saying it even OUT of context?  Is "affording" something no longer a legitimate criterion?  Coming from a president who will have run four consecutive $1 trillion budget deficits, the answer is obviously no.

    But what of the president's statement: "Higher education cannot be a luxury reserved for the privileged few"?  What else does President Obama consider "not a luxury"?
  • Space exploration - "And so, as President, I believe that space exploration is not a luxury, it’s not an afterthought in America’s quest for a brighter future -- it is an essential part of that quest."
  • Workplace flexibility - "We must change our workplaces to meet the demands of a changing working environment as workplace flexibility is not a luxury, but a competitive imperative."
  • Health care reform - "In 2009, health care reform is not a luxury. It's a necessity we cannot defer."
  • And, of course, higher education - "Higher education cannot be a luxury.  Whether it’s a two-year program at a community college or a four-year program or a post-doctorate program, it is not a luxury.  It is an economic imperative."
What else will soon become "not a luxury"?  A house?  Surely a car is not a luxury - especially if it's electric.  Cell phone? Oops, sorry, I'm behind the times on that one.  We've come a long way from Benjamin Franklin's "a penny saved is a penny earned."  The question is, can we find our way back?

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