“One of the “radical” ideas of Bernie Sanders that the rightwing goes nuts over is his plan for college to be tuition-free, as it has been in other nations who’s economy is doing better than ours.
After all, the Republicans have conditioned America to tolerate skyrocketing college costs (500 percent in three decades) and massive student loan debt (40 million Americans owing 1.2 trillion dollars) so well that the concept of tuition based on work ethic seems like a fantasy to most people. Funny thing is, it’s not just the norm for many Western nations, but it also worked here as well. The California University System used to be free until the Reagan Era. You know, what conservatives called the “good old days”?
Yet conservatives scream that any alteration to the current arrangement of getting a college degree in exchange for a lifetime of crushing debt would somehow destroy America. You can add this to the list of things they promised would destroy us but haven’t: race-mixing, capital gains tax, Medicare, social security, ACA, gay marriage, and whatever Obama had for breakfast this morning.
The GOP is outraged, (outraged I tell you!), of how much they claim this would cost. They are fiscal conservatives, as they will tell you. What they won’t tell you is that none of them raised an eyebrow over the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. The current expected cost of the program: 1.5 TRILLION dollars!
That’s Trillion with a “T”. That is one hell of an expensive piece of equipment to engage in the obsolete art of aerial dogfighting! Even worse, the military had to admit it sucks at that too. (It got obliterated against an old aircraft in a combat exercise.) Any other mission it could possibly be used for is being taken over by unmanned drones.
Which brings me to my next point. This program is planned for a lifespan of 55 years. A half-century from now, who thinks we will still be using manned fighter planes?” said dailykos.com
“Besides being obsolete out of the gate, and failing at its sole mission, how’s this for the kicker: it is a complete piece of sh##:
- It has trouble flying (which is sort of a basic requirement for an aircraft
- It “can’t turn, can’t climb”
- It can’t fly at night
- It can’t fly in bad weather
- It can’t fly if the fuel gets warm
- It can’t fly within 25 miles of a lightning storm “for fear of exploding”(although it is ironically named the “Lightening”)
- It can’t accommodate pilots who are thin
- Its gun doesn’t work
- It has a tendency to catch fire during takeoff.
The F-35 couldn’t even make its debut at an airshow because it wasn’t able to fly there. Think about that. The primary problem isn’t how it was built, it was how the entire thing was designed. As the chief engineer of the F-16 explains, this plane simply cannot be fixed:
This project is such a complete and utter disaster that it somehow even failed at creating jobs, which is the last ditch rally cry for any boondoggle.
Our national defense network is harmed by its continued funding. A more costly disaster could not have been inflicted on us by our sworn enemies. At least they have the excuse of being our sworn enemies—what’s Congress’ excuse?
Unfortunately, no matter how big this fiasco gets, the stronger legislators’ support has grown. There is even a freaking Joint Strike Fighter Caucus whose sole purpose is to fight off any funding cuts. Look at the member list: these are the same people who scream about cutting spending. This proves all of that is pure bull#### theater.
The same goes for all of the GOP candidates running for president. None of them have called for this tragedy to end. You may want to remind your wingnut friends of this the next time they want to bitch about cutting “entitlement” spending.
The tens of billions we have wasted so far could have fully funded the efforts for every humanitarian crisis in the world, or fed every child in the United States. For the amount this plane will cost us, the US could provide tuition for every American for the next 23 years!
The benefits would be enormous. We would have an entire nation made up of a skilled and educated workforce. Billions that would have gone for monthly debt payments would flood the economy as disposable income. The return on investment would be… well, let’s just say better than on a plane that can barely fly.
Mind you, the F-35 is just ONE Pentagon fiasco. The Navy has its own very expensive boondoggle that was also designed to be all things to all people, and wound up just being a piece of crap. (The latest one needed to be towed right after commissioning). I don’t have the column space to go over all of the waste at the Pentagon, but I think I made my point.
Lastly, I will argue that even if somehow all of this made sense, and we somehow needed to spend trillions on craptascular military pet projects, it would still make sense for colleges to be tuition-free. You see, right now, our government spends more on the cost of subsidizing tuition that the actual cost of all tuition paid by students attending public universities. We could simply end all of the grants, loans, tax breaks, and work-study funds and instead just pay for direct tuition. We would come out far ahead!
So no. Tuition-free college is not a crazy idea at all. In fact, it is the only thing I’ve mentioned here that makes any sense at all.” said dailykos.com