Young people are the bearers of hope and energy that will propel us forward. They are our future leaders and humanitarians and are vital to our political process. In giving the government back to the people, young people will see that their voices do matter and make a difference. Our nation’s youth now bear burdens that older generations did not have to deal with, and this has and will cause unnecessary economic distress. There is so much we can do to alleviate this, and ensure that our youth remain the hopeful, positive and vigorous people they are far into adulthood.
Making Higher Education More Affordable
Many students who go to college or vocational school come out with high interest student loans that hamstring them for years or even decades. To change that, I would propose that the Federal government offer 10-year loans at zero percent interest to graduates of colleges or vocational schools. After 10 years, any balance remaining would then have to be refinanced, by the borrower/student, at the market rate. Such a program would incentivize and allow the graduates to pay off their loans quickly and would allow them an opportunity to get ahead. I would pay for this program by passing a financial transaction tax (“FTT”) of one-half of one percent (or 0.5%) on all stock, bonds and derivative trades. A FTT is not a new idea. There is a 0.5% tax imposed on each trade on the London Stock Exchange and, from 1914 to 1966, the U.S. levied a FTT. Taxing Wall Street to give students assistance through school would make higher education much more affordable, and that would be a good thing for all of our futures because when we educate our people, we all gain.
I would also use money from the FTT to help state colleges and universities to reduce their tuition and provide higher quality education, so students would not have to borrow so much money in the first place.
Many issues related to education will be legislated locally, so I will support the implementation through local and state officials.
Supporting Vocational Schools & Apprenticeships
Funding trade & vocational schools along with apprenticeships and internships will make education more accessible for a more diverse group of people. These options begin with funding for elementary, middle and high schools to provide an array of classes to choose from. I will support the state and local governments in these efforts. My goal with education policy is to make sure that young people are equipped with the knowledge and experience to obtain a good job that provides for them and their families. This is not going to be accomplished with only education policy, but through healthcare reform, ensuring equal rights for all, and negotiating for great legislation.
Oregon businesses and local apprenticeship committees to offer quality career opportunities through paid on-the-job training and education, with a focus on construction, industrial and manufacturing trades. I participated in a six month internship with the Municipality of Anchorage when I was in law school and found the real life experience absolutely invaluable. So, I am a big believer in, and advocate of, apprenticeships, internships and coop education because everyone wants experienced workers but no one wants to be the one to give new workers that experience. So apprenticeships, internships and coop education are ways to give new workers the experience they need to get good paying jobs.
When asked if he supports parity for increases/decreases in the budget for Non-Defense Discretionary Spending programs, like education, here is what Jim had to say:
Parity in cuts and increases just reinforces a longstanding political delusion that all discretionary programs are created equal, regardless of need or effectiveness. Instead of cutting both education and military spending equally for parity’s sake, I would definitely cut the latter but increase the former. Congress should trim the military fat and pass the savings on to Non-Defense Discretionary Spending programs, like education. The United States’ spends more on defense than the next seven highest spenders combined! We should strive to have the same ratio in education spending if we want to remain the most powerful country in the world.
Congress should reject absurd demands to match defense spending increases/decreases with like actions in non-defense spending. Lawmakers are elected to rationally prioritize spending to reflect truly national needs. And to me, having the best educated populace in the world is a true national need.