Letter: Columnist doesn’t see society’s full picture

To the editor:

In response to Dan Thomasson’s column on Aug. 1 (“Clinton’s college plan unrealistic”), I have the following thoughts:

He makes a case against the free college tuition initiatives presented by first, Bernie Sanders, and picked up later by Hillary Clinton. He attributes the popularity of this idea as just another “freebie” that has been created as a “politician’s dream” to drum up support from young voters. He moans that taxpayers would be stuck with the bills.

He is correct. It would cost taxpayer money. However, like most of his fiscal conservative types, he never sees the benefit of using public funds to pay for societal infrastructure.

Imagine a nation of highly skilled and educated people. What would they not be capable of doing in terms of culture and economic growth? Better, higher-paying jobs would equal increased tax money into the public coffers via income taxes and increased spending.

Many incarcerated young people may have avoided the failed criminal justice system if they had become educated or trained in a productive legitimate career. A federal prisoner costs the taxpayer about $50,000 per year to incarcerate. That money would better spent in job training and higher education.

Mr. Thomasson also senses unfairness as the free tuition would only be for public colleges, leaving private, church-sponsored educational institutions out of the loop. Well, I think the U.S. constitution is pretty clear on the separation of church and state.

Besides, there always will be people who insist on attending private schools just like there are people who insist on driving expensive cars when perfectly fine less-expensive models are readily available.

David Heidenreich