Birklebach: Yes we can afford to educate our populace |

Birklebach: Yes we can afford to educate our populace

We can afford to educate our populace

In a Jan. 13 article, Morgan Liddick indicated the U.S. cannot afford to help students with tuition for a community college education. Yes, we can! Year-end forecasts indicate that the budget deficit has come down from over 10 percent of GDP, to about -3 percent in 2014 and should be balanced or show a small surplus by 2016. (Remember, the last time we had a budget surplus, a Clinton was president.) The U.S. deficits are going away, because we no longer have to pay for Bush’s two wars and the mistakes and costs of Bush’s Great Recession.

We cannot afford to not educate our populace. We think of the U.S. as No. 1. However, the latest Social Progress Index shows the U.S. ranks 16th overall, but 39th in basic education. At election time, every politician calls for education as their No. 1 priority, because that’s what “we the people” want. A recent Princeton study shows that public opinion has no effect on the outcome of an issue in Congress, whether it is 0 percent approval or 100 percent approval, the line of accomplishment is flat-lined. That’s why Congress has a 7 percent approval rating. Since Citizens United, which declared corporations are people, all changes in government are dictated by donors and election contributions. Donor power has taken over the rights of “we the people.” Unless we better educate our people, the U.S. will sink below its 16th rating and the current trend of all income growth going to only the corporations and the top 1 percent will continue.

Liddick claims that helping students attend community colleges will be “yet another transfer of wealth from the despised productive classes to the legions of wide-eyed credulous Obamaniacs.” Are you talking about class warfare? We the people have already lost that battle, with the top 1 percent getting all the growth in income and holding 70 percent of the nation’s wealth, and worldwide only 80 people control 50 percent of the world’s wealth. Education will help level the playing field. I am sure Liddick has no objection to spending over $700 billion for the defense budget, which will not protect us against a Paris-type event. How about some spending on education? It’s time to fulfill the pledges of both Democratic and Republican politicians and to make education the nation’s No. 1 priority.

Carl Birkelbach


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