Some Republicans seem determined to be “the stupid party,” in Bobby Jindal’s memorable phrase.
Like U.S. Rep. Virginia Foxx.
The Sunday New York Times took a look at how some students today pay for college. The story focused on Steve Boedefeld, an Appalachian State University student who wants to avoid graduating with a big debt. So he is using “the money he earned fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan and the money he now saves by eating what he grows or kills.”
Rep. Foxx, whose district includes Appalachian and who heads a House subcommittee on higher education and work force training, just didn’t get it: “I spent seven years getting my undergraduate degree and didn’t borrow a dime of money.”
The story added: “She was bewildered, given her own experience, by tales of woe she had heard from people with $80,000 in debt.”
Gee, maybe it’s because back in her day (and mine) tuition, room, board, etc. at a North Carolina university cost about $550 a year. With inflation, that would be $4,000 now. But today, a bachelor’s degree from Appalachian State can cost $80,000.
Two problems here for Republicans.
First, it’s another example of being oblivious to facts. Just like the federal budget, health care, climate change, evolution and how old the earth is.
Second, it sounds like either ignorance or callousness about getting a college education today.
Just last month, Governor McCrory got carried away on radio with Bill Bennett and questioned the value of a liberal arts education.
This may play well with the Republican red-hots. But North Carolina has a lot of people with college educations – and a lot more who want one for themselves or their kids. We’ve also become a hot location for college-educated people around the nation and the world.
The more Republicans dis these people and their values, the more they hasten the end of what could be a brief reign on top of the political heap.