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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.


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2 comments on “Stupid Is As Stupid Does

  1. dap916 says:

    Posted 2/12/13 11:10am

    Argggg….Virginia Foxx. Sometimes listening to her and watching her speak makes me think I’m watching the Cartoon Channel. I know she stands on the same side of the political aisle I do but, sheeeeesh….she gets a HUGE case of foot-in-mouth disease sometimes.

    Gotta agree with ya on this one, Gary. I went to Elon in the early 70’s on the G.I. Bill and worked 6 hours a day part time. You could do that back then. Yep, even at Elon when today Elon University has tuition just short of what you’d pay at Duke.

    One comment, though, with regard to kids going to college today. I think that because the job market is so disasterous especially for young people, kids that don’t necessarily want to go to college just do so while waiting for the jobs market to improve. Look at how many kids are living at home now well into their 20’s. Look at the increase in college entrance applications across our country. And, that’s a double-edged sword in my view. It’s good on one hand because we’re getting better educated youth but bad on the other hand because of the huge debt being compiled that in many cases won’t ever be paid back and will be a burden for these kids for decades.

  2. Carbine says:

    Gary, you and the NYT will believe anything. The cost of a four-year degree from ASU isn’t anywhere near $80k. My daughter graduated from ASU within the last ten years, and her total costs, including room and board, were a little over $45k.

    Anyone who spent $80k in his four years there lived pretty high on the hog.

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