MSNBC host Chris Matthews pressed Sanders supporter and former Wisconsin Lieutenant Governor Barbara Lawton about how Bernie Sanders’s proposed “free college” would be financed.
She told Matthews that “free college” would be paid for by Americans paying their “fair share of taxes.” From Breitbart:
Matthews asked, “He’s talking about free tuition at the University of Wisconsin, wherever the campus is. Free for everybody, free at University of Michigan, free Berkeley, free Penn State, free for every state university, and I keep asking myself, where is all that enormous amount of money coming from? And do you think he has a way of getting that money?”
Lawton responded, “Of course he does.” After Matthews asked how Sanders would get this money, Lawton answered, “Well, start with there’s the vision that in — that our public education system, which grew from, what? One, to four, to one to six, to K to 12 eventually. Now, it’s the price of admission to this 21st century economy is post-high school education. So we as a nation have to address that question, and unless you put out a bold vision, you’re going to start –.”
Matthews then cut in, “You say ‘we,’ but who is going to pay for it, who?” Lawton said, “The people of Wisconsin. He’s put out a — the people of the United States. And he’s put out a plan –.”
Matthews cut in, “[T]he parents who help the kids with college, they can’t help them all the way, young people coming out of college who owe a lot of money. Tell them where the money’s coming from.”
That’s when Lawton tried to explain, “When everyone is paying their fair share of taxes, and when we set the priorities as a nation for what –” at which point Matthews again cut her off. She said that she “didn’t have to” know where the money was going to come from in order to fund “free college”. She stated, “It will come from the government budget, where we have money.”
But the government doesn’t have any money either. They’re in debt nearly $20 trillion, a debt that cannot be repaid, and a debt which no politician – no matter how grand his or her speeches are – has any intention of repaying.
You don’t have to be an economist to understand that there is no such thing as a free lunch. “Free college” doesn’t exist. Someone will be on the hook to pay for it, and it will end up being you and me.