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I believe that public higher academic/trade education should be available to each and every American as a basic human right. No human should be denied the right to learn. Our economy can no longer stay competitive unless we start investing in young adults. They are the future of our country and must be supported-- they should not be discouraged from learning or saddled with overwhelming debt obligations.
If a student wants to earn a degree in order to be a more productive and contributing citizen, then nothing should stand in his/her way to achieve such a goal. As such, we need to make public higher education tuition-free for those who cannot afford it and ensure that low-income families also have access to financial aid which covers room/board costs. Most people don’t come from a privileged upbringing and cost for higher learning can be prohibitive. Not everyone can easily afford private education. This is why public education is so valuable.
Moreover, we must alleviate the crushing burden of student debt by correcting our government's failed student loan policies. In particular, interest rates must be cut and students must be allowed to refinance their loans. It's outrageous that American citizens are currently prohibited from refinancing their debt simply for the "crime" of studying. Especially in an age of ultra-low interest rates, the fact that individuals are still paying rates of 8% on their student loans without any possibility of refinancing is simply unacceptable.
It's also unethical that our government is profiting from student loans. Instead of making a profit off students, our government should use it's time and resources to invest in our students' futures. All of this is possible if we start pursuing sensible fiscal policies-- something we can certainly achieve by making smart budget cuts and overhauling the tax system.
We can no longer afford to saddle our children with crushing life-long debt obligations. We are the richest nation on Earth and there is no excuse not to educate young Americans that wish to learn. Ron is egaer to develop creative and fiscally-responsible methods, such as the Robin Hood Tax, that will make public higher education affordable for everyone without placing an additional burden on our national budget.
As it stands, our higher education policies hinder our youths’ career development, dampen entrepreneurial activity, and stymie the life goals of young adults. Many young people have even been forced to indefinitely delay creating a family, having children, or pursuing their dreams simply for committing the "crime" of attending school. This is a disgrace. It's time to recognize that education-- including both public universities, community colleges, and trade schools-- is a basic human right.
My opponent, Mimi Walters, has been consistent with her votes against public education whenever she has been given the chance in US Congress and California Senate and Assembly. She did not support allowing refinancing of student higher education debt. She is not working for the best interests of the students and parents of our district. With poor unemployment numbers in our district, education is now more important than ever. People need to learn new skills in order to get the type of jobs which the market is now demanding from them. She is not standing up for our students. Walters is not standing up for WE the People. She is working for her Wall Street and Billionaire Class campaign contributors. See which industries are Walters' largest contributors here!
Walters’ Voting/Support Record:
- NO on pro-public education bills
- YES on anti-public education bills
- NO on allowing refinancing of student higher education debt
- NOT standing up for WE the People
Varasteh’s Congressional Pledge:
- Education is a human right
- Pro-public education
- Attainable higher education
- Tuition-free higher public education for those who cannot afford it
- Standing up for WE the People
- Not for sale