Thursday, June 22, 2006

Further Evidence For A New Generation Of Leadership: Rising College Tuition Costs

As a college student myself, I can tell you that the cost of college is outrageous. Worst of all, it just keeps going up!

Yesterday's Chattanooga Free Times Press reports, "The UT Board of Trustees on Wednesday will recommend a 4.1 percent increase in tuition for UTC and a $20-per-semester increase in the university's athletics fee."

This not only is happening at UTC, but colleges all across the nation.

Clearly a change is need because this trend cannot continue.

We need leaders that will fight to see that the cost of attending college are as low and possible, so that everyone has the opportunity to better themsevles in life.

That is where Congressman Harold Ford Jr. comes in. Since his time in Congress, Ford has been been on the forefront of the fight to lower the cost of tuition for families so that everyone has an equal opportunity to get ahead in life.

As the Knoxville News Sentinel noted last year, Congressman Ford is the author of a bill that would create a $4,000 tuition tax deduction for certain families a permanent part of the federal tax code.

"The idea is a simple one," Ford said. "College tuition is on the rise, largely from forces outside the control of students and their parents. As a result, I want to find a way where middle-class families can write off some of this debt." (Knoxville News Sentinel, 07/02/05)

Ford has also introduced legislation that would provide college tuition to students who agree to serve their country after they graduate.

Speaking of the legislation, Ford said, "All students in Tennessee and America willing to give back to their communities should be able to attend the college or university of their choice. This bill will help accomplish that goal by giving much-needed federal tuition assistance to students who serve after graduation, whether in the active military, National Guard and reserves, Peace Corps, AmeriCorps, Citizen Corps or USA Freedom Corps.

"National service has never been more important or been ready to play a more important role than it is today. Hurricanes Katrina and Rita and the attacks of 9/11 showed us the kind of devastation that is possible from both natural and man-made causes. The Service for School Act will help harness the tremendous civic pride and volunteerism of our students, while helping to educate them to take on the challenges of tomorrow."

Every student in America deserves the chance to attend college to attain the skills and knowledge needed to compete in the 21st Century world. However, with the continuing rise in tuition, that simply is not feasible for some students, and that needs to be changed.

During his time in Congress, Harold Ford Jr. has shown that he will fight to see that every student in America has the same opportunity to attend college. That is just the type leader we need representing us in the United States Senate.

This is just another example of why we need a new generation of leadership.

170 Days

Days of Congressional Inaction on Ethics

Above is the number of days that have passed since Jack Abramoff pleaded guilty to bribing Congressman.

It is also the number of days in which Congress has failed to pass an ethics reform bill that would limit private travel, ski and golf junkets, and would call for a full disclosure of expenses by lobbyists on members of Congress.

It is time for Congress to step up and pass an ethics reform bill that would do all of the above. In addition, it is time to end the pork barrel spending system as we know it and establish an independent ethics commission that would review ethics complaints against members of Congress.

I am proud Congressman Harold Ford Jr. is fighting for that reform!

Read Congressman Ford's call for reform of the House rules here!