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Letter: National ‘free’ college could work

If more students were to graduate on time,

If more students were to graduate on time, universities could better serve their students with degree programs that foster academic engagement. Credit: iStock

In “No such thing as free college” [Editorial, Aug. 21], Newsday’s editorial board correctly points out that New York, and for that matter, most of the nation, had free or low-cost tuition at one time. I went to Queens College, which was free until the mid-1970s.

Germany provides free university educations. It comes down to how a nation chooses to allocate its resources. Obviously, many nations don’t spend half their discretionary budgets on defense. What is the reason for resistance to the taxes necessary to support progressive programs like universal health care or free college? It has much to do with stagnant and declining incomes for the middle class.

The editorial blames our system of mixed federal and state control as a reason for not joining the civilized world and paying tuition for students whose families make less than $125,000 a year, as Hillary Clinton has proposed. You use Obamacare as an example of states refusing to participate. It’s a terrible program.

Why not use the U.S. military as an example? We don’t ask states to contribute to our national defense.

Joel Herman, Melville