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Readers Respond

Pay for college with military cuts

As a long-time antiwar protester, I was stunned to read "City applying to program that would promise college scholarships for all students" (July 15). This is a remarkable idea which must be supported. But how will this idea be funded?

While going to school to obtain an electrical engineering degree, I worked in a grocery store and was paid around $1.75 an hour. Yet this meager wage was enough for me to pay for my tuition and books. And upon graduation, besides having no college debt, I also had a job. Sadly, though, times have changed and many students are carrying an enormous debt with few job opportunities in their field. It seems today's students are unaware that they are being cheated. Everyone interested in college should be able to go regardless of his or her financial situation.

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What has changed to make college prohibitively expensive? I argue one reason is that the Pentagon budget now consumes more than 50 percent of the federal discretionary budget. Rather than spending the tax dollars on education for all, the government keeps raising the military budget. As a result, the U.S. is involved in numerous wars in the Middle East and elsewhere.

Students today should have the same playing field I had when I got my degree. Of course, if Baltimore does provide a free college education to its students, funding must be raised. In this post-Great Recession era, the only budget area with a surplus of dollars is in the Pentagon. Cut its bloated budget and use those tax dollars to make college free. That would make for real national security in these desperate times.

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Max Obuszewski, Baltimore


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