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U.S. Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney addresses supporters at the InPro Corporation in Muskego, Wisconsin, March 31, 2012. REUTERS/Darren Hauck
At Tuesday night's debate, Mitt Romney said something about his record helping students afford to go to college that sounds fantastic, anyway:
When I was governor of Massachusetts, to get a high school degree you had to pass an exam. If you graduated in the top quarter of your class, we gave you a John and Abigail Adams scholarship—four years tuition-free to the college of your choice in Massachusetts that's a public institution.
Four years tuition-free. You'd think that would be game, set, match—now these kids can afford college. But that's not the way it works in Massachusetts, and Romney knows this. At Massachusetts public colleges and universities, fees are much higher than tuition. Under Romney, those fees went up dramatically just as so many other fees did. He was planning to run for president, for Pete's sake, he couldn't admit he was raising tuition and taxes.

Here's the reality (PDF): At the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, when the John and Abigail Adams scholarship was established in 2004, tuition was $1,714. That's how much it was in 1999, and that's how much it is this year. Fees, on the other hand, were $7,294 in 2004-2005 (up from $6,518 in 2003-2004, the year Romney took office, and a sharp increase from the $4,768 the year before he took office). The year Romney left office, fees were $7,881. That means that the scholarship program Romney is so proud of, the one he mentioned in the very first minutes of the debate, covered 19 percent of college costs the year it was established, and 17.8 percent the year he left office. And that's not even talking about room and board.

It's not just UMass-Amherst, the flagship of the state system, either. Berkshire Community College? Tuition was and is frozen at $780. Fees went from $2,610 to $2,896. So the Adams scholarship went from covering 23 percent of costs to covering 21.2 percent of costs during Romney's tenure. Bridgewater State University? Tuition stayed at $910, while fees went from $4,416 to $4,956. The Adams scholarship dropped from 17 percent of costs to 15.5 percent. Again, not counting room and board.

That's not the only way the program fails students:

But research into the Adams Scholarship and the 12 others like it across the country suggests that these programs do little to improve college access because they typically go to students who already plan to attend college. If anything, these researchers say, the scholarships can widen existing income and racial gaps in college attendance.

A study released this summer by Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government found that Massachusetts students were likely to use the scholarship to attend a state school with fewer resources than private schools they might have gone to otherwise. The result? Students who use the scholarship actually take longer to graduate—and they are less likely to graduate at all.

This scholarship program is the crux of Mitt Romney's argument for himself on college costs. It's the only concrete thing he said about his own record in his discussion of helping young people afford college and get jobs. And it is so much less than advertised—maybe not quite a total sham, but damn close.

Originally posted to Daily Kos Labor on Thu Oct 18, 2012 at 07:33 AM PDT.

Also republished by Massachusetts Kosmopolitans and Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Did Romney even take the lead (12+ / 0-)

    in establishing these scholarships? The Democrats had veto-proof majorities in the legislature, they were truly the ones running the show. It seems likely to me that Democrats created the scholarships and Romney was happy to go along for the ride.

    (-2.38, -3.28) Independent thinker

    by TrueBlueDem on Thu Oct 18, 2012 at 07:41:38 AM PDT

    •  That doesn't change how he (9+ / 0-)

      presented these scholarships to the debate audience--it is just like elementary and secondary school vouchers they love.  They only help the upper middle class and wealthy defray their tuition payments to parochial and private schools.  They are of no use to low income families because they can't make up the difference between the voucher and the tuition cost.  Another case of income redistribution to the top that the rich hate when it goes the other way to give someone a leg up into a better life.  Their kids get the better life with or without the vouchers.  The vouchers also deprive public schools where the poor kids go to school of funds thereby diminishing their quality of education.  

      •  Hmmm (0+ / 0-)

        I can't speak for Massachusetts, but there was at least a similar program in Arizona for students in the top 10% of their class in the late 90s/early 2000s. Free tuition for four years. And working-class me benefited tremendously from that. I knew plenty of lower middle class and working class students who would never have been able to go to college if it weren't for that program.

        Did wealthy kids also benefit? Sure. But let's not throw the baby out of the bathwater here on programs like this that reward smart, hardworking kids and keep them in state schools that really need their contributions. That scholarship saved me, and saved others in my same boat.

        I didn't have the fee issue, so clearly another nail in that coffin is that Arizona had a better program than Massachusetts, which should make Romney even more ashamed. When Arizona is better on education, it's time to reevaluate.

  •  What are the fees comprised of? (7+ / 0-)

    Are they just collected like tuition, by the university?  I guess not, because then they would still have to call it part of tuition?

    Are the fees the price of text books, housing, etc?

    What exactly are the fees and how do they get away with not treating it like part of the cost of tuition?

    Republicans: Taking the country back ... to the 19th century

    by yet another liberal on Thu Oct 18, 2012 at 07:54:17 AM PDT

    •  Usually things not including housing (11+ / 0-)

      or textbooks. Fees are usually the non-negotiable cost of attending a college. Tuition is the price of the classes themselves. Fees cover the cost of using room space, health services, student union dues, and other things like that. Parking, housing, and textbooks are usually a separate issue. Tuition is the fixed price that the college charges for a class, designated by unit. More or less.

      •  I went to college in the 80's (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        qofdisks, greengemini, RUKind

        I never heard of such high fees. Wow, the cost of college has really gone up!

        How to Apply for Financial Aid and Scholarships

        70% of top income earners have at least a bachelor's degree.

        18% of all college-ready high school graduates are African-American or Latino.

        In 1970, the United States had 30% of the world's college graduates, now it has only 15%.

        90% of incoming freshmen at the top 150 colleges come from families in the top half of U.S. annual income distribution.

        A high school dropout is 5-8x more likely to be incarcerated than a college graduate.

        Annually, the US spends $9,644 per student compared to $22,600 per prison inmate.

        Brought To You By That Crazed Sociologist/Media Fanatic rebel ga Be The Change You Want To See In The World! Gandhi

        by rebel ga on Thu Oct 18, 2012 at 09:24:08 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  it's basically just accounting sophistry (15+ / 0-)

      akin to the GOPer's claims that when they raise fees they haven't really raised taxes . . . . (IIRC, the previous MD governor got dinged on this big time).

      •  It never seems to get said... (4+ / 0-)

        Colleges and universities and the health care industry charge TOO MUCH!  We may argue between political parties about how to pay for it (ie. healthcare insurance) but the fact remains that higher ed and healthcare industries charge way too much.  Teachers, MDs and RNs and all the other folks ought to be paid well.  But ho-lee shit.  The industry charges have far exceeded cost of living increases.

        "The opposite of faith is not doubt. It's certainty."

        by Simul Iustus et Peccator on Thu Oct 18, 2012 at 08:47:02 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  The states have dramatically cut their support (5+ / 0-)

          for institutions of higher learning, and the money has to come from somewhere.

          It seems in the 90's there was a shift away from a style of keeping tuition (and fees) as low as possible for everyone and instead having the official cost rise and providing more financial aid for kids in need. The idea was to get more tuition out of kids who could afford it and I think the original intent was to be revenue neutral overall.

          One of the problems with that is that most scholarships are only funded for 4 years, and it turns out there are lots of reasons (some academic, some logistical, and some just chance) why a student might need 5 or even 6 years to graduate. So what happens is that a student is funded for the first four years at relatively low cost, but then has to finance the entire 5th year with student loans, doubling or tripling the student's debt even though the student came into the education system with a very appropriate and responsible plan to pay for her education. But when you're a year away from graduating, you pretty much are stuck doing whatever it takes to finance that last year.

          Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

          by elfling on Thu Oct 18, 2012 at 08:55:36 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Yes, that's big! (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            sethtriggs
            instead having the official cost rise and providing more financial aid for kids in need
            For example, doesn't Harvard offer "free" tuition for any kid from a household with an income $60K or lower?   And most of their peer schools have some type of similar system.  

            But to pay for that, the nominal tuition rates have indeed skyrocketed much faster than inflation would indicate they should have.

            •  there really is no such thing (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              milton333

              I know because my daughter just graduated from a college that went "tuition free" the year she entered. You still have to pay the parental contribution which is based on parental income.

              and here's another aspect of all of this Financial stuff is done at the same time as kids apply. In two keystrokes schools know who will need help and how much. The whole notion of needs blind is bs unless the school has a commitment to both diversity and helping kids that need financial help.

        •  Health care, definitely, based on international (0+ / 0-)

          comparisons.

          Higher education - much less so - for example, check out how much top European universities charge foreigners  . .. .  it's in the same ballpark as peer US schools

        •  It is unsustainable wealth stripping. (0+ / 0-)
  •  What a shell game he's playing (8+ / 0-)

    with peoples' lives, ugh.

    Short on words this morning, but thanks for this, Laura: it is despicable.

  •  I am coming to believe (9+ / 0-)

    that the only true statement Romney has made in his life is, "Ann is my wife."



    Is it true? Is it kind? Is it necessary? . . . and respect the dignity of every human being.

    by Wee Mama on Thu Oct 18, 2012 at 08:03:41 AM PDT

  •  When I attended Humboldt State University (8+ / 0-)

    before Reagan and Deukmajian screwed everything up, there was no tuition charged for the State Colleges/Universities or for the University system (UCLA, UC Berkeley, etc.) The only costs were "class" fees (cost of each unit), registration fees, ID fees, dorm fees, etc.

    The fees weren't that bad looking back at them from this year, but I ended up graduating in three years instead of four because I didn't want to get into any more debt. I graduated owing around $3,200 (in 1979).

    The richie-riches decided that they didn't want to subsidize education anymore, so tuition was imposed. Considering the number of complaints/riots that have occurred recently, it is probably a fairly high number.

    Of course, the other fees charged have probably also risen!

    I reject your reality and substitute my own - Adam Savage

    by woolibaar on Thu Oct 18, 2012 at 08:05:41 AM PDT

  •  student loans are always about banks, not about (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    OhioNatureMom, sethtriggs, qofdisks

    education

    yksitoista ulotteinen presidentin shakki. / tappaa kaikki natsit "Nous sommes un groupuscule" (-9.50; -7.03) 政治委员, 政委‽ Warning - some snark above ‽

    by annieli on Thu Oct 18, 2012 at 08:24:32 AM PDT

  •  it's okay, they can just get the rest... (6+ / 0-)

    ...from their parents.  Right, Mitt?

    "Glenn Beck ends up looking like a fat, stupid child. His face should be wearing a chef's hat on the side of a box of eclairs. " - Doug Stanhope

    by Front Toward Enemy on Thu Oct 18, 2012 at 08:26:26 AM PDT

  •  Massachusetts viewers were screaming at their TVs (11+ / 0-)

    on this one... at least the MA viewers who know what those grants were and what they weren't.  They have helped a lot of families but as you say, they are a small slice of pie in the total pie chart that is the full cost (to a family) of putting a daughter or son through college.

    What total bullshit.

  •  I had a long talk (8+ / 0-)

    with a friend who has been a lobbyist, and is now an elected official.

    The thing people need to understand about Romney was that when he was governor the Democrats had veto proof majorities in both houses.

    So Romney essentially takes credit for things the Democratic legislature imposed at the end of the day.

    That is not an explanation that is easy to make nationally.

    The bitter truth of deep inequality has been disguised by an era of cheap imported goods and the anyone-can-make-it celebrity myth - Polly Toynbee

    by fladem on Thu Oct 18, 2012 at 08:28:44 AM PDT

    •  OK. The Questions for Romney NOW = (0+ / 0-)

      Given all the wonderful things you achieved as Governor of MA with a veto-proof Democratic majority that sent you progressive legislation to sign.......

      If elected President, and if you have a veto-proof Democratic majority in Congress that sends you progressive legislation to sign........will you throw your base under the bus by going along with the Dems or will you undermine ALL the progressive legislation by appointing Supreme Court Justices who will do it for you?

      Or will you issue Executive Orders?

  •  When I was discharged from the USMC in 1978, (5+ / 0-)

    Massachusetts had the same policy in place then.  I could (and did) attend any state run university or college tuition free.  I just had to pay the fees.  At the same time, I received the GI Bill which gave me a monthly payment to off-set these fees and the cost of books.  So this is nothing new, and RMoney certainly had no part in its creation.

    "With all due respect, that's a bunch of malarky". - V.P. Joe Biden

    by Taxmancometh on Thu Oct 18, 2012 at 08:28:51 AM PDT

    •  Nothing New (0+ / 0-)

      Yes, when I graduated from high school in Massachusetts in 1977, I was offered a similar scholarship:  4 years full tuition at any Massachusetts state university.  But, it wasn't portable.  I couldn't use it at the Ivy League school that I was planning on attending.  So, even though I was from a middle class family and really could have used the financial help to pay for college, that offer did me no good.

      Willard has no grasp on the extent to which college has become even less affordable over the years, and how much needs to be done to ensure that college students don't graduate with the kind of crushing debts that both limit their career options and keep them so impoverished that they defer for years the home and car purchases that help the economy thrive.

  •  Would it be possible (6+ / 0-)

    not to plaster Rmoney's face all over all these diaries? I absolutely can't stand him and it makes it worse to see him in every diary.

    Does anyone else feel this way?

    Helping a food pantry on the Cheyenne River Reservation,Okiciyap." >www.okiciyap.yolasite.com<"

    by betson08 on Thu Oct 18, 2012 at 08:30:45 AM PDT

  •  Not only an habitual liar (5+ / 0-)

    but also a master dissembler.

    This guy has a clinical aversion to truth.

    Paranoia strikes deep. Into your life it will creep. It starts when you're always afraid. You step out of line, the man come and take you away. - S. Stills

    by ask on Thu Oct 18, 2012 at 08:32:06 AM PDT

  •  "Why, when I was governor of MA, (8+ / 0-)

    No new cases of cancer occured, people didn't have
    to pay for groceries, gas was $.25 a gallon, and
    many unicorns were spotted across the state."

  •  I don't care what he SAYS about his 'plans' (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    qofdisks, raboof, antidote

    No way in HELL will he fight for it; no way in HELL will he accomplish it; no way in HELL is this an actual priority for him

    That goes for Obama, too. It's just another campaign lie.

    WE NEED ABSOLUTELY FREE COLLEGE EDUCATION IN THIS COUNTRY LIKE EVERY OTHER CIVILIZED INDUSTRIAL NATION. If you GET IN, you GET EDUCATED. It's really very simple, and the best possible solution overall.

    Health care, same goddamned fucking thing. No 'insurance' that has donut holes to pad a CEO's feathernest...fuck all, I'm moving to fucking Canada or France. This country will NEVER LEARN.

    "I feel a lot safer already."--Emil Sitka

    by DaddyO on Thu Oct 18, 2012 at 08:33:44 AM PDT

  •  The original GA Hope Scholarship (4+ / 0-)

    - actually covered all tuition AND FEES and provided a small book stipend, for anyone who graduated with a B average in high school and maintained that in college.

    It's since been watered down heavily, but my tuition is as an undergrad was about $1500, and my institutional fee was perhaps $400.

    The Cake is a lie. In Pie there is Truth. ~ Fordmandalay

    by catwho on Thu Oct 18, 2012 at 08:36:24 AM PDT

  •  "mom, does that mean I can go to college here?" (4+ / 0-)

    That's what my bright 11-year-old said when we were watching the debate together on youtube last night.  The plan is to ship both of our daughters off to Italy when they graduate from high school, where college is cheap and they have dual citizenship.

    If I had known Romney said that in the debate, I wouldn't have let her watch.  Makes me spitting mad.

    •  Or Canada (4+ / 0-)

      If you're a Minnesotan, you can go to Manitoba universities for Canadian tuition rates as of 2011. $3800 a year. And get this, if you stay in Manitoba afterwords, they give you 25k in tax credits. They're lonely up there!

      I did something similar back in the 90's, when I went to the U of Victoria for grad school for a year for about $3000. Not sure if they still do that, but Americans shouldn't write of Canada as a cheap (and academically rigorous) option.

  •  Why does ever thing this man says have to be (5+ / 0-)

    put through a parser to check where he has shaded the truth?  He is the World's biggest used car saleman.  This car was lightly driven by a little old lady.

    Mitt Romney's moral compass points to the Cayman Islands.

    by captainlaser on Thu Oct 18, 2012 at 08:40:02 AM PDT

  •  Yep this is how they "keep college affordable" (4+ / 0-)

    in MA.  Freeze tuition and shift costs to "fees" which are the same thing.

    It's like lowering taxes by shifting costs to "use fees".

    Barack Obama is not a secret socialist class warrior who wants to redistribute wealth in America. But I'll still vote for him, anyway.

    by looty on Thu Oct 18, 2012 at 08:41:00 AM PDT

    •  Tuition (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Cassandra Waites

      tuition |t(y)oōˈi sh ən|
      noun
      a sum of money charged for teaching or instruction by a school, college, or university : I'm not paying next year's tuition.

      "four years tuition-free to the college of your choice in Massachusetts that's a public institution." ~ Mitt Romney
      fee |fē|
      noun
      1 a payment made to a professional person or to a professional or public body in exchange for advice or services.
      • money paid as part of a special transaction, e.g., for a privilege or for admission to something : the gallery charges an admission fee.
      • (usu. fees) money regularly paid (esp. to a school or similar institution) for continuing services : high tuition fees required by the schools.
      At the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, when the John and Abigail Adams scholarship was established in 2004, tuition was $1,714. That's how much it was in 1999, and that's how much it is this year. Fees, on the other hand, were $7,294 in 2004-2005 (up from $6,518 in 2003-2004, the year Romney took office, and a sharp increase from the $4,768 the year before he took office). The year Romney left office, fees were $7,881. That means that the scholarship program Romney is so proud of, the one he mentioned in the very first minutes of the debate, covered 19 percent of college costs the year it was established, and 17.8 percent the year he left office
      free |frē|
      adjective ( freer |ˈfrēər|, freest |ˈfrēəst|)
      1 not under the control or in the power of another; able to act or be done as one wishes : I have no ambitions other than to have a happy life and be free | a free choice.
      • (of a state or its citizens or institutions) subject neither to foreign domination nor to despotic government : a free press.
      • [often as complement ] not or no longer confined or imprisoned : the researchers set the birds free.
      • historical not a slave.
      • [with infinitive ] able or permitted to take a specified action : you are free to leave.
      • [in names ] denoting an ethnic or political group actively opposing an occupying or invading force, in particular the groups that continued resisting the Germans in World War II after the fall of their countries. See also Free French .
      2 [often as complement ] not physically restrained, obstructed, or fixed; unimpeded : she lifted the cat free.
      • Physics (of power or energy) disengaged or available. See also free energy .
      • Physics & Chemistry not bound in an atom, a molecule, or a compound : the atmosphere of that time contained virtually no free oxygen. See also free radical .
      • Linguistics (of a morpheme) able to occur in isolation.
      • Linguistics (of syntax) not constrained by word order.
      3 not subject to or constrained by engagements or obligations : she spent her free time shopping.
      • (of a facility or piece of equipment) not occupied or in use : the bathroom was free.
      4 [ predic. ] ( free of/from) not subject to or affected by (a specified thing, typically an undesirable one) : membership is free of charge.
      5 given or available without charge : free health care.

      "four years tuition-free to the college of your choice in Massachusetts that's a public institution." ~ Mitt Romney
      You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

      Do not be overcome by evil but overcome evil with good. ~ Romans 12:21

      by Mickquinas on Thu Oct 18, 2012 at 09:27:58 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  The Romney campaign is brilliant (6+ / 0-)

    People have been giving them a hard time, but the strategy is so simple that it boggles the mind - Lie about every single solitary thing - big things, little things, current plans, past achievements, everything.  Pick a VP that lies even worse.  The media will get so burnt out talking about it they will stop covering the lies.  And the voters will take 'truthfulness' as just yet another media driven issue that passes (like not releasing the tax returns, which no one apparently cares about anymore either).  I swear, if you have no policies or decency to stand on, it really is a pretty good plan given what passes for journalism these days (he said, she said, talking points).

    Can anyone tell me that this strategy has not worked on both half the population and the MSM?

    •  Lie and Lie and get other side to repeat the lies (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      DaddyO

      when they try to debunk them. This repetition only makes the lie stronger in people's subconscious minds.

      Ye Olde "do not think of an elephant' trick.

    •  How long can lying about everything work? (0+ / 0-)

      In this country? A long, long time.

      The US is more than my home. It is the home of the world's biggest cash cow, its citizens. You milk it by lying to them--about any topic possible. The newest,most imaginative ways of lying are now a GROWTH INDUSTRY.

      It really is as simple as that. And, no, it can't last very long, but it will last long enough to reduce this vast and wealthy country back into Feudalism. Ah gah-ron-TEE it.

      "I feel a lot safer already."--Emil Sitka

      by DaddyO on Thu Oct 18, 2012 at 10:33:50 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  typical bait and switch of right wing (5+ / 0-)

    politicians, happens down here all the time.  They won't raise taxes, but they raise fees.   They have to keep their revenues up,   but they lie by saying they aren't raising taxes, but your driver's license fee doubled,  the licence plate renewal fee goes up, a business license fee triples, new fees for services that were previously free, etc.  And these fees tend to be regressive.  A one man lawn service company pays more proportionately than ChemLawn when these fees are imposed.

    A couple years back they raised fees on court appeals so precipitously that the courts basically told the legislature, change it,  because the fees have become a denial of due process.  A basic appeal transcript would have been thousands of dollars.

  •  Meme = (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sethtriggs, qofdisks, Mickquinas

    Romney and GOP Don't Care About People Whose Backs They Ride Upon.

    Democrats Care.

    I'd be careful not to repeat Romney's words/lies/obfuscations because:

    SOROS Quotation--see:
    “The Science of Propaganda”
    Great forum with George Lakoff and others.... view or listen online:

    http://www.c-spanarchives.org/...

    The book:
    http://www.powells.com/...

    "What Orwell Didn't Know: Propaganda and the New Face of American Politics"
    Edited by ANDRÁS SZÁNTÓ

    "As Lakoff tells us,

    'A few words in political language can activate large portions of the brain: War on Terror, tax relief, illegal immigration, entitlements (turned to conservative use by Ronald Reagan), death tax, property rights, abortion on demand, cut and run, flip-flop, school choice, intelligent design, spending programs, partial birth abortion, surge, spreading freedom, private accounts, individual responsibility, energy independence.

    When they are repeated every day, extensive areas of the brain are activated over and over, and this leads to brain change. Unerasable brain change…. And every time the words are repeated, all the frames and metaphors and worldview structures are activated again and strengthened -- because recurring activation strengthens neural connections. Negation doesn't help. "I'm against the War on Terror" just activates the War on Terror metaphor and strengthens what you're against. Accepting the language of issue and arguing the other side just hurts your own cause.'

    Drew Westen, a psychology professor and political consultant, supports Lakoff's statements as well as his contention that in America these techniques have been exploited far more intelligently by the political right than by the center and left, which are hampered by what Soros calls "the Enlightenment fallacy" -- that is, the fallacious assumption (dating from the 18th century) that freedom of thought and speech will ensure that reason will prevail. The media and the Democratic leadership, Westen says, are unwittingly "smuggling Trojan horses into popular discourse" by parroting terminology created by those in power, "essentially advertising the 'product line' of the Republican party and selling its 'brand.' "

    From Barnes & Noble book review by Brooke Allen:
    http://www.barnesandnoble.com/...

    George Lakoff, an author and professor of linguistics at the University of California at Berkeley who calls himself a "cognitive activist," says this: "One of the fundamental findings of cognitive science is that people think in terms of frames and metaphors – conceptual structures. The frames are in the synapses of our brains – physically present in the form of neural circuitry. When the facts don't fit the frames, the frames are kept and the facts ignored."
    In other words, forget winning on the facts or the science. It's all about the story. And once stories take hold, they're hard to dislodge. "
    http://www.alternet.org/...

  •  And even if it was true (which it isn't) ... (5+ / 0-)
    When I was governor of Massachusetts, to get a high school degree you had to pass an exam. If you graduated in the top quarter of your class, we gave you a John and Abigail Adams scholarship—four years tuition-free to the college of your choice in Massachusetts that's a public institution.
    ... doesn't that sound a lot like SOCIALISM?!!

    So now Romney is claiming that government involvement in education is good?  

    And that public government-funded institutions of learning are good?

  •  College is being way, way oversold in the U.S. (7+ / 0-)

    as a solution to our economic problems and inequality.   We probably have enough students going for a bachelor's degree or higher.  I think we fail on giving enough career guidance and academic guidance to students at all levels such that they have the tools to make realistic career assessments.

    The high costs also make it difficult for students to explore interests.  Thus a future engineer isn't going to take the extra time to follow up an interest in the arts or humanities if they're so inclined.

    •  Yeah, it's a solution that sounds good (3+ / 0-)

      That's pretty much it.  It's ludicrous to think that in 2007 there were exactly the right number of plumbers, but then suddenly, in 2008, we had far too many.  Or that in 2008 there was a sudden shortage of computer engineers.  There simply aren't 20 million positions out there sitting open due to lack of qualified applicants.  

      The real problem is that there's a lack of manufacturing in the US, and that the rise in income disparity means that incomes have failed to keep up with increases in productivity.  Most workers simply don't make enough to keep demand at a level that would get us near full employment.  

      To believe that markets determine value is to believe that milk comes from plastic bottles. Bromley (1985)

      by sneakers563 on Thu Oct 18, 2012 at 09:03:06 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  The total global free trade concept was sold as a (3+ / 0-)

        great boon to us that would ship all the dirty manufacturing jobs somewhere else and replace them with nice clean tech and service jobs.  See Th. Friedman for example.

        Unfortunately someone forgot to mention that the manufacturing drove the development of a lot of those tech and service jobs and now, like much of the rest of the world, we have a surplus labor problem that we are not going to be able to educate our way out of.

    •  I think the word is "college costs bubble" (0+ / 0-)

      The costs will soon outweigh the value...if not already. Atrios observed this in the last year or so, and there's no arguing it, especially in our New Normal of low inflation/deflation and ginormous loans for higher education.

      "I feel a lot safer already."--Emil Sitka

      by DaddyO on Thu Oct 18, 2012 at 10:38:25 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  . (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sethtriggs, qofdisks, DaddyO, Matt Z

    Why does it seem that Dubya Mitt Romney would see someone drowning 30 feet from shore, toss him a 20 foot rope, watch him drown, and hold a press conference saying that it was his own fault since Romney met him more than halfway?

    If you can make a man afraid, he will vote Republican. If you can make a man think, he will vote Democratic.

    by cosumel on Thu Oct 18, 2012 at 08:54:09 AM PDT

  •  When I heard Romney say this (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sethtriggs, qofdisks, milton333

    I thought he was suggesting every student in the top 25% of all the country's high schools should get a free ride to college. I thought that sounded great! But I guess that's not what he meant. :)

    •  Both of my sons (0+ / 0-)

      qualified for the program based on their testing scores in the State's mandated testing programs.  Does the grant cover all costs?  No.  Is $14k a year a hell of a savings?  Yes.

      "When you're wounded and left on Afghanistan's plains, And the women come out to cut up what remains, Jest roll to your rifle and blow out your brains An' go to your Gawd like a soldier." Rudyard Kipling

      by EdMass on Thu Oct 18, 2012 at 09:08:29 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  ???? (0+ / 0-)

        2 sons, $1,714 annual "tuition", Adams scholarship, = $3,428 (at UMass-Amherst).

        $3.4k ≠ $14k

        Is the diarist mistaken, has the plan changed, or are your sons receiving funds from other programs as well (even if those programs use the state HS testing as a filter)?

        Are you claiming that the Adams scholarship covers more than tuition (against the diarist's claims)? If so, please cite a resource so that readers can verify this, ideally online.

        If the plan has changed, it would be great to know that, as well as the when/how/who of this benefit improvement.

        If your sons are receiving multiple forms of aid, which seems likely and would make a ton of sense, it'd be nice to know what those other forms are, since they apparently run over $10k/year. Other parents would like to know, I'm sure. As a student, I'm pretty curious.

        Plus, your comment pretty much calls the diarist a liar.
        Clarity would be helpful.

        Do not be overcome by evil but overcome evil with good. ~ Romans 12:21

        by Mickquinas on Thu Oct 18, 2012 at 09:55:51 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  2 sons (0+ / 0-)

          both accepted to honors college...$6,915 *2 = $13, 850...gee, I was $150 short.  I sincerely apologize.

          And, I did not call the diarist a liar. I said the State's budget manipulations and fees vs taxes scam is not isolated to the Rmoney term and is more complex in terms of MA politics than the diarist was stating.  

          And your requested source

          Fall 2012/ Spring 2013 Tuition and Fees

          As to

          As a student, I'm pretty curious.
          Your Profile
          United Methodist pastor, progressive, former carpenter, and lapsed Catholic. Divinity student at Chicago Theological Seminary. Dreaming the impossible dream.
          And your unique perspective on MA politics is based on what?

          "When you're wounded and left on Afghanistan's plains, And the women come out to cut up what remains, Jest roll to your rifle and blow out your brains An' go to your Gawd like a soldier." Rudyard Kipling

          by EdMass on Thu Oct 18, 2012 at 10:31:37 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Thanks, but.. (0+ / 0-)

            A) I get that the tuition for your kids is about $14k for both, I'm not complaining about imprecision.

            B) Your comment implied (as I read it in the context of this thread) that the Adams scholarship to which Mitt Romney referred in the debate covers that (appx) $14k, i.e. that your "savings" is $14k/yr or equivalent to "tuition-free" in the normally understood (non-Mass. sense).

            Does the grant cover all costs?  No.  Is $14k a year a hell of a savings?  Yes.
            C) the diarist's comments indicate that this is not so.

            D) the fee schedule that you link to shows $857 in Honor's Undergraduate Full-Time "tuition" for residents per semester which is $1,714/yr or $3,428 for two as the diarist claimed and I included in my reply.

            E) If what you say is not compatible with the diarist's assertions and you are commenting from the position of authority (by having two students in the system), this indicates that either readers are missing information or the diarist is full of BS (or both).

            F) I am an MDiv student and a second career pastor. I completed my undergrad in 2011 and student debt issues are near and dear to my heart. I have no unique perspective on Massachusetts politics other than what I have come across in the comments here at dKos and on Charles Pierce's blog. I am 40 years removed from my childhood in Vermont. But a man who was once a politician in Massachusetts is making an argument that we should let him take his MA show national. This diary speaks to part of his argument on behalf of that as does your comment. As a person that is committed to the possibility that this world may be in the process of being transformed from injustice to justice, I am concerned that the critique of the candidates is at least accurate.

            G) I'm sorry if my original query comes off excessively dickish (which I infer from your response). I really was, and am, perplexed at your comment, especially as a reply to Nance. Are you simply stating that you appreciate the (appx) $3,400 that you are saving via the Adams scholarship (i.e. $14k is much better than $17k)? If so, that wasn't clear at all.

            H) I also get that MA politics is more complex; IL politics is more complex, hell, anywhere's politics is more complex than any diarist/blogger is liable to indicate. Your comment below, "Glass Houses", makes that much clearer than this one. I fear that you are conflating the two. When MA politics gains national attention in a national debate, and pops up on internationally read dKos, folks are going to ask questions.

            Again, I apologize that I offended. I assumed, based on your comment, that you had specific knowledge as a parent of students in MA that refuted the diarists critique of Romney's assertion about the Adams scholarships and really just wanted to be sure that I, and other readers, got a look at that info so that we could make our own decision about the veracity of the original statement and the critique. Because I think that this is important, I'll ask again, at the risk of offending again,

            Are you saying (in your original comment) that the Adams sholarships, to which Mitt Romney referred in the debate, cover more of the cost of higher education in MA, for MA resident students, at MA public universities, than simply the cost of "tuition" (the $857/semester per your link)?

            If this is what you were (and are) saying, and appear to be in an excellent position to know, I think it makes a big difference in how we read this diary and receive this diarist. And I would love for you to expand on that, either in comments, or by creating a new diary and linking to it here.

            If this is not what you meant, and not what you think you said, I think that it is important that you know that this is what one person heard.

            Best of luck to you and your sons.
            Peace.

            Do not be overcome by evil but overcome evil with good. ~ Romans 12:21

            by Mickquinas on Thu Oct 18, 2012 at 11:28:12 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  I'm guessing the commenter meant... (0+ / 0-)

          ...compared with OTHER state college tuition rates. Not that she's any less incorrect, or correct, I'm just guessing...but that's all I have to contribute to this knockup.

          "I feel a lot safer already."--Emil Sitka

          by DaddyO on Thu Oct 18, 2012 at 10:41:21 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  I don't think (0+ / 0-)

        anyone has said any sort of help wouldn't be a good thing. But the way Romney said it, it sounded like he was talking about a much more generous program than this one. And that it would be a good thing for the whole country.

        http://www.osfa.mass.edu/...   for general info

        And here's a list of public colleges that take the Adams grant -- http://www.doe.mass.edu/... -- Community Colleges, State Colleges and UMass campuses.

        And a paper on the program -- http://www.hks.harvard.edu/...

        Which I found when I Googled whether or not Harvard takes the Adams grant. No. If you are going to Harvard so you can be President some day, this grant doesn't apply to you. :)

  •  Glass Houses (0+ / 0-)

    Need to be careful here.  

    Blame Rmoney?  Blame Dem controlled legislature?  

    This "scam" is long in the making, the "is it a tax or fee" crap MA has been enduring for decades.  

    Two words...Billy Bulger.

    This is way more complex and historical than this post makes it out for national consumption.

    "When you're wounded and left on Afghanistan's plains, And the women come out to cut up what remains, Jest roll to your rifle and blow out your brains An' go to your Gawd like a soldier." Rudyard Kipling

    by EdMass on Thu Oct 18, 2012 at 08:58:05 AM PDT

  •  That's not true, Laura... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DaddyO

    ...he also said a kid could borrow money from the parents to pay for school.  You see?  romney has a 2-point plan to get American kids college-educated!  He is a real idea man!!

    Aldus Shrugged : The Antidote to Ayn Rand. ***Buy ALDUS SHRUGGED on amazon, and ALL royalties will be donated directly to Democrats in contentious Downballot races. @floydbluealdus1

    by Floyd Blue on Thu Oct 18, 2012 at 09:08:02 AM PDT

  •  Romney and fees (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    qofdisks

    He also tried to raise, or did raise, fees on over 1000 items (because they're not a tax).

    A fee on being cremated
    A fee for testing positive for TB
    A fee on nurses
    A fee on ice skaters,

    etc.

    Oh, yeah, and he's a dick.

    The white man knows how to make many things, but he does not know how to distribute them - Chief Sitting Bull

    by cka on Thu Oct 18, 2012 at 09:08:04 AM PDT

  •  Fees VS Taxes (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    qofdisks

    Check out the books...Mitt raised "fees" on everything from tolls to registering your car. All so he could balance the budget ...without raising taxes, so when he ran for president,Grover and the boys couldn't come after him.

    •  This is not isolated to Rmoney's term (0+ / 0-)

      The fees vs taxes crap has been a hallmark of MA legislative action.  And, the State Constitution mandates a balanced budget so whatever occurs, regardless of party and Governship,  it's always going to be the case.

      "When you're wounded and left on Afghanistan's plains, And the women come out to cut up what remains, Jest roll to your rifle and blow out your brains An' go to your Gawd like a soldier." Rudyard Kipling

      by EdMass on Thu Oct 18, 2012 at 09:12:26 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Fee vs. Tax (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        DaddyO

        while slimy, is not the same as fee vs. tuition.

        Tuition is already understood, generally, as a subcategory of fee. If a program is going to pay for tuition, it is presumed that what it pays is the cost, to the student, of going to class.

        If the student cannot "opt out" or work out alternatives, as is the case with books (libraries, used books, sharing), room and board (commuting, roommates, etc.), transportation (public, car, bicycle), and supplies (pen & paper, laptop), then the cost is pretty much tuition (grating a few exceptions, such as health records, vaccinations, testing/transcripts).

        Tuition is the base cost of sitting in a classroom, in front of a professor (knowing full well that these days many folks never meet their professor or their classmates, having attended in a "virtual" classroom, however, the principle still holds).

        You con't have to blame Mitt Romney for creating the system where cost increases are passed on as "fees". But he's got to know the difference between how Massachusetts folks "hear" what he's saying and the way the rest of the country understands it. If you know that folks are going to misunderstand what you say, to your benefit, because of your language, I don't know what else to call it but a lie.

        This isn't a used car salesman leveraging a customers greed to unload a lemon. This is a guy touting lemon juice to folks who are familiar with orange juice. The words sound similar but refer to different realities. And Mitt should know the difference.

        Do not be overcome by evil but overcome evil with good. ~ Romans 12:21

        by Mickquinas on Thu Oct 18, 2012 at 10:13:21 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Ma split tuition vs fees (0+ / 0-)

          over 20 years ago.  Yes "tuition".  Our ears are fine, and we know what the legislature does to balance the budget. You are projecting, imho.

          "When you're wounded and left on Afghanistan's plains, And the women come out to cut up what remains, Jest roll to your rifle and blow out your brains An' go to your Gawd like a soldier." Rudyard Kipling

          by EdMass on Thu Oct 18, 2012 at 10:18:44 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Perhaps I am. (0+ / 0-)

            And I'm fairly certain that the folks in MA hear him just fine.

            I'm in IL, and I expect that this article might be linked to by folks all over the US. I'm worried about my former classmates and neighbors, the folks who hear "four years tuition-free" and think, "this guy's not all that bad."

            I'm not critiquing Massachusetts, or MA voters. I think that they probably have a better handle on former Governor Willard "Mitt" Romney (R-MA) than the rest of the country. But what he says about his time in MA (little enough) needs to be understood in context by the rest of us.

            We have fees in IL too, but the discourse is different around tuition.

            I think that Mitt knows that what he says may be literally true, but will be received in a way that is not true, and to his benefit, outside of its original context. I may be projecting, but I've also seen it happen.

            We seem to be talking quite a bit today, Ed. I hope that this comment, unlike my earlier one, is not received as a counterpoint to yours. I was just sort of thinking out the implications of the MA context that you had given for the wider audience of the debate. Mitt didn't invent it, but how is he using it?

            Thank you for giving me pause to reflect on the ways in which I'm appropriating this to myself and seeing my own issues in the discourse.

            Hope you're having a blessed day in spite of having to address my confusion [and projection ;)].

            Do not be overcome by evil but overcome evil with good. ~ Romans 12:21

            by Mickquinas on Thu Oct 18, 2012 at 11:51:32 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  My college scholarship (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    qofdisks, DaddyO

    I went to a small state school in my home state and I think it was the best offer ever...truly a free ride.  This scholarship paid all tuition, room and board, and $200/semester book allowance, and approximately $600/semester living allowance to allow for less time working (most of us still worked).  So, I basically got paid to go to school and otherwise wouldn't have had the opportunity to pay for it.  No way my family or parents could have paid for it...way too poor.  The scholarship helped me start life debt free...and then I went on to graduate school (thank you, American taxpayer for paying that).

    The scholarship still exists at the school but is now limited to only 10 students per year.  The main requirement is that you must graduate as class valedictorian.  Most of the money used now to maintain the scholarship fund come from community and corporate donations.  I still donate every year to it to help the next generation.

    "When a nation goes down, or a society perishes, one condition may always be found; they forgot where they came from. They lost sight of what had brought them along." --Carl Sandburg

    by Mote Dai on Thu Oct 18, 2012 at 09:20:31 AM PDT

  •  Is there anything he hasn't lied about? (0+ / 0-)

    Tuition, binders, working across the aisle, tax manipulation, champion of women's issues etc  . . . .  Even Nixon occasionally told the truth, but this SOB seems to avoid the truth like poison.

  •  What a liar he is. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    qofdisks

    I thought that sounded too good to be true.  Like most people, when I hear "tuition-free", it implies you can attend classes for free.  Mitt is purposefully misleading people.

    Obama should incorporate this into his stump speech at colleges and universities.  Student won't be buying this load of crap.

  •  its pretty easy (0+ / 0-)

    to reduce most of romneys pronouncements that he has favored positions that help the 99%, two letters is all it takes to describe his veracity, bs, now wasn't the easy, to the point, and most importantly accurate.  

  •  Well, it's an 79.8% sham. (0+ / 0-)
  •  How to secretly raise taxes - FEEs (0+ / 0-)

    This doesn't surprise me at all.  I had heard how "FEEs" in Massachusetts escalated while Mitt Romney was Governor.

    Taking credit for a reduction in tuition that was most likely created by the Democrat majority in the state isn't beyond him either.  

    It's a lot easier to appear to be giving something to students for their education then enacting legislation to put limits on FEEs and the actual costs.

    I heard there might even bee a fee for being blind in Massachusetts.  

  •  Here's why the fees are rising... (Romney...) (0+ / 0-)

    I spoke with a professor at UMass Amherst last week- all scholarship money paid to the University GOES BACK INTO THE GENERAL STATE FUND.

    Fees are kept by the college for use on the campus....

    Governor Romney's draconian cuts to Higher Ed, and the formula for what happens with the money drove this plan into the ditch. Schools had to replace something like 19% of their funding taken away by Governor Romney.

    Not for nothing, but you can trace the rise in fees charged by public school districts all across the Commonwealth directly to cuts by Romney on big ticket items in local aid to schools- busing, SPED, etc...

    "When you're skating on thin ice, you might as well dance." Jesse Winchester

    by The Poet Deploreate on Thu Oct 18, 2012 at 10:22:44 AM PDT

  •  And if elected, no more Pell grants to help out (0+ / 0-)

    It's a Republican shell game.

    "Good morning, brothers Koch. I see you're doing well. If I had me a shotgun, I'd blow you straight to hell." w/apologies to R. Hunter

    by RUKind on Thu Oct 18, 2012 at 10:34:10 AM PDT

  •  Taxes, fees, lions, and bears (0+ / 0-)

    Just more GOP accounting BS.

    Cut taxes, raise fees. But claim you cut taxes. Cut state taxes, towns raise local taxes to cover cut in state aid. But you, Governor, cut taxes and were fiscally responsible. So what if towns want to spend money on teachers, cops, and firefighters?

    A society is judged by how well it cares for those in the dawn of life, the children. By how well it cares for those in the twilight of life, the elderly. And, by how well it cares for those on the edge of life; the poor, the sick, and the disabled.

    by BobBlueMass on Thu Oct 18, 2012 at 12:29:43 PM PDT

  •  UMass Scholarship (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mickquinas

    I think I must have been I was a recipient of that merit scholarship before it took its present name. I believe it was  in place long before Romney took office, although it may have been expanded at some point after I graduated. It covered my tuition when I was a student at U Mass Amherst from 1977-81. But tuition then was in the hundreds of dollars per semester if I recall correctly. The bottom line is that I graduated with something like $6500 in loans despite the scholarship, for which I was and remain grateful. So this was definitely not anything like full funding. Romney has a way of taking credit for things that happened in Massachusetts with little or no input from him. The claim about the schools is a classic case. Massachusetts has ranked at or near the top in education nationally for decades; this was true before Romney held office and it has been true since. He doesn't seem to be able to point to anything he actually did to contribute to this. One reason may be that the governor has little control over school funding. When I lived there, it all came from local property taxes. But that doesn't stop him from taking credit. Judging from the polls, Mass voters see through this. The rest of the country should too.

  •  UMASS Amherst "tuition" and FEES (0+ / 0-)

    From my sophomore son's Fall 2012 bill:

    Tuition                     $857.00
    Curriculum Fee         $4,707.00
    Student Activities Fee     $48.50
    Service Fee                 $675.50
    Student Health Fee         $327.00
    Honors College Fee             $300.00
    Student Health              $1,377.50
    Mass Pirg                 $11.00
    Child Care                 $1.00
    OIT Residential Services     $108.00
    Value Meal Plan         $2,187.00
    Base Room Fee         $2,673.50

    TOTAL                    $13,271.00

    Now, I'd love for him to be on a "tuition free" plan - but it'd only save us 6% or so of the total bill.

  •  That sounds very fair (0+ / 0-)

    Are they supposed o cover everything, including cable tv and condoms. What ever happened to getting a job part time to offset costs. America is broke

  •  Let's cut to the chase here (0+ / 0-)

    Romney is a god damn liar.  He knew exactly the game he was playing with tuition vs fees.  In CA, believe it or not, tuition is free at state schools for all students as a matter of law.  Instead you pay a fee, that oddly, is equivalent to what you might expect tuition to be.  This asshole (I'm referring to Romney in this case, not Ryan) knew exactly what he was saying and was fucking lying.

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