Friday, January 9, 2015

TNGOP: If You’re Serious About Following Tennessee’s Lead, Show Us the Money, Mr. President

NASHVILLE, Tenn.–Just as predicted by Tennessee Republican Party Chairman Chris Devaney in his op-ed in yesterday’s Knoxville News Sentinel, President Barack Obama will in fact propose two years of paid tuition for graduating high school seniors during his visit to Knoxville later today.
The TNGOP released the following statement from Chairman Devaney about the proposal:
Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, but the President’s attempt to repackage the Tennessee Promise into a national initiative only gets it half right.
“While Tennessee was able to create the program without new appropriations or increased taxes, President Obama appears to be keen on maxing out America’s credit cards and forcing states to pay a portion of it as well. White House aides are already describing the cost as ‘significant’ to American taxpayers.
“In contrast, Tennesseans aren’t losing a penny on the Tennessee Promise. Without a realistic way to both balance our federal budget and ‘show us the money’, the President just looks eager to pile up more debt.”

Background
  • As reported by Tennessee news outlets, The Tennessee Promise “is a last-dollar scholarship. The state will pay any excess tuition after other financial aid, besides loans, has been utilized at the state’s community and technical colleges. The program is funded through a $300 million transfer from the reserve account of the Tennessee Education Lottery and a $47 million endowment that was created by the General Assembly in 2013.”
  • Chairman Devaney’s KNS op-ed stated, “(I)t should surprise no one if the President proposes a federal version of it (the Tennessee Promise). But, to do so in any meaningful way, he would have to get America’s financial situation to look more like Tennessee’s prudent fiscal state.”
  • The Hill reports White House aides describing the cost of the President’s proposal as “significant” to American taxpayers.

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