Sunday, January 16, 2005

Here's a Hundred Bucks, Go to College!

Is it irony, George? Some sort of perverted sense of humor, or are you serious, standing up there behind the lectern at Florida Community College, promising to increase the maximum federal grant for low-income college students by $100 a year for five years.


A hundred bucks a year!


A change he said would make higher education more accessible to thousands of Americans. What kind of change?  Pocket change?  Chump change? 


Last month, the president allowed a ‘new formula’ for calculating eligibility for Pell Grants that eliminates 80,000 to 90,000 low-income students from the system. This month he’s got a hundred bucks in his pocket. Frank Sinatra used to walk through the kitchens of restaurants where he’d had dinner, handing out $100 bills to cooks, waiters, busboys and dishwashers. But so far as I know, he never said “here’s a hundred bucks, have a good year.”


An example of extraordinarily good manners on the part of students in that “packed gymnasium” where Bush gave his talk, that they didn’t laugh him off the stage. But then Bush has always done well in Florida.


Talk is as cheap as this proposal and the track record shows that No Child Left Behind left nearly all of them and the Bush rhetoric has seldom matched the Bush record.


If you're like me, you won't remember everything you did here. That can be a good thing.
   W Address at Yale University, May 21, 2001


Yeah, I guess.