U.S. Vice President Joe Biden offered a couple of mechanisms that could fund the administration’s proposed program to provide two years of community college to “responsible students” tuition-free while delivering the White House’s weekly address Saturday.
“Here’s what we propose,” he said. “Close loopholes for the wealthiest investors and levy a 0.07 percent fee on the biggest banks to discourage the kind of risky behavior that crashed our economy … a few years ago. Doing just that would pay for free community college — and provide a leg up for working families through tax credits to cover necessities like child care.”
In delivering the administration’s weekly address, Biden was substituting for President Barack Obama, who is at the seventh Summit of the Americas in Panama City this weekend. The president proposed the so-called America’s College Promise program shortly before his annual State of the Union address in January.
“Our economy has gone from crisis to recovery … now to resurgence, with the longest streak of consecutive job growth ever recorded in the history of this country and more than all other advanced countries combined,” Biden said. “But to make sure everyone is part of this resurgence, we need to build on what we know widens the path to the middle class — and you all know what it is, access to education.” He contended that by the end of this decade two of three American jobs would require an education beyond high school, ranging from an 18-week certificate to a two-year associate’s degree to a four-year bachelor’s degree to a doctorate.