The ideological gulf between Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders and the current Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos could not be more stark. The former, of course, is a progressive scion who is a hero to left-wing movements in the United States.
The latter has attacked trans students, worked to remove funding from public schools, removed protections for victims of on campus sexual assaults, personally profited from student loan debt and pushed for more religion in the classroom.
So it's rather unsurprising that the pair got into a spat about college tuition.
One of the most important public policy goals of progressives everywhere is making higher education free, or at least far more accessible. It's a noble goal seeing as that the cost of college tuition has risen at twice the level of inflation.
Beyond that, the student loans that most millennials have to deal with soaring college costs, mean that most end up delaying the advancement of their lives because it's nearly impossible to gain a financial foothold.
Despite these facts, on Tuesday at a speech to a financial aid conference, heiress Betsy DeVos slammed the movement for free college tuition as ridiculous, and implied politicians advancing the idea of free college tuition are advancing "the truly insidious notion of government gift giving".
She went on to say that free college tuition would amount to a 'socialist take-over of colleges'. Of course she couldn't resist the age-old republican tactic of invoking the 'S word.'
After news of her speech broke, Senator Bernie Sanders had this to say:
Hmm. What do you call a billionaire who registered a $40 million, 164-foot yacht in the Cayman Islands to avoid $2.… https://t.co/YiwDpUF3Wz— Bernie Sanders (@Bernie Sanders)1606873749.0
Many agreed with Bernie.
@BernieSanders Education should be included in taxes for all levels. We are hurting out country by not educating ou… https://t.co/D069yTaPfq— 魔人 (@魔人)1606920070.0
Here's an idea: How about we close the tax loopholes that the DeVos family uses for their yachts to help fund tuiti… https://t.co/rZQbyMvRA9— Robert Reich (@Robert Reich)1606865243.0
Tuition-free public college is a dangerous socialist takeover of higher ed, as opposed to the far superior capitali… https://t.co/hAtAwfNWlK— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez)1606861809.0
While Betsy DeVos bashes student debt forgiveness, free college movement, her family was listed by Forbes as the 88… https://t.co/Xct1cRCwOC— Keith Ellison (@Keith Ellison)1606909416.0
As a member of the Education and Labor committee, I am excited to not have to sit through her testimonies anymore 😅… https://t.co/yDyJM9acog— Ilhan Omar (@Ilhan Omar)1606874524.0
Others cited the merits of a free college plan.
@BernieSanders I am critical of some of Bernies policies and general not a fan of socialism but free education is n… https://t.co/6XkirHtS5N— Noah Jakob Rettberg 🇨🇵🇪🇺🇩🇪 (@Noah Jakob Rettberg 🇨🇵🇪🇺🇩🇪)1606954311.0
@BernieSanders We can still have private schools, but everyone deserves basic education or vocational training. And… https://t.co/3dmQBhAgcw— Craig T Shoemaker (@Craig T Shoemaker)1606921791.0
@chris02178 @BernieSanders Free college education would cost $79 billion. The US spends close to $800 billion on it… https://t.co/aL0XLqJ3Uw— Manuel Hernandez-Meza (@Manuel Hernandez-Meza)1606884562.0
And some just had some good old fashioned fun Betsy bashing.
@BernieSanders America has never been first for fake educators like Betsy. As a democracy when will people start t… https://t.co/eeDpajjvAB— Shivam Patel (@Shivam Patel)1606933287.0
@BernieSanders She can call it Socialist and all if she wants, but anyone missing the massive mix between economic… https://t.co/p3960p6Dex— John Loftin (@John Loftin)1606938640.0
Don't let the door hit you on the way out Betsy!