"A politician looks to the next election. A statesman looks to the next generation."
Senator Ben Nelson (D-NE) released a statement tonight saying that he would vote against the House's reconciliation package. While he lauded the "historic health reforms that will insure 220,000 more Nebraskans and 30 million Americans," the major tough point in the reconciliation bill, according to Nelson, is student loan reform. He said, "Perhaps most troubling is adding unrelated student loan reforms that have never been debated in the Senate and would result in a government takeover of student lending. It's not clear why we would, on the one hand, jeopardize more than 30,000 private sector jobs, while, on the other we are promoting job creation in every state to aid our economic recovery." Well, Ben, if you can't understand why it's a good thing to take student lending away from private banks, let me lay it out for you. First, the US is one of the few industrialized countries in the world where college isn't free or close to it. In Denmark and several other Scandanavian countries, not only is it free, but the government pays students a stipend of a few hundred dollars every month for housing and other expenses. Why? Because it's the smartest investment a country can make in its own intellectual infrastructure, in its future, to educate its young people. They're more productive as adults, they earn more - and thus pay more in taxes, returning to government the cost of educating them - and the country as a whole is better off with an educated populace. But you want some of your bankster buddies to be able to make a profit off the fact that college isn't free in America. That's disgusting and immoral. Here's the bottom line, Senator Nelson. You're a politician. As the old saying goes, "A politician looks to the next election. A statesman looks to the next generation." Senator Nelson, you are so far from being a statesman that you're frankly not worthy of service in the United States Senate, a fact I hope the citizens of your state wake up to when you're next up for reelection.