Thursday, October 4, 2007

'Baby Bonds' for College, the Youth Vote, and More

Hillary Rodham Clinton proposed a plan last Friday to give every child born in the United States a $5,000 “baby bond” that could be used to pay for college or for a buying a house.

Rudolph W. Giuliani already has moved in to attack the idea. As he made the rounds of the diners of New Hampshire yesterday, the former mayor criticized Ms. Clinton for borrowing from George McGovern's failed playbook when she offered up the college-savings proposal, according to The New York Times's political blog.

In other college-related news reported at Campaign U. this week, the U.S. Census Bureau released a "special edition" fact sheet on voting statistics.

The numbers showed that fewer than half of U.S. citizens ages 18 to 24 voted in the last presidential election while nearly three-quarters of those ages 55 and older did. The good news about the youth vote is that the 47 percent rate of voting among the 18-to-24 age group in 2004 represented an increase of 11 percentage points over the previous presidential election, in 2000.

A college degree also makes a big difference in whether a citizen is likely to go to the polls.

Other items from The Chronicle blog that may be of interest include a discussion of Democratic candidates' stances on how to respond to the recent controversy that has mired the student-loan industry. Ms. Clinton, for instance, has not called for ending the Federal Family Education Loan program, even though her husband is credited with creating direct lending.

Late last week, Barack Obama also outlined a plan that he said would narrow disparities in the nation's criminal-justice system. Among the proposals he put forward in a speech at Howard University, Mr. Obama advocated recruiting more public defenders by forgiving the student loans of people who go into the profession.

No comments: