Utah Senate Candidate’s Address Plans for College Students

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Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, debates with Democratic challenger Misty Snow during a U.S. Senate debate. Photo by desert news.

Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, debates with Democratic challenger Misty Snow during a U.S. Senate debate. Photo by desert news.

The battle for US Senate in Utah is coming to an end, with voters making a final decision on November 8th.

Democrat nominee Misty K. Snow, a grocery store cashier and political newcomer, is taking on a nationwide powerhouse in Senator Mike Lee, a republican. She hopes to pull off a stunner in November.

Ms. Snow completed an interview with The Snowdrift, while Senator Lee’s campaign did not respond to the request for comment. However, in an effort to be fair to both sides, past statements from Senator Lee regarding the issues will be quoted.

The first question asked was about the issue of college affordability. Ms. Snow said that “people see college as being unattainable.” She said that the solution to college affordability is making college and universities tuition free, as well as having zero-interest on student loans. In an effort to pay for the cost of free tuition, she advocated a major position of Vermont Senator and former Presidential Candidate Bernie Sanders: “Let’s have a speculation tax on Wall Street…it generates a lot of revenue for a very small cost.”

Senator Lee has proposed legislation regarding college affordability. According to the Heritage Foundation (a conservative political think tank), his legislation would allow states to change accreditation standards, which he suggests would lower college costs. On his website, he says “one of the causes of the dysfunction within higher education is the current accreditation system, which requires students who need federal financial assistance to attend only those institutions that are approved by one of the nation’s eight regional accreditation entities.”

Next, the issue of preserving social security was asked of both candidates. Ms. Snow said that she believes social security is solvent and supports expanding social security benefits.

Senator Lee, in a 2010 Senate Debate, said he supported raising the retirement age. He also has suggested overhauling entitlement programs in order to preserve them for future generations.

On the issue of balancing the federal budget, despite her support for new programs (such as making healthcare free to those in the United States), Ms. Snow said that certain programs could be cut or revisited, “We spend a lot of money staffing bases in other countries [such as Europe], however…22 countries are not meeting their international obligations [in NATO].” She also advocates increases taxes on the wealthiest Americans.

On the other hand, Mr. Lee has differed on the issue of taxation. Senator Lee has proposed legislation which would reduce taxation across the board, traditionally known as supply side economics. On the Senator’s website, he spoke of his proposal: “The Family Fairness and Opportunity Tax Reform Act is an innovative tax reform plan that replaces much of today’s complex tax system with a new, simple structure that incentivizes social mobility, promotes middle-class economic security and ends the tax code’s discrimination against parents.”

The Snowdrift encourages students to continue to study the issues and research the candidates for US Senate. For more information about each candidate’s positions and background, go to their websites MistyKSnow.com and LeeForSenate.com

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