Sen. Bernie Sanders got an earful from a Wisconsin voter about his “ridiculous” tenure and “absurd” college tuition ideas during an MSNBC town hall event Monday evening.
When asked by MSNBC’s Chris Hayes about the former Democratic presidential candidates’ campaign proposal for free college tuition, Mary Magdalen Moser, a Wisconsin voter, said “that’s the moment I stopped listening, when you said that because that is so absurd.”
“Who is going to pay for it? Why don’t you address how college tuition has skyrocketed 6,000 percent since the 1980s,” Moser said. “You can’t have an industry where once you have a seniority level it is impossible to fire you. That’s ridiculous. No other industry has that type of protection. That needs to go. Tenure needs to go.”
Sanders fired back that he doesn’t agree that tenure needs to go, and while he conceded tuition has “gone up a lot,” he said her claim that tuition has gone up 6,000 percent is not true.
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“Let’s stick to the facts,” he said.
According to the Department of Education, the annual increase of college tuition from 1980 to 2014 grew nearly 260 percent, rising from $9,438 to $23,872 for fulltime students (factoring room and board, tuition and fees).
“Here is the issue,” Sanders continued. “In the United States of America … do you think all people, regardless of their income — all young people — should have an equal right to get a college education, or should that only benefit the wealthy or upper-middle class?
“I believe the way the United States works, as it is today, where every single human being in the United States has the opportunity to go to college,” Moser replied. “I do not believe that it is a right. And I do not believe that I should be expected to pay for not only my education and my children’s, but somebody else’s as well.”
After the event, Moser lamented about the lack of pushback Sanders received, and said she was unsurprised by President-elect Trump’s win in the Badger State.
“The fact that the Democrats didn’t see this coming shows — it proves — that they just ignored Wisconsin,” Moser said, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, who identified her as Trump supporter from Kenosha. “Because it was eminently predictable if you paid attention to the numbers, or who we have as governor, or who we have as state Senate and state Assembly.”