Convicted election fraudster and public education opponent Betsy Devos made her billions through hard work — really, you can't overstate the effort required to emerge from the loins of someone who married a rich guy, nor the work of later marrying someone else who emerged from the loins someone who married a rich guy.
She's calls herself "the biggest contributor of soft money to the Republican National Committee" and explains that the $200M her family gave to the GOP was given because they "expect a return on our investment…a conservative governing philosophy consisting of limited government and respect for traditional American virtues." She's in line to be Trump's education secretary, a position she says she earned not through cash donations, but through her decades of work to dismantle public schools and give parents the power to divert tax dollars to evangelical Christian schools.
At her confirmation hearing yesterday, Bernie Sanders asked her what she thought of his campaign pledge to make public colleges tuition free. Devos told him that it wouldn't work because "nothing in life is truly free."
Devos's husband — the real money in the family, a billionaire inheritor to her millionaire inheritance — got his money from his father, who founded a Ponzi scheme called Amway.
Here's @SenSanders full Q&A #BetsyDeVos #DeVosHearing #DumpDeVos pic.twitter.com/PFOyOdw8Xt
— People For Bernie (@People4Bernie) January 17, 2017
It's true that somebody does have to pay to subsidize tuition-free education for America's students — but it's actually pretty cheap, all things considered. Sanders's plan would cost the federal government approximately $47 billion annually. That's a small fraction of a nearly $18 trillion U.S. gross domestic product. His proposed bill includes a small speculation fee on stock trades of about 50 cents for every $100 of stock, as well as a 0.1 percent fee on bonds and a 0.005 percent fee on derivatives to pay for his legislation, which would actually raise hundreds of billions of dollars annually, easily paying for tuition-free college and other reforms Sanders has called for.
Betsy DeVos, an Heiress, Bashes Tuition-Free College: 'There's Nothing in Life That's Truly Free' [Zaid Jilani/The Intercept]