Debra J. Saunders

As it turns out, neither does the DLC. The American Dream Initiative promises a 10-year, $150 billion block grant for states that work to make college more affordable. The blueprint also calls for a $3,000 tuition-tax credit for college and graduate students -- which would be welcome relief for families, even if it is not a free education at a pricey Ivy League institution. The plan also calls for help for nontraditional students.

How would the DLC pay for its package, which features not only tuition-tax credits, but also a $500 savings bond for every baby born in America, universal heath care for children and a matching fund for low-income earners who save up to $2,000 a year?

Why, with efficiencies, of course. The American Dream Initiative would be funded by cutting the number of government contractors by 100,000 and "cutting wasteful corporate subsidies."

Now why didn't I think of that?

I liked Vilsack's focus on making government work better. I sorely wish Bush had more of that attitude. Also, I like the DLC blueprint's focus on robust regulation of pensions and mutual funds. I even liked Vilsack's call for a special commission to eliminate wasteful federal spending. (As Vilsack put it, "It gives people cover, but you know what, I'd rather give them cover and get the job done.")

Still, when it comes to promises of more government without raising your taxes, well, that must by why the DLC called it a "dream" initiative.

Debra J. Saunders

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