Kennedy Talks Costs of Higher Ed, Touts Plan to Restore Jobs at Stonehill College Forum
October 24, 2012
by Alex Bloom
Congressional candidate Joseph P. Kennedy III told Stonehill College students about meeting a Foxboro deli owner who said that he is "just trying to get by." (Photo left by Emily J. Reynolds- The Enterprise)
"This country was not built on just getting by," Kennedy said. "That is not the promise that we make our people. That if you work hard, you can keep your head above water, scrape by and barely survive."
At a forum at Stonehill College on Tuesday, Kennedy told an audience of about 50 people that he is running to restore America's basic promise that citizens can work together to achieve.
Kennedy, the Democratic nominee for the 4th Congressional District seat, would focus on removing uncertainty with federal funding - especially regarding the debt ceiling and possible mandatory cuts to the federal budget that could come on Jan. 2 - so that businesses start to expand.
"The uncertainty prohibits them from actually making investments that they need to grow our economy," said Kennedy, who favors a mix of spending cuts and tax increases on wealthy Americans.
Voters will choose between Kennedy, 31, a former Middlesex County prosecutor from Brookline, and Republican Sean Bielat, 37, a Norfolk businessman, on Nov. 6. The incumbent, U.S. Rep. Barney Frank , D- Newton, is not seeking reelection.
Students asked Kennedy about the cost of higher education, the influence of money in political campaigns, and Kennedy's participation in debates with Bielat, among other issues.
On college affordability, Kennedy had a multi-part plan, including more disclosure from universities on what students earn in salaries after graduating, and creating income-based repayment programs for students who take low-paying jobs.
Talking about debates with Bielat, Kennedy said he will have participated in four debates and a joint editorial board meeting with Bielat and has focused on meeting voters.
"It's a recognition I think on my part that you also need to get out and meet people and you've got to give them a chance to come out and meet you and kick the tires," Kennedy said.
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