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Vice President Biden visits Miami Dade to talk free two-year degrees

In a small, crowded, hot room in the science complex at Miami Dade College, Vice President Joe Biden spoke about the middle class.

Biden said, when he was a child, his father left home to get a new job, looked him in the eye and said, “Don’t worry, everything’s going to be all right.”

Biden said he believed his father back then, but nowadays, only 43 percent of Americans believe their children will have a better standard of living than they did.

“We can’t let that stand,” Biden said. “Middle class in America means you’ll be able to own a home, not rent it. Your kids will be able to go to college, even if you can’t pay for it.”

Biden said the way to improve the American standard of living is to give people the opportunity to educate themselves.

“No longer can you get by with 12 years of education,” Biden said. “It is not enough.”

President Barack Obama and Biden have devised a plan: two more years are added to the American schools. With this system, people can choose to attend a two year community college for free.

Students who qualify for a Pell Grant and maintain a 2.5 GPA can use the Pell Grant to offset the cost of living.

“I know what you’re all thinking – ‘There goes Joe trying to help everybody, but how do you pay for it?’” Biden said.

When people make a profit on investments, they pay a capital gains tax. But, when those people die, their heirs don’t have to pay taxes on that inherited money.

Biden said that if those people were required to pay a capital gains tax on the inherited money, it would add up to $10 billion every year. He estimated that only $6 million would be required to send nine million people through two years of college.

Shamira Gonzalez, a Miami Dade biology major, was thrilled with Biden’s visit and speech.

“I thought it was really great … and he signed my lab coat,” Gonzalez said. Biden visited Gonzalez’s class earlier in the day and spoke with the students about their biotechnology program.

“He said we’re about to get $10,000 for the biotech department,” Gonzalez said.

Hansel Viera, a Miami Dade biochemistry major, was disappointed with the speech.

“We were expecting to hear him talk about nanotechnology, biotech … but all he came for was to talk about business and the economy,” Viera said. “This is a science building.”

Biden thinks in the long run, his plan will help more people achieve the American dream.

“What happens when you give the American people a fighting chance?” Biden said. “They never ever, ever disappoint their country when they’re given a fighting chance.”

About The Author

Nina Barbero

Nina Barbero is a senior majoring in economics, and has been writing for Eagle News since her freshman year and enters her senior year as Eagle News' Managing Editor. When she is not in the newsroom, you can probably find her swimming at the beach, trying to talk her way out of overdue book fines at the library or hoping the Giants win at least one game this season.

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