How much will free cost?

Published 6:23 pm Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Editorial by Bobby Tingle


Free should be the word fact-checked each and every time a politician includes it in a sentence. When one offers something free, it sounds very good to those who are the recipients. So how does a politician give away things?

One of the latest politicians to suggest giving something away is Hillary Clinton, the Democrat nominee for President of the United States. She talked about debt-free college during the debate Monday night.

On her campaign website,, she is quoted on June 22, 2016 as saying, “Let’s…make debt-free college available to everyone. …And let’s liberate the millions of Americans who already have student debt.”

Further down the webpage are several items listed under the category, “costs won’t be a barrier”. There you will find a claim, “all community colleges will offer free tuition.”

Wow, what a deal! All community college school employees will be working for free! All vendors who supply materials, office equipment, furniture and facilities maintenance services will now be donating these items. Public utilities will no longer charge to keep the water flowing and the lights bright. Professors will study, prepare, teach, prepare tests, administer tests, grade tests and report results at no charge to the anyone.

Not to be outdone, Donald J. Trump, the Republican nominee for President of the United States also will provide, at no charge, a wall.

Not a wall in your house. Not a wall in you church. Not a wall in a government building. No this wall will be along the Rio Grande River, on the border of the United States and Mexico.

The wall will be tall enough to prevent anyone getting over it. It will be deep enough to prevent anyone going under it. The wall will be free to Americans. Mexico will pay for it.

Trump has promised a free wall more than once. So, using my favorite search engine, I typed, “Donald Trump pay for the wall” to see what was posted for those on the world-wide-web to see.

On his website,, he lists ten points to put America first on his immigration policies page. There it is in black and white, “Begin working on an impenetrable physical wall on the southern border, on day one. Mexico will pay for the wall.”

Your choice is clear. You can get a free wall or free community college.

However, I suspect all the folks in Mexico and community college towns may not cooperate. Realistically, how will Clinton force community colleges and their suppliers to comply? Trump’s claim is more than he can deliver as well.

There is an apparent dilemma here. Both candidates are offering free stuff. But, I don’t believe them. No, I am not calling them liars. I don’t believe they can provide anything free. I believe, like all politicians, they will find someone to pay for their free stuff.

Anyone who understands knows they will turn to taxpayers. You can bet they won’t pay for anything from their personal accounts.

Unfortunately, too many recipients of free stuff vote for people who promise to give them free things.

I wonder if they really know it is not free? Maybe they don’t care.

Politicians running for office really know how to keep fact-checkers busy.

Meanwhile, back in the real world, I went back to my favorite search engine and typed, “the national debt”. The search engine did its magic.   I chose a website with a real-time calculation of the United States debt at,

The national debt now stands at over $19,534,749,000,000 or nineteen trillion, five hundred thirty-four billion, seven hundred forty-nine million dollars. The national debt is the amount of money the federal government has spent over and above the amount of money collected.

Politicians cannot give anything to anyone free, nor can politicians build anything free. When a politician claims something they will provide is free they should be fact-checked.

The only reason politicians promise free is to get votes.

It’s a scam. We should know better and expect better.

Never have I seen such poor choices for President of the United States.


Bobby Tingle is publisher of The Orange Leader. He can be reached at