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When Democrats took control of the House of Representatives last fall, America waited to see what ideas would come forth and be held for scrutiny.

The House has passed H.R. 1, the “For the People Act of 2019.” Of note was an amendment to the bill that failed miserably. A story from The Hill on March 10 outlined a proposed federal change in the voting age from 18 down to 16 years of age.

The 26th Amendment lowered the voting age from 21 to 18 in 1971. It moved through the legislatures with relative ease. It made sense to allow those who could be put in harm’s way — many such voters were in Vietnam at the time — the chance to voice their opinions.

Lowering the age to 16 makes no sense. Many have opined, and I candidly agree, with the assertion they have “no skin in the game.” With rare exceptions, 16-year-olds aren’t providing for families or having to make adult decisions. They haven’t experienced many of the rigors of life. We all have seen firsthand the maturity teenagers lack.

It’s also likely those high school students have never been exposed to any conservative thoughts or ideas. They’ve only heard one side. Liberal bias in both secondary and higher education is well-documented.

I covered this topic several weeks ago when discussing how millennials favor socialism. It is the Democrats’ goal to take advantage of their naiveté. Websites like Campus Reform and College Fix continually report on educational biases throughout the country.

We have separate legal proceedings for juveniles and adults, and kids only are tried as adults in the most egregious of cases. They are treated differently because they still are children.

It is with good reason the right to vote is reserved for adults. Each time an adult steps into a voting booth, they are doing so with an inherent and direct responsibility to act on behalf of those who cannot vote, whatever the reason. Sadly, a majority of Democrats, including our own Mark Pocan, voted for the measure.

Rep. Pocan has been busy chasing other rainbows as well. He and Sen. Brian Schatz of Hawaii introduced the Debt-Free College Act, designed to pay not only tuition, but other costs associated with college like rent, books and food, with the idea students can go to public college without incurring any debt, nor requiring any actual investment by the student.

Part of the value of an education is the sacrifice and hard work required to attain it. In real life, nothing is free.

Opportunities already exist for students seeking to reduce their college costs by getting assistance from the government. It’s commonly known as serving your country. Pocan’s proposal is a slap in the face to every member of the military who has bravely served this nation’s defense to get assistance with schooling.

Nowhere in his remarks did he mention free trade school, or other training for those young adults seeking other career paths aside from a path through college. What about those students?

Though the measure’s backers have been coy in interviews regarding the cost of the proposal, Section 499A9 of the bill estimates the cost at $84 billion for the first year, with an expected rise in costs. Neither Pocan nor Schatz offered any clue about the source of funding. I suspect there would be a comment regarding having the “rich pay their fair share” somewhere. Without a plan for funding, the proposal isn’t worth anyone’s time.

There is little debate college costs have spiraled up substantially. A leading cause for those spiraling costs are massive subsidies provided schools, as detailed in a National Bureau of Economic Research paper outlined by the Foundation for Economic Education on Dec. 21, 2015. With even higher subsidies, there is no reason to control costs. After all, it’s free.

Small private institutions like Ripon College or Carroll University would be decimated if public college were totally free. One could see the proposal as a nefarious swipe at colleges and universities founded on principles of faith in particular.

Whatever your opinion on subsidies provided for tuition, it’s targeted because it is a tangible, known amount. Costs incurred for other aspects of college life like rent, food and materials vary widely, so attempting to subsidize those components would be a nightmare of government intrusion and bureaucracy we can’t afford.

Pocan also supports the “Green New Deal.” Estimated costs for the plan remain elusive, as no one has figured out how to count that high.

Democrats complain about district maps, but Rep. Pocan remains insulated from any accountability, as the Second Congressional District is dominated by uber-liberal Madison.

Scott Frostman lives in Baraboo and has roots throughout Wisconsin. He believes anyone can make a difference and can be reached at scfrostman@gmail.com.

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