MANCHESTER, N.H. — As he sat down for lunch during a brief
respite from campaigning here last Tuesday, U.S. Rep. Dennis
Kucinich touted what he believes are his youth-friendly proposals,
saying his campaign has made a special effort to reach out to young
voters.

Beth Dykstra

Although the most recent Newsweek poll shows Kucinich, an Ohio
congressman, ranking last among the seven remaining Democratic
presidential candidates, he still hopes to acquire more support by
motivating America’s youth, whom he says are often overlooked
in presidential campaigns.

Kucinich’s education plan calls for the federal government
to completely fund higher education. He said college is a
prerequisite for success in the modern world and should be
available to all children regardless of their financial
situation.

“We need a commitment to fully funded four-year college
tuition,” Kucinich said. “We do it for high school, why
not college?”

Kucinich added that the country has the money to pay for this
type of program. He said he would fund higher education grants by
repealing the Bush tax cuts, ending the U.S. occupation of Iraq and
reducing the defense budget.

Although Kucinich’s education platform may be the most
generous, it is not wholly unlike the plans of his Democratic
opponents. Former Vermont Governor Howard Dean, for example, has
proffered a deal that would give college students $6,000-credits
toward their tuition bills, while Sen. John Edwards’
“College for Everyone” plan would cover students’
first year of tuition fees if they first commit to a college
preparatory program in junior high school.

Kucinich’s other proposed education changes include
decreasing class sizes, increasing teachers’ pay, renovating
facilities and providing job training for those who do not attend
college.

“I am going to change the priorities in America,” he
added.

Turning to health care, Kucinich said the biggest problem with
the current system is its profit-driven nature. “We have $1.6
trillion in the system, but not all of it is used for health care.
… It is used for such things as stock options and
salaries,” he said.

“A Kucinich administration would establish streamlined
national health insurance, enhanced Medicare for all,” the
candidate’s website says, referring to his plan to deliver
universal health care.

“We need a transformation. This would dramatically help
young people who are worried about care if they should get
sick,” Kucinich said.

Kucinich, who won a seat on the Cleveland City Council at age 23
and was elected mayor of Cleveland at age 31, said it is never too
early to become involved in the political process. “Just
because you are young, you don’t have to wait. The young
people are fully capable of participating in the decision-making
process,” he said.

Besides believing that the United States should withdraw troops
from Iraq and give control to the United Nations, Kucinich has
advocated forming a U.S. Department of Peace.

Kucinich visited Ann Arbor in a Dec. 5, 2003, when he was
received by about 100 student supporters in the Michigan
League’s Courtyard Garden. On Dec. 24, the Federal Elections
Committee said that Kucinich, who has raised almost $3.5 million,
was eligible for federal matching funds, entitling him to get up to
$18.6 million, Fox News reported.

Dennis Kucinich Facts

U.S. Represetative for Ohio

Economy:

-Reduce the defense budget.

-Repeal all of the Bush tax cuts.

Foreign Policy:

-End the U.S. occupation of Iraq

Education:

-Fully fund higher education costs with government funding

-Decrease class sizes and increase teachers’ pay

-Provide job training for those who do not attend college

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