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The candidate for governor talked largely about changes to education subsidies.
Thursday, October 17, 2013
CHARLOTTESVILLE — Libertarian candidate Robert Sarvis was at the University of Virginia on Thursday to talk education, civil liberties and government regulation.
Sarvis said he wasn’t sure government should subsidize higher education, but if it does, it’s better to subsidize individuals than institutions. He advocates a voucher system, similar to what he advocates for K-12 education.
Sarvis said the current model is outdated and incentivizes raising tuition. Too many students graduate with too much debt, he said.
“We have to move away from the status quo, where we’re subsidizing these institutions that are not doing what they’re supposed to do,” he said.
The subsidies could be dependent on income level — students from poor families would get more — forcing colleges and universities to compete for low and middle-income students.
He called the current system, “a massive subsidy to the wealthy,” since most UVa students are in the top quartile economically.
Sarvis also said he favors ending the war on drugs, which he believes has led to a creeping trend of police militarization and loss of civil liberties.
“So many complaints about the war on terror — a lot of search and seizure type Fourth Amendment losses — a lot of those started with the drug war,” he said. “And it just goes along a spectrum.”
Sarvis fleshed out some of the key issues for his campaign as well, including a huge reduction — or even elimination — of the income tax in return for a broader sales tax. He emphasized the need to get rid of regulations that keep entrepreneurs from going into business, such as law against direct car sales by a manufacturer.
Sarvis has not been invited to the Oct. 24 gubernatorial debate at Virginia Tech because his poll numbers, by some accounts, have dropped below 10 percent.
He pulled a crowd of about 50 people into the Newcomb Hall Theater, mostly students. Supporters said they believe if the public shows enough support for the Libertarian Party, it could eventually gain major party status.
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