If you want a sneak peak into what the U.S. economy would look like under a Bernie Sanders presidency, look no further than Vermont’s Burlington College. Sanders’s wife, Jane O’Meara Sanders, was president of the private liberal arts school from 2004 to 2011. She must’ve not been very good at her job, though, because the college announced Monday that it will close May 27 due to “the crushing weight of the debt” incurred under Ms. Sanders’s presidency:
At the end of 2010, Ms. Sanders took out $10 million in loans on behalf of Burlington College to purchase a 32-acre swathe of land from the Roman Catholic diocese, which put the land up for sale to help cover the costs of a $17 million sexual-abuse settlement.
As Heat Street reported last month, the college almost immediately fell short on its financial obligations as fundraising pledges and commitments Ms. Sanders cited in the loan agreements never materialized.
Less than a year after leading Burlington College into massive debt, Ms. Sanders resigned, taking with her a $200,000 severance package. By 2014, because of its shaky finances and running deficits, Burlington College found itself placed on probation for two years by the regional accreditation agency.
A Burlington College news release issued this morning called these financial hurdles “insurmountable at this time.”
And if displacing hundreds of college students (the very demographic for which Bernie has claimed to be a champion) and shuttering an institution of higher education isn’t enough, Catholics in Vermont want to investigate Ms. Sanders for fraud:
Catholic parishioners in Vermont have called for an investigation into whether Ms. Sanders committed federal bank fraud by deliberately misrepresenting the amount that the college had secured in fundraising pledges as she sought financing for the land purchase.
As Ms. Sanders pursued financing for the land acquisition, she repeatedly said that Burlington College had received more than $2 million in fundraising commitments and pledges, according to numerous records.
But in fiscal year 2011, Burlington College raised only $279,000—though the college had earlier claimed to have secured $1.2 million in confirmed pledges.
Apparently Bernie isn’t the only Sanders who thinks other people’s money grows on trees.