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Bill Richardson is the Governor of New Mexico and former candidate for the 2008 Democratic nomination. Of Hispanic descent, Richardson was born in Pasadena, California, but spent most of his[…]

Richardson says young people need to be more involved.

Question: Should we have national service?

Bill Richardson: National service? Absolutely. And I would promote national service. I would expand the Peace Corps, Action, AmeriCorps. But as I said, not only would I expand those programs – especially those for seniors also – and give them incentives; I would try to set up another program besides that national service that links college loans . . . Kids today, the college loans, the banks, the lending agencies are . . . they’re literally ripping them off. And I would get rid of those entities and create a national endowment of all our loans and grants, favoring more grants than loans. But I would set up this system where in exchange for two years of tuition, one year of national service. And that national service could include service in Action, in the Peace Corps, in AmeriCorps, and try to combine them; but try to have those young people and middle-aged people that use these projects, that use this service get some economic benefit; get some sense of national service for the country.

Recorded on: 11/20/07