Sanders is proposing the federal government pay to wipe clean the student debt held by 45 million Americans — including all private and graduate school debt — as part of a package that also would make public universities, community colleges and trade schools tuition-free.
Sanders is proposing to pay for these plans with a tax on Wall Street his campaign says will raise more than $2 trillion over 10 years, though some tax experts give lower revenue estimates.
Sanders will be joined Monday by Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.), who will introduce legislation in the House to eliminate all student debt in the United States, as well as Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.), co-chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, who has championed legislation to make public universities tuition-free. […]
“This is truly a revolutionary proposal,” said Sanders, who is announcing the plan with the support of Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (N.Y.) and a handful of other House Democrats. “In a generation hard hit by the Wall Street crash of 2008, it forgives all student debt and ends the absurdity of sentencing an entire generation to a lifetime of debt for the ‘crime’ of getting a college education.” — www.washingtonpost.com/…
The co-sponsors plan to point out that student loan debt has exploded since the financial crisis, rising by almost $1 Trillion in the past ten years. It is triple the level it was 12 years ago.
This proposal seems in keeping with Bernie’s perspective that simple, universal programs are resilient and the most likely to survive the repeated Republican assaults that all social programs in the US will be subjected to. It is an acknowledgement that the system of privatized student debt in the US is exploitative.
The overall impact on the economy is likely to be extremely positive. The debt cancellation and free public college proposals would be funded by taxes on investment transactions and the wealthiest americans. The benefits would accrue mostly to younger, middle and low-income Americans. For this cohort, student debt payments have an enormous impact on their household finances and spending. Millions of Americans saddled with enormous levels of student debt have delayed starting families, buying a home, or other rites of passage because of the financially precarious situation their student debt payments create.