Bernie Sanders wants to wipe out your student loan debt
As democrats race towards the 2020 Presidential primaries, the candidates are pulling out all the stops. Presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders just announced his plan to eliminate the entire United States’ $1.6 trillion student loan debt by taxing Wall Street. What this means for you is that if Sanders is elected, all student loan debt (including private schools and graduate programs) is wiped clean, no more monthly payments to Sallie Mae, Navient, or whoever. His proposed plan would help 45 million Americans — the very same Americans who are paying off their own student loans while simultaneously putting money away for their children to go to college.
In addition to debt wipeout, Sanders would also make public universities, community colleges, HBCUs, and trade schools tuition-free. Sanders’ Wall Street tax would raise the needed trillions ($2.2 trillion to be exact, which covers the existing debt and his “college for all” program) over 10 years, but according to the senator at a news conference in Washington today, “all student debt would be canceled in six months” as soon as the legislation is signed into law.
“This proposal completely eliminates student debt in this country and ends the absurdity of sentencing an entire generation, the millennial generation, to a lifetime of debt for the crime of doing the right thing — and that is going out and getting a higher education,” Sanders added.
We have to point out that Elizabeth Warren has a very similar plan. She also plans to eliminate tuition at public colleges and universities, and she wants to forgive up to $50,000 in debt for any graduate who makes under $100,000 a year. Graduates who make up to $250,000 would receive a portion of loan forgiveness. Her plan would eliminate 95% of the country’s total student debt.
Warren’s income cap is helping those who need it most, as wealthy college graduates can — and should — repay their debts. Bernie’s plan is almost like a giant middle finger to the entire bloated higher education system, which in light of events like the college admissions scandal, is a timely message. However, many of Sanders’ critics think total loan debt forgiveness would unfairly favor upper-middle-class families, who a) primarily attend college and b) don’t need the help.
Sanders’s student loan plan is the most progressive, though the majority of the democratic nominees agree that the student loan debt crisis is out of control. Candidates like Kamala Harris, Kirsten Gillibrand, and Cory Booker all have plans for legislation that would allow graduates to refinance their loans with lower rates.
You can listen to Sanders’s entire press conference here, but hopefully, we’ll learn more from the presidential hopeful about his student loan debt proposal at the democratic debates in Miami on Thursday, June 27, 2019.