2020 candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) on Monday unveiled a new proposal to entirely wipe out the nation’s combined $1.5 trillion in student debt.
Sanders stated that his proposal, which would also make public universities and HBCUs tuition-free, aims to get rid of all student debt because “in the wealthiest country in the history of the world, it is simply not acceptable that our younger generation, through no fault of their own, will have a lower standard of living than their parents, more debt, lower wages, and less likelihood of owning their own homes.”
“That is why 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,” the Vermont senator said. “And that is going out and getting a higher education.”
Sanders said that his plan, estimated to cost $2.2 trillion over 10 years, will be “fully paid for” by a tax on Wall Street speculation.
2020 rival Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) unveiled a similar plan for free public college in April, though her plan for debt forgiveness is more limited: Under her proposal, anyone making less than $100,000 per year would see $50,000 of their student loan debt cancelled.
Like Sanders, Warren’s plan would be paid for by the country’s wealthiest citizens. In her case, it would be through her proposed Ultra-Millionaire Tax.
According to Forbes, student loan debt is at a record high at $1.5 trillion, and more than 44 million Americans have student loans.
Watch Sanders below:
Bernie Sanders unrolls plan to erase all student debt by taxing Wall Street speculation pic.twitter.com/tlboYJz98M
— TPM Livewire (@TPMLiveWire) June 24, 2019