Sen. Bernie Sanders has introduced a plan aimed at completely eliminating the $1.6 trillion of student debt in the nation while also providing a pathway for free college. Via Twitter, many observers are joined in celebrating the potential while some are certainly hopeful the legislation becomes law.
Vox has this explainer:
The proposal would make two- and four-year public and tribal colleges and universities tuition-free and debt-free, and erase the roughly $1.6 trillion in student loan debt currently owed in the US, paid for by a tax on Wall Street.
Currently, about 45 million Americans have student loans. This would cancel debt for all of them — regardless of their income or assets. That’s a notable difference from Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s free college proposal, which also provides broad debt relief but caps it for households with incomes over $250,000.
Sanders is proposing funding streams to states, tribes, and historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) to allow them to eliminate undergraduate tuition and fees. The bill would also increase spending on work-study programs and build up federal grant programs for low-income students for additional costs related to getting an education, from housing and transportation to buying books.
The proposal would cost $2.2 trillion over 10 years, which Sanders says would be paid for with his Wall Street tax. He proposed a Wall Street speculation tax in 2016, which would raise small levies on buying and selling stocks, bonds, and derivatives; many experts estimate it could raise hundreds of billions of dollars annually.
Basically, this could aid many poor and middle-class families in preparing their children for the next level of life without the headache of applying for student loans, grants, and other means of limited funding. Just in time as Sanders is angling to become the next candidate for president for the Democratic Party.
The announcement of the plan has been trending on Twitter in the social media network’s “Moments” section and we’ve collected some of the discussion below.