I’m going to vote for a candidate with this plan:
The first step in addressing this crisis is to deal head-on with the outstanding debt that is weighing down millions of families and should never have been required in the first place. That’s why I’m calling for something truly transformational — the cancellation of up to $50,000 in student loan debt for 42 million Americans.
My plan for broad student debt cancellation will:
- Cancel debt for more than 95% of the nearly 45 million Americans with student loan debt;
- Wipe out student loan debt entirely for more than 75% of the Americans with that debt;
- Substantially increase wealth for Black and Latinx families and reduce both the Black-White and Latinx-White wealth gaps; and
- Provide an enormous middle-class stimulus that will boost economic growth, increase home purchases, and fuel a new wave of small business formation.
Once we’ve cleared out the debt that’s holding down an entire generation of Americans, we must ensure that we never have another student debt crisis again. We can do that by recognizing that a public college education is like a public K-12 education — a basic public good that should be available to everyone with free tuition and zero debt at graduation. My plan for universal free college will:
- Give every American the opportunity to attend a two-year or four-year public college without paying a dime in tuition or fees;
- Make free college truly universal — not just in theory, but in practice — by making higher education of all kinds more inclusive and available to every single American, especially lower-income, Black, and Latinx students, without the need to take on debt to cover costs.
Some people will say we can’t afford this plan. That’s nonsense. The entire cost of my broad debt cancellation plan and universal free college is more than covered by my Ultra-Millionaire Tax — a 2% annual tax on the 75,000 families with $50 million or more in wealth. For decades, we’ve allowed the wealthy to pay less while burying tens of millions of working Americans in education debt. It’s time to make different choices.
Right now that candidate is Elizabeth Warren, but I’m open to others adopting this idea. In fact, I think it ought to be on the Democratic party platform, and that any candidate who wants to represent the will of the American people ought to be promoting it.
Note: I have no student loan debt — I only had a small debt to begin with, and paid it off years ago — I’m not planning to attend college in the future, and my kids have all completed undergraduate education, and I’m not really going to acquire any personal gain from this (although I sure wish somebody’d put this in place round about 2000, before my trio of offspring started marching off to university and broke us). So I’m not really being “bought”. This is a change that would be good for the country. Let’s build up our human infrastructure!
Also note that her plan specifically covers 2-year public colleges, which is just as important as our ivory tower institutions, and that she has specific plans for HBCUs and MSIs. Warren knows her stuff.
Why isn’t every candidate immediately recognizing a good idea and jumping on the bandwagon? Even the Republicans should be able to see the virtues.