Warren Unveils Plans to Create Universal Free College, Abolish Student Debt
Democrat claims her plan would cancel up to $50,000 in debt for 42 million Americans
2020 presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren has declared plans to reform higher education by creating a universal free public college and cancel student loan debt.
Warren claims her plan would cancel up to $50,000 in debt for 42 million Americans.
It would also allow every American to attend a two- or four-year public college tuition-free.
But Warren's taxpayer-funded plan is being seen as pandering by some who see the move as a slap in the face to those who have already struggled to pay off their student loans without government assistance.
She said that "entire cost" of the plans would be covered by her proposed 2 percent annual tax on families with $50 million or more - the "ultra-millionaire tax."
"We got into this crisis because state governments and the federal government decided that instead of treating higher education like our public school system—free and accessible to all Americans—they’d rather cut taxes for billionaires and giant corporations and offload the cost of higher education onto students and their families. The student debt crisis is the direct result of this failed experiment," Warren wrote in a post on Medium.
"It’s time to end that experiment, to clean up the mess it’s caused, and to do better—better for people who want to go (or go back) to college, better for current students, better for graduates, better for their families, and better for our entire economy," she wrote.
According to The Hill: Tuition-free college and student loan debt cancellation have gained steam in recent years.
In 2016, Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) ran on a plan to make college tuition free during his presidential campaign.
“Sen. Warren’s student-debt and college-affordability proposals give the current generation a chance at financial health,” said Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers, in a statement.
“These proposals are as consequential as the GI Bill and would be a game-changer for millions of Americans being crushed by $1.5 trillion in student debt.”
According to an opinion piece in the Washington Examiner:
Aside from the cost, which, like her child care proposal, she claims would be covered by her ultra-millionaires tax, the plan would be tremendously unfair to those who have been struggling for years to pay off their student loans.
It's true, some people may simply earn too little to make a dent in student loans no matter how hard they work and no matter how much they reduce their expenses. But that doesn't tell the whole story.
The Democrat's proposal is the latest in a slew policy papers she has released over the past year.
Warren has proposed reforms to break up tech giants such as Facebook and Google.
Her policy bonafides have not translated into a bump in the polls, where she fights to keep pace with the party’s current front-runners, including Sanders, South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg, and former Vice President Joe Biden, who has not yet formally proclaimed his candidacy.
Warren is tied for fourth in Iowa with 7 percent support and fourth in New Hampshire with 9 percent backing, according to recent polls,
The proposals, however, have provided fundraising bumps for her campaign, which raised $6 million overall throughout the first fundraising quarter. But the campaign spent $5.2 million during the same period as she carries an attack with 170 staffers on board.
Most recently, Warren made waves Friday with her call for the House to begin the impeachment process against President Donald Trump, becoming one of the first 2020 Democratic candidates to make the jump.
Other Democrats have not been willing to join her call. Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) said Sunday while campaigning in Nevada that he doesn’t think it’s “time to move forward” with impeachment proceedings.
Rep. Tim Ryan (D-Ohio) said that House Democrats should continue to open up the investigation and “let the process play itself out,” making it clear he isn’t ready for impeachment either.
Warren is slated to appear at a CNN town hall in New Hampshire on Monday night, before campaigning in South Carolina on Tuesday.