Democratic presidential candidate Senator Elizabeth Warren arrives to join the picket line with striking Stop & Shop workers on April 12 in Somerville, Massachusetts.
By one estimate from the Levy Economics Institute at Bard College, erasing the student debt held by Americans could boost the GDP by nearly $1.1 trillion over the next decade, create up to 1.5 million new jobs per year and lower the unemployment rate by as much as 0.36 percentage points over a decade.
The proposal also included a promise to eliminate tuition and fees for public two-year and four-year colleges, a $100 billion infusion into the Pell grant system, and increased funds. Those making between $100,000 and $250,000 would see that $50,000 cancellation figure decrease by $1 for every $3 the person makes above $100,000.
"Warren is recognizing that we will not be able to make tuition free without addressing past harm done by student debt", said Sara Goldrick-Rab, a professor of higher-education policy and sociology at Temple University. In a lengthy essay on Medium, Warren lays out the hows and the whys of her plan, which would be paid for via her proposed "Ultra-Millionaire Tax", a 2% annual tax on the 75,000 families with $50 million or more in wealth-wealth that as of now largely goes untaxed thanks to a number of workarounds the ultra-rich have established to make sure it never gets to trickle down to the masses.
"There's been no efforts to help families with the rising cost of college, and it's forced whole generations of students to take on huge amounts of debt", Warren said.
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While other 2020 candidates have spoken out on student loan debt - Warren is the first to roll on such an ambitious and specific plan. Sen.
A campaign aide said Warren's impeachment pronouncement did not signal a shift in her focus on "big policy" initiatives that have been the hallmark of her campaign. Jeff Sessions to the post of attorney general, Warren read a quote from the late Sen.
I spoke with students at Northern State University on Monday to hear their thoughts on this plan. But her student debt policies may not sit well with moderates.
"The education system once successfully equipped students with the skills necessary to enter the workforce, and particularly gifted or those interested in an academic track continued on to college", she writes. Broadly speaking, forgiving student loan debt would provide a helping hand to the one-third of Americans who have college degrees.
Does all this add up to a case for free college? It would establish a mactching grant to states that commit to helping students pay for the full cost of attendance - including tuition, books and other expenses - without taking out loans.
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Numerous proposals in Warren's higher-education plan are focused on racial and socioeconomic equity. And she wants to use the revenue it hypothetically generates not to pay for social programs targeting the poorest and neediest, but to fund debt forgiveness for the comfortable, college-educated upper middle class-which is to say, the sort of people who spend a lot of time reading NY magazine essays about Game of Thrones. The canceled debt would not be taxed as income, according to Warren's policy proposal. When it's all said and done, about 95 percent of borrowers will see a reduction in their student-loan debt. Warren is seeking to take the lead on government-provided "free stuff" by offering some actual details as to how she would implement a "free college" program.
"If for the next year and half all Congress is talking about is Trump, Trump, Trump" rather than issues such as health care and the minimum wage, Sanders said in a CNN town hall in Manchester, N.H., "I worry that works for Trump's advantage".
Amy Klobuchar said canceling the $1.5 trillion in student debt is an unrealistic idea.
Elizabeth Warren has reportedly been having trouble meeting her fundraising goals and she hasn't broken out of that overstuffed pack in the way many of her supporters may have expected. "It touches people's lives", she said.
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