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Sanders to Propose 'Revolutionary' End to an 'Absurdity'

Presidential contender wants to wipe out all $1.6T of student loan debt in the US
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 24, 2019 9:02 AM CDT
Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders addresses the crowd during the South Carolina Democratic Convention on Saturday in Columbia, SC.   (AP Photo/Meg Kinnard)

(Newser) – The first debates for Democratic presidential contenders are taking place Wednesday and Thursday, but one candidate isn't keeping a major proposal under wraps until then. Per Vox, Sen. Bernie Sanders on Monday is set to unveil legislation in support of a "College for All" proposal that calls for community colleges, trade schools, and public universities across the US to no longer charge tuition. But he's got what he says is another "revolutionary" initiative that he's pushing alongside that, reports the Washington Post: He wants to wipe out all $1.6 trillion of the country's student loan debt. "In a generation hard hit by the Wall Street crash of 2008, [this plan] forgives all student debt and ends the absurdity of sentencing an entire generation to a lifetime of debt for the 'crime' of getting a college education," he says.

CNN notes it will take about $2.2 trillion over 10 years to fund the debt relief and college package, and it lays out Sanders' "detailed roadmap" on paying for it: taxes on Wall Street, including a 0.5% tax on stock trades, a 0.1% fee on bonds, and 0.005% tax on derivatives, which all together he predicts could raise $2.4 trillion in a decade. Other candidates like Elizabeth Warren and Julian Castro have also pushed for student loan forgiveness—but critics note Sanders' plan is inclusive for all families, including the highest-earning ones, while others' plans are more modest and geared toward the middle class and lower-income families. A rep for Sanders points out that the "upper elite" wouldn't be taking out student loans anyway. (Read more Bernie Sanders 2020 stories.)

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