By Gerren Keith Gaynor
Published June 24, 2019
Bernie Sanders, the 2020 hopeful, is set to announce on Monday a policy proposal that would eliminate all $1.6 trillion of American student debt, according to a report.
The Democratic presidential candidate’s new proposal calls for the federal government to wipe clean the student debt held by 45 million Americans, including all private and graduate school debt, The Washington Post reported. The proposal package also includes making public universities, community colleges and trade schools tuition-free.
Sanders reportedly plans to pay for the lofty proposal with a tax on Wall Street, which his campaign says will generate more than $2 trillion over 10 years. The tax would focus on financial transactions, the report said, such as a 0.5 percent tax on stock transactions and a 0.1 percent tax on bonds.
Sanders on Monday will join Rep. Ilhan Omar, who will introduce legislation in the House to eliminate all student debt in the United States. They will be joined by Rep. Pramila Jayapal, co-chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus.
“This is truly a revolutionary proposal,” said Sanders said in a statement, according to the Post. “In a generation hard hit by the Wall Street crash of 2008, it 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.”
Sen. Elizabeth Warren, another 2020 hopeful, announced in April a plan to cancel existing student loan debt for millions of Americans. Under Warren’s plan, each person’s student debt would get a relief of $50,000 if household income is up to $100,000. Higher incomes would also be entitled to massive debt reductions, while only those households with earnings of over $250,000 would get no student debt reduction.
“For example, a person with household income of $130,000 gets $40,000 in cancellation [of student debt], while a person with household income of $160,000 gets $30,000 in cancellation,” Warren in a blog post at the time.