Sen. Elizabeth Warren of MA is unveiling a proposal to wipe out student debt for millions of borrowers, making her the only major 2020 presidential candidate to advance such an ambitious plan to relieve the growing burden of higher-education loans on Americans and the economy.
Many in the growing field of Democratic candidates have proposed reforming the nation's student loan programs, including dramatic restructuring of existing refinancing structures, but Warren appears to be the first to propose flat-out debt cancellation.
After making headlines by calling for impeachment proceedings against President Donald Trump, Warren laid out in a Medium post her plan to cancel $50,000 in student loan debt for everyone who makes under $100,000 per year.
The cost? Roughly $1.25 trillion over 10 years.
As states have invested less per-student at community colleges and public four-year colleges, the schools themselves have raised tuition and fees to make up the gap. She argues the policy should be universal, not targeted just on lower-income people, in the same spirit in which free public education is now available to all through high school.
Warren's plan would provide government assistance to people who are already better off financially. "It all started with that chance in college". Bernie Sanders's 2016 presidential run. Some students decide to go to colleges and universities they can not afford and take out student loans. "That's why I'm proposing a historic new federal investment in public higher education that will eliminate the cost of tuition and fees at every public two-year and four-year college in America".
A recent Federal Reserve study found that Americans under the age of 35 are spending less than previous generations have due to their student debt burden, slowing economic growth and lowering homeownership rates.
Individuals with incomes of more than $250,000 would not have their debts reduced. 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.
Altogether, it would wipe out all student debt - including both federal and private loans - for more than 75% of Americans with outstanding loans, according to analysis provided by Warren's campaign.
"Research shows that more funding for non-tuition costs helps improve graduation rates, which must be our goal", Warren wrote.
"It's not just paying the tuition". They do not need to be paid back. Warren released the proposal ahead of a series of youth-oriented CNN town halls Monday night with 2020 presidential candidates at Saint Anselm College in New Hampshire.
Despite its issues, Warren's proposal is more radically progressive than Sanders's College for All Act, which he introduced in 2017. It would establish a matching grant to states that commit to helping students pay for the full cost of attendance without taking out loans.
Warren is not the only 2020 Democratic primary candidate with ideas about lowering the cost of college. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota and South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg, have taken a more conservative stance on debt-free college.