On Monday – just two days before the first Democratic presidential debate – Senator Bernie Sanders will propose legislation that if passed would cancel all $1.6 trillion of student loan debt held by nearly 45 million Americans.
The 2020 Democratic White House contender will announce the bill alongside its’ House sponsors Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar and Washington Rep. Pramila Jayapal, co-chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, the Washington Post reports.
In a statement given to the Washington Post, Sanders said, “This is truly a revolutionary proposal… 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.”
Sander’s plan goes further than Senator Elizabeth Warren’s legislative proposal which also includes loan forgiveness, as the two left-wing populists compete for support from the grassroots base in the Democrat presidential primary.
Sanders’ bill, named the College For All Act, would see $1.6 trillion of student debt canceled and purportedly would save the average borrower around $3,000 per year.
The proposal would cost an astounding $2.2 trillion over a 10 year time span, which Senator Sanders asserts would be paid for by an array of Wall Street taxes on things like stock trades, bonds and derivatives.
On the other hand, Senator Warren’s student debt forgiveness plan which will also be introduced as legislation, would be paid for by imposing a 2 percent fee on fortunes exceeding $50 million – a tax intended on targeting the country’s top 0.1 percent. Something that’s long overdue.
Warren insists that the tax would raise about $2.75 trillion over a period of ten years, which would be enough to pay for free tuition at public colleges and universities, universal child-care plan, and student loan debt forgiveness for about 42 million Americans – apparently with revenue to spare for other projects.
The essential difference between Sanders’ and Warren’s plans is that Warren’s takes into consideration the income of the borrowers, wiping up to $50,000 in debt for individuals who’re making less than $100,000 per year.
Under the legislation proposed by Sanders – which doesn’t have any eligibility limitations – everyone with any kind of student debt would have it wiped clean as soon as the legislation is signed into law.
Last weekend, in a campaign event in South Carolina, Sanders declared, “We are going to forgive student debt in this country,” he said. “We have for the first time in the modern history of this country a younger generation that if we don’t change it, and we intend to change it, will have a lower standard of living than their parents, more in debt, lower wages than their parents, unable to buy the house that they desire.”