According to Bernie Sanders, freeing Americans from millions of dollars worth of debt shouldn't be that hard. On Monday, the presidential hopeful released "The College for All Act (opens in new tab)," which proposes a new tax on Wall Street that would cancel $1.6 trillion of student debt for 45 million Americans and eliminate tuition and fees for public colleges.
Sanders' plan has already been backed by Congresswomen Ilhan Omar, Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez, and Pramila Jaypal, all of whom tweeted their support and thoughts on the proposed act.
Corporations have repeatedly gotten bailouts and tax breaks. We need a bailout for the people — that’s why I just introduced a piece of legislation with Senator Bernie Sanders to cancel all student debt in our country#CancelStudentDebt #CollegeforAll https://t.co/9JNHRmNQ8sJune 24, 2019
Student loans are a scam.That’s why I join @BernieSanders, @RepJayapal & @IlhanMN to forgive ALL student loans AND make colleges tuition-free.PS: for the cost of the GOP tax scam (~$2 TRILLION), we could’ve already forgiven every student loan in America w/ billions left over. https://t.co/GXRHHWoKaiJune 24, 2019
Let’s free the generations to come. Let’s invest in our future. Let’s be bold and create real opportunity for ALL of us. #CollegeForAllJune 24, 2019
And since its release, people on Twitter have joined in the #CancelStudentDebt conversation to express the desperate need for student loan forgiveness.
16 yrs after graduation & still have 26k student loan debt - pales in comparison to many new graduates.Tuition is much higher now & cost of living is also higher...only wages have stagnated. #CancelStudentDebt will help stimulate economic growth.#CollegeForAll #Bernie2020 https://t.co/H8LZKAqkT5June 24, 2019
Sanders isn't the only democratic presidential candidate with a proposed plan to cancel student debt. Earlier this month, along with House Majority Whip James E. Clyburn, Elizabeth Warren announced her plan for student loan forgiveness. According to Forbes (opens in new tab), Warren's plan would "cancel student loan debt for more than 95 percent of borrowers, and would entirely cancel student loan debt for more than 75 percent of Americans with student loan debt." In terms of funding, Forbes predicts the money will come from elsewhere in Warren's campaign proposal, in particular her Ultra-Millionaire Tax, which would tax families with a net worth of $50 million or more at 2 percent.
Other 2020 presidential candidates like Pete Buttigieg (opens in new tab) and Julian Castro (opens in new tab) have released education reform plans of their own as part of their campaigns, while some—including Kamala Harris, Tulsi Gabbard, and Kirsten Gillibrand—have expressed support for Sanders' plan.
Amy Klobuchar, on the other hand, made it perfectly clear that student loan forgiveness is not a priority. "I am not for free four-year college for all, no,” Klobuchar said (opens in new tab) at her CNN town hall in February. “I wish: If I were a magic genie and could give that to everyone and we could afford it, I would.”
And, although Corey Booker co-sponsored Hawaii Democrat Brian Schatz’s debt-free college bill, he has remained quiet about his own plans for student loan forgiveness.
We'll have to wait for the debates on Wednesday and Thursday to get some answers out of the rest of them.
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Alexis Jones is an assistant editor at Women's Health where she writes across several verticals on WomensHealthmag.com, including life, health, sex and love, relationships and fitness, while also contributing to the print magazine. She has a master’s degree in journalism from Syracuse University, lives in Brooklyn, and proudly detests avocados.
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