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Bernie Sanders Announces 'Revolutionary' Proposal to Erase $1.6T Student Loan Debt

06-24-2019
Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-VT (Photo: Patrick Robertson/CBN News)

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (VT) is announced a policy proposal that aims to cancel all $1.6 trillion of American student loan debt. 

The socialist candidate's proposal calls for hiking taxes to pay off all college debt, including private and graduate school debt, as part of an initiative to make college free in the United States. 

Sanders says the government will pay for this massive debt by taxing Wall Street transactions. He hopes to raise more than $2 trillion in 10 years. However, according to The Washington Post, tax experts give lower revenue estimates. 

His plan includes a 0.5 percent tax on stock transactions and a 0.1 percent tax on bonds.   

The Vermont senator introduced the legislation with Rep. Ilhan Omar (D- MN) and Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA) in the House of Representatives Monday. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) also supports the policy. 

"This is truly a revolutionary proposal," said Sanders, who announced the plan days before the first Democratic presidential primary debate in Miami. "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."

Free education and free health care are two issues Sanders previously campaigned on in 2016.

Another Democratic presidential contender, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (MA), has also proposed eliminating college debt. Warren and Sanders are fighting to earn the support of the most liberal voters by promising more and more benefits.

Warren's plan differs because she doesn't fully eliminate everyone's college debt. She wants to cancel $50,000 in debt for those earning less than $100,000 per year.

Supporters say canceling student loan debt will stimulate economic growth by encouraging Americans to buy houses and use their money to invest in the economy. 

Critics say it is too expensive and that the higher taxes will stunt economic growth. 

Sanders' plan also includes $1.3 billion a year for low-income students at historically black colleges and universities and $48 billion per year to eliminate tuition and fees at public schools and universities. 

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