The 2020 presidential race is heating up, and a slew of Democratic candidates have been vocalizing their platforms. Most recently, Senator Elizabeth Warren announced a policy proposal that would forgive student loan debt for many Americans.
Warren detailed her student loan forgiveness plan in a Medium post published today, April 22nd. According to her post, the proposed plan would cancel $50,000 of student loan debt for households making less than $100,000 and would cancel progressively less debt for households with incomes between $100,000 and $250,000. Households with yearly incomes greater than $250,000 would be ineligible to have their debt forgiven under Warren’s plan. Nevertheless, the senator estimated that her plan would totally eliminate student loan debt for more than 75% of people with debt, and 95% of people with debt would get at least some relief. Her post notes that debt cancellation would be automatic and cancelled debt would not be taxed as income.
Another big part of Warren’s proposed policy is free college tuition. The proposal involves making public two- and four-year colleges completely free for students. She also pledged to stop for-profit colleges from receiving federal funds, give more money in Pell Grants, and create a new fund of at least $50 billion for Historically Black Colleges or Universities and minority-serving institutions.
Warren wrote in her post that she once dropped out of college herself when she got married at 19. But because of low tuition costs at a nearby public university, she was able to finish her degree. As she wrote, “Today, it’s virtually impossible for a young person to find that kind of opportunity.”
Free college and student loan debt forgiveness may seem like an expensive plan, but Warren’s post clarified that she plans to pay for it by imposing a wealth tax on 75,000 families who have more than $50 million in wealth. The senator previously unveiled a plan for universal child care that she also said her wealth tax would pay for.
Student loan debt has already had a huge impact on Millennials and Generation X, so it’s encouraging to see a candidate proposing actual change. Here’s to hoping other candidates follow suit with similar proposals.