Got Student Loans? Elizabeth Warren Wants To Help.

Senator Elizabeth Warren has been making big news not only with her bid to run for the presidential race of 2020, but also with her proposal to forgive student loan debt. The proposal would seek to eliminate the loan debts of millions of Americans and remove tuition from public colleges.

According to CNN, Warren’s proposal would eliminate $50,000 in student loans for households earning less than $100,000 yearly. On Warren’s plan, the $50,000 cancellation amount phases out by $1 for every $3 for income above $100,000. Warren provides an example to better understand how the relief is given based on income: “A person with income of $130,000 gets $40,000 in cancellation, while a person with income of $160,000 gets $30,000 in cancellation” (Warren). Her plan is expected to provide relief to 95% of the 45 million Americans in debt and result in complete debt cancellation to 75% of Americans with student loan debt. Warren’s plan is aimed at strengthening the middle class, therefore no debt forgiveness will be awarded to households earning over $250,000. This stipulation is in line with the plan’s main goal of bringing relief to the Americans who are least likely to be able to pay back their loans.

 

Courtesy: The Auburn Plainsman

 

Within this plan, Warren also plans to remove undergraduate tuition and fees from all public two-year and four-year colleges through increased federal funding. Warren not only wants to remove tuition from state-run institutions but also plans to expand Pell Grant funding, create a fund to aid Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and Minority-Serving Institutions (MSIs), introduce financial incentives to states to improve enrollment and retention rates and cut off for-profit universities from federal funding.

Democratic candidates, past and present, have brought up proposals of “free college for all” only to be stumped by a political pundit’s favorite question: “How much will college for everyone actually cost?” Senator Warren presented the Ultra-Millionaire Tax — “an annual 2% tax on wealth above $50 million and an additional 1% tax on wealth above $1 billion, which affects just the 75,000 wealthiest families in America and raises $2.75 trillion in revenue over ten years.” Warren’s Universal Free College and debt cancellation plan will cost $1.25 trillion over 10 years, leaving the remaining trillion to support other programs such as universal childcare. Under this new tax, only the ultra-wealthy would be contributing to what Warren described as a tax that requires “two cents of every dollar.”

While Warren and democratic candidates such as Sens. Kamala Harris, Cory Booker and Kirsten Gillibrand have voiced agreement for free college and Sen. Bernie Sanders’ original College For All Act, candidates Sen. Amy Klobuchar and Mayor Pete Buttigieg have voiced opposition. Both Sen. Klobuchar and Mayor Buttigieg have expressed that debt elimination and free college is unrealistic, but would consider expanding funding for Pell Grants and financial incentives for state colleges.

Courtesy: CNBC

 

Of all the potential Democratic candidates, Sen. Warren has been the most active in creating and presenting specific policies to remedy the greatest problems afflicting our nation.

"People come up to me in tears talking about their student loan debt. People talk to me about their fear that healthcare is going to be taken away. People talk to me about drugs, prescription drugs that they take that they simply can't afford. The way we fixed these problems? It's with policy. It's policy that touches where people live." (Warren, CNN)

As we draw closer to the primaries, it will be interesting to see what policies Warren and her opponents will bring to the table.