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Tipsheet

Bernie Sanders Has a 'Revolutionary' New Proposal to Deal With Student Loan Debt

AP Photo/Andrew Harnik

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) will reportedly unveil a proposal on Monday to eliminate all $1.6 trillion of American student loan debt.

According to The Washington Post, Sanders will propose legislation along with fellow progressives Reps. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) and Pramila Jayapal (D-WA).

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The plan to clear the debt would be accomplished through a tax on Wall Street that, according to his campaign, would bring in more than $2 trillion over 10 years. 

Sanders’s plan calls on the federal government to completely clear the student debt of 45 million Americans while also calling for public universities, community colleges and trade schools tuition-free.

The proposal calls for the absolving of student debt for undergrad and graduate students. (The Hill)

“This is truly a revolutionary proposal,” Sanders said, the Post reports. “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.”

Sanders is not the first Democratic presidential candidate to propose a plan to deal with mounting student debt.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) released a policy plan in April to cancel student loan debt.

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Specifically, Warren's legislative proposal for student loan debt forgiveness would:

  • Cancel $50,000 in student loan debt for every person with household income under $100,000.
  • Provide substantial debt cancellation for every person with household income between $100,000 and $250,000.
  • Not tax as income student loan debt that has been cancelled.
  • Also make private student loan debt eligible for cancellation.
  • Streamline the student loan debt forgiveness process using data and income information already available to the federal government. (Forbes)

Her plan would not apply to borrowers with a household income higher than $250,000 because, according to Warren, they are the top 5 percent of earners. 

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