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Tipsheet

Navy Veteran Confronts Warren About the Fairness of Her Plan to Cancel Student Loan Debt

AP Photo/Patrick Semansky

Sen. Elizabeth Warren was put on the spot Wednesday during a CNN town hall event over the fairness of her student loan debt forgiveness plan.

“Nobody forced these students to take out a loan, so should it not be their responsibility to pay them back?” asked Chris Middleton, a Navy veteran and construction consultant. “Why am I, a taxpayer who joined the military to pay for my college education, start paying for other people’s college education? And to that extent, should you cancel my mortgage debt?”

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Warren told the undecided voter she really wasn’t asking him to pay for anything unless he has more than $50 in assets.

“First is, when I put a plan out like this, the first thing I did is how I'm going to pay for it,” she replied. “That's where I started. And the way I start is by saying we need to put a wealth tax in America. And this is a two cent tax on fortunes above $50 million.”

CNN’s Don Lemon then pushed her to respond about the fairness aspect of his question. 

She said he should be in favor of her plan because of “pure old economics.”

“We need to build an economy from the grassroots up…We need an economy that's about prosperity and opportunity for everyone,” she said.
 
 “How do we do that? You cancel student loan debt for 43 million Americans, and all of a sudden they've got 600 bucks a month that they can spend locally,” Warren added. “If you want to find a way to make this economy grow and make it grow in a solid way that works not just for a thin slice of the top but works for everyone, then what you want to do is you want to get those young people have enough income that they can spend; they can start businesses; they can take risks; they can build the America of tomorrow. And that's where we start.”

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