Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) proposed Monday a new $640 billion student college debt relief program that would also eliminate college tuition for all two and four-year public colleges.
The 2020 Democrat presidential candidate unveiled the ambitious policy proposal as she attempts to distinguish herself from the large and progressive Democrat field. Warren released the proposal ahead of a series of youth-oriented CNN town halls Monday night with 2020 presidential candidates at Saint Anselm College in New Hampshire.
“It’s a problem for all of us,” Warren noting, that student college debt has reached more than $1.5 trillion and affects more than 40 million Americans. “It’s reducing home ownership rates. It’s leading fewer people to start businesses. It’s forcing students to drop out of school before getting a degree.”
Warren’s plan, which would cost roughly $640 billion, would eliminate up to $50,000 in student debt for each person with less than $100,000 in household income. The Massachusetts senators’ plan would also lower college debt for those making incomes between $100,000 and $250,000 but at a more gradual rate. Americans with household income over $250,000 would not receive student debt relief.
Sen. Warren would then eliminate tuition and fees fro all two-year and four-year public colleges as a means to restructure the higher education system to ensure that Americans do not accumulate more college debt.
“Once we’ve cleared out the debt that’s holding down an entire generation of Americans, we must ensure that we never have another student debt crisis again,” the senator suggested.
Sen. Warren’s latest proposal serves as part of a broader strategy to distinguish herself from the growing list of progressive Democrats running for president, especially as many of them already agree on leftist proposals such as the Green New Deal and Medicare for All. Warren also lags behind Democrat front-runners former Vice President Joe Biden and Sanders in the polls as well.
Warren has called on the Senate to abolish the 60-vote filibuster Senate rule and the electoral college; the senator even endorsed legislation to study potential reparations for slavery.
Warren proposed an “ultra-millionaire tax” that would annually tax wealth above $50 million at an extra two percent with an additional one percent tax on wealth over $1 billion.
In March, Sen. Warren called to break up some of America’s largest tech companies, including Google, Facebook, and Amazon.
Faiz Shakir, an executive at the ACLU, said in January that Warren has tried to position herself as the “ideas candidate.”
“Others should start thinking about competing in the arena for new ideas,” Shakir said.
In Warren’s Medium post announcing her college debt-relief program, she touted how higher education has “opened a million doors for” her, despite that she exaggerated her Native American heritage to obtain entrance to Harvard Law School.
“It’s how the daughter of a janitor in a small town in Oklahoma got to become a teacher, a law school professor, a U.S. Senator, and eventually, a candidate for President of the United States,” Warren said.