Bernie Sanders Plans To Cancel All $1.6 Trillion Of US Student Debt
Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders has unveiled his plans to write off all $1.6 trillion owed in student loans.
Mr Sanders’ plan would free a staggering 45 million Americans from the often crippling debts stemming from college tuition fees by implementing a new tax on Wall Street transactions.
"We will make a full and complete education a human right," Mr Sanders told reporters on Monday, reports the BBC. "The American people bailed out Wall Street, now it is time for Wall Street to come to the aid of the middle class of this country.
"This proposal completely eliminates student debt in this country and ends the absurdity of sentencing an entire generation, the millennial generation, to a lifetime of debt for the crime of doing the right thing - and that is going out and getting a higher education."
The proposed legislation is co-sponsored by Democratic congresswomen Pramila Jayapal and Ilhan Omar and is thought to be one of the most ambitious policies put forward in the White House race so far.
It will include a 0.5% tax on stocks and a 0.1% tax on bonds, which the Sanders campaign says would pay for the estimated $2.2tn cost of the programme over the next decade.
During his last presidential run in 2016, Mr Sanders also campaigned on a tuition-free public institution plan, however these new proposals so even further.
The new plan, which forms a part of his College for All idea, is also more ambitious than that of his 2020 Democratic rival Elizabeth Warren, whose plan would see student debt relief means-tested and based on income levels.
Under Ms Warren's proposal, individuals with a household income under $100,000 would have $50,000 of their student debt eliminated.
Those with incomes up to $250,000 would also see ‘substantial debt cancellation’ but the top 5% earning over $250,000 would not be eligible for any relief.