If you are burdened with debt, how do you resist voting for a candidate who says she will cancel you debts?
Senator Elizabeth Warren proposes to do just that. CNN reports:
Sen. Elizabeth Warren on Monday proposed eliminating the student loan debts of tens of millions of Americans and making all public colleges tuition-free, staking out an ambitious stance on one of the central policy debates of the 2020 Democratic primary. …
Warren's new plan would forgive $50,000 in student loans for Americans in households earning less than $100,000 a year.
According to analysis provided by her campaign, that would provide immediate relief to more than 95% of the 45 million Americans with student debt.
The Massachusetts Democrat and 2020 contender is also calling for a drastic increase in federal spending on higher education that would make tuition and fees free for all students at two- and four-year public colleges and expand grants for lower-income and minority students to cover costs like housing, food, books and child care.
The campaign estimates that the plan would cost $1.25 trillion over 10 years.
College debt is a terrible problem. It means that the college degree that was supposed to be a leg up for students starting out in life becomes a ball and chain.
Something has to change. A market solution–students finding alternatives to four-year colleges, for example–could help people avoid debt in the future.
But there is something alarmingly irresponsible in government, which helped create the debt crisis (by backing loans, which are often handed out more liberally than prudence demands) and then just saying, "Oh, never mind."
For one thing, there's that estimated $1.25 trillion over ten years.
But Warren is onto something.
The allure is going to be hard to resist.
People who have sounder economic sense must make the argument as to why Warren's plan would be ruinous, both morally and economically.
And, by the way, no matter how much she would tax the rich, you'd have to be able to print money to finance this proposal.