Senator Elizabeth Warren was confronted by an angry man this week in regards to her proposal to eliminate student loan debt. The father of a current college student said he had worked double shifts, diligently saving for college, so he could pay for his daughter’s education without the need for student loans.
He is upset at the idea that those who saved money and “did the right thing” are now at a disadvantage, while those families who did not save are receiving student debt relief.
“I just wanted to ask one question,” said the man at a presidential town hall campaign in Grimes, Iowa. “My daughter is getting out of school. I’ve saved all my money. She doesn’t have any student loans. Am I going to get my money back?”
When Warren responded of course not, the man frustratingly questioned her plan further.
“So, you’re going to pay for people who didn’t save any money and those of us who did the right thing get screwed?” he continued.
Warren didn’t address his concern and simply thanked the man for his time.
Despite’s this man’s reaction, a recent poll by The Hill reports that 58% of registered voters would be in favor of eliminating all existing student loan debt. That same group also said they are in favor of making public colleges, universities and trade schools tuition-free. The same poll revealed that 42% oppose this proposal.
Warren’s plan would eliminate federal student loans for approximately 42 million Americans struggling with student loan debt. Each borrower would have up to $50,000 in student loan debt forgiven, limited to those with household incomes under $100,000.
The Senator said she would use existing laws to start providing immediate relief of student loan debt, day one of her presidency. Experts dispute whether existing laws allow mass cancellation of student loans without Congressional action. Warren is also proposing to make discharging student loans in bankruptcy easier and to discharge student loan debt for people who were defrauded.
Fellow presidential contender Bernie Sanders also proposes to eliminate all U.S. student loan debt, which is now more than $1 trillion, including private student loans. Sanders also proposes to make four-year public colleges and community colleges free, lower federal student loan interest rates and make student loan refinancing a better opportunity to save money.
Dr. A. Wayne Johnson, former chief operating officer for Federal Student Aid at the U.S. Department of Education and a candidate for a U.S. Senate seat from Georgia, has proposed eliminating the federal student loan program by cancelling up to $50,000 in federal student loan debt per borrower, replacing loans with up to $50,000 in grants for new college students, and providing up to $50,000 in tax credits for borrowers who have already repaid their student loans.
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