After independent Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders unveiled a plan to eliminate student debt for millions of troubled borrowers, one lawmaker says the movement is unfair to the majority of hardworking Americans.
Rep. Dan Crenshaw, R-Texas, took to Twitter on Tuesday to say the initiative, which has its own hashtag – #cancelstudentdebt – undermines “two-thirds” of people who don’t have degrees or already paid off their debts, in favor of a “minority” of advantaged individuals.
He went on to say the concept, overall, is “immoral.”
On Monday, Sanders rolled out his version of a student debt elimination plan, which relies on a Wall Street speculation tax to fund the elimination of as much as $1.6 trillion worth of student debt. It would also make public and community colleges tuition-free.
“In 2008, we bailed out Wall Street. Now it's time to tax Wall Street's greed to help the American people,” the 2020 hopeful wrote on his Facebook page.
Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who is also running for the Democratic Party nomination in 2020, recently unveiled her own plan to cancel student debt. Her plan involves the cancellation of $50,000 in student debt for individuals with household incomes below $100,000 – or about 42 million people. American households with higher incomes, up to $250,000, would also see some of their debt written off as well. The $50,000 cancellation amount would phase out by $1 for every $3 in income above $100,000.
Outstanding student loan debt has doubled over the past decade to more than $1.5 trillion in 2018 and is now second only to the amount of mortgage debt held by Americans. It has been named as a contributor to declining homeownership rates among young adults.
New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who claims to have student debt herself, said on Monday that it was easier for her to become the youngest woman ever to serve in Congress than to pay off her student loans.