NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (WWLP) – There’s a new plan to help erase the country’s student debt.
An estimated 45 million Americans owe student loans, and presidential candidate Bernie Sanders wants to help them out. Days before the first Democratic presidential debates, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders announced a plan on Monday to eliminate the country’s $1.6 trillion student loan debt.
One local resident told 22News, “I think it sounds wonderful. How he goes about proposing to do it is the next big thing.”
The legislation has been called “The College for All Act,” which would make two and four-year public colleges and universities tuition and debt-free. So, how does it work?
It’s a $2.2 trillion plan which Sanders’ said would be paid for by a new tax on financial transactions, including a 0.5 percent tax on stock transactions and a 0.1 percent tax on bonds.
Sanders, who is one of 20 Democrats running for president, said that levy would raise up to $2.4 trillion over the next decade. One Easthampton resident told 22News that she hopes it would improve society as a whole.
Sydney Alton told 22News, “There’s a lot of talk about having kids go from high school on to college and it certainly advances our society as a whole so I think it’s a fantastic thing because it’s getting more and more unaffordable.”
Senator Elizabeth Warren has also proposed the idea of helping to eliminate student debt. Today, the average college graduate leaves school $30,000 in debt, that’s up from $10,000 in the 1990s.
The 20 Democratic candidates will debate on Wednesday and Thursday for the first time.
You can watch those debates right here on 22News. Both debates begin at 9 p.m.