College Debt

Bernie Sanders Wants To Cancel All Student Debt and Make College Free, at a Cost of $2.2 Trillion

The Vermont senator is clearly trying to outdo his main progressive rival, Sen. Elizabeth Warren.

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Sen. Bernie Sanders (I–Vt.) unveiled his latest policy proposal on Monday, and it comes with an eye-popping price tag: The democratic-socialist presidential candidate wants to erase all student debt and make college completely free—at a cost of $2.2 trillion over 10 years.

"This is truly a revolutionary proposal," said Sanders, according to The Washington Post. "In a generation hard hit by the Wall Street crash of 2008, it forgives all student debt and ends the absurdity of sentencing an entire generation to a lifetime of debt for the 'crime' of getting a college education."

Sanders' plan is indeed revolutionary. It goes much further than his previous free-college plan, which eliminated tuition costs for only those making less than $125,000. It also goes much further than the debt-relief plan currently being touted by Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D–Mass.), which is means-tested and takes earnings into account. Under the Warren plan, those making less than $100,000 would receive up to $50,000 in loan forgiveness, while those making substantially more would receive less.

The Sanders campaign is clearly concerned that Warren, his main rival for the support of progressives chiefly motivated by income-inequality issues, is surging in the polls. No doubt he would like to offer the left-wing Democratic base something to get excited about. Well, this is certainly something.

In contrast to the Warren plan, the Sanders plan is no-holds-barred. It eliminates all student loan debt, even for high-income degree holders who are perfectly capable of paying back what they borrowed. And it makes all two- and four-year colleges completely free.

To pay for this massive, massive bailout of the well-educated, Sanders will propose new taxes on financial transactions, Wall Street speculation, and bonds. Whether the government could actually raise the full $2.2 trillion via these means is contested by some economists. When asked how to pay for his pie-in-the-sky proposals, Sanders is often evasive. His Medicare for All plan, which could cost as much as $25 trillion over 10 years, lacks a specific, concrete funding source.

Aside from its staggering cost, the policy is flawed in the same way that so many plans to cancel student debt are flawed: It rewards people who made unwise investments and transfers money to comparatively well-off people. The primary beneficiary of a college degree is not society at large, but the degree holders themselves, who tend to be more privileged and have better financial prospects than those who don't have college degrees.

Making college free, of course, would encourage more people to attend. This would likely worsen the sort of "credentialist arms race" that the economist Bryan Caplan warns about in his excellent book, The Case Against Education

But the biggest issue with Sanders' plan may very well be that it makes Warren's tamer, but still wildly expensive plan—it costs a mere $1 trillion, instead of $2 trillion—seem acceptable and moderate by comparison.

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    1. His idea might be okay, as long as we are allowed to exclude any student who engages in inappropriate “parody” of a faculty member or university administrator. See, in this regard, the documentation of our nation’s leading criminal “satire” case at:

      https://raphaelgolbtrial.wordpress.com/

      1. yeah, I see contingent debt forgiveness…. after scouring your social media history for any unapproved thoughts or likes.

    2. The Left wants to funnel taxpayer never ending money into the seminaries of the Leftist Theocracy.

      Of course they do.

  1. Oh come on, Rico. How can something that’s free have a cost?

      1. More importantly and well stated. “Making college free, of course, would encourage more people to attend” That is whether they need it or not ,whether we can afford it or not and whether it is necessary or not. These people are really quite sad and quite mad.

        1. it’s the same reason public schools are bad at education — many parents don’t care when it’s not their money

  2. If we were going to go the route of tuition forgiveness, I would much rather see a plan that does one of the following:
    a) takes up to 50% of the federal income tax that a person pays in a given year and applies it to their (government) student loan debt balance
    b) takes up to 50% of the (government) student loan payments made by a person in a given year and applies it to their federal income tax as a tax credit

    But really, I’d much prefer to see the federal government get out of the student loan business altogether.

    1. Obama made all student loans government loans so that all schools would have to abide by government regulations. what Obama forgot though is that means all schools also will have to abide by the constitution once they realize they are not outside of teh constitution

    2. I agree that feds should get out of student loan business entirely.

      But what Sanders is actually saying is that:
      1. universities should be nationalized and
      2. feds shouldn’t manage those universities at all but should just pay whatever they say they need/want to cover their expenses.

      It’s incompetent socialism AND incompetent management.

      1. 2. feds shouldn’t manage those universities at all but should just pay whatever they say they need/want to cover their expenses.

        It’s the exact same thing as the American version of a National Health system, which is why it’ll never work here.

        1. That does seem to be the thing that Americans miss when it comes to Universal-whatever. If you want to go that way, you give up a lot of choices and pay a lot more taxes.

        2. I agree. Personally I’m not that opposed to that big evil of ‘socialized medicine’. We already have it for much of our population. for those who are currently in that system, I have yet to hear anything serious as the alternative. It works in most of the world. And I’m with Hayek on the basic notion of it.

          But my Lord, our 50 year experience with the incompetence and cronyism of say Medicare is a very good indicator that the last thing they can handle is a more significant responsibility. That entire organization is the Peter Principle.

          1. If we have to have Medicare we should privatize it. Put the money into a HSA that members can spend on insurance and medical costs. Cut government involvement except as a banker out of it. If we have to have it that is!

            1. I’m actually on the other side. I’d prefer a closed-provider system – a decentralized Kaiser HMO type system managed by each of the states under an interstate compact form to deal with the difficult interstate/pooling/etc issues that are currently abdicated to the federal level.

              There’s way too much honeypot in health care spending now for the feds and the tax system to be Daddy Warbucks distributing unmanaged money and, in essence, guaranteeing accounts receivable for the private sector.

              Course my preferred system would have to start as an overhaul of the existing public systems not an expansion of them. If/when the overhaul works, then all the stuff like employer mandates/subsidies/distortions/etc could be eliminated and the public provider network could be opened up to a broader non-subsidized group – say younger people who want to establish ‘preventive health’ relationships with the doctors who will be their post-65 doctors.

              My system doesn’t eliminate a private sector. But it does eliminate the current subsidies and payments to that private sector.

              1. Which system if government intervention do you think is successful? The VA is a glowing example of what happens when there is no accountability. at least in private systems medical systems have some form of push back. The problem with government entities is that there is no failure mechanism to end bad management.

                1. Accountability? Is that something like holding R’s responsible for their complete and utter failure to do the reforms they promised to do?

                  guess what – that’s exactly what the D’s in their own way are attempting to do.

              2. Have you checked out the Aussie system? It’s universal, yet relies heavily on private insurance. It’s complicated as holy hell (but so is ours). The end result is health care which is considerably less expensive, and delivers care to more people. WHO ranks it third in “goals and objective, last time I checked, in the world. I does share one thing in common with the US system: it’s a political football. But that won’t go way either, even with “Medicare for All.”

      2. It never leads to a better educated populace. When Education is a wholesale product it seldom shines.

      3. Dems aren’t socialists, they say. They don’t want to nationalize the economy. Just health care. And education. And finance. And social media. And bakeries.

    3. But really, I’d much prefer to see the federal government get out of the student loan business altogether.

      I’d kinda like to see more private universities and public universities getting out of the government borrowing/liability business too.

      1. I think they are going to have to whether they want to or not. The willingness of students to take on debt to finance their education is finally drying up.

      2. but they can’t resist the money can they?

    4. That’s cool, but what you and all the complainers seem not to get is that no one cares what you want.

      We are going to get fucked by the demographics of this, and there is nothing to be done about it.

      1. If they do this, I’m going to go take a women’s studies degree. Not much work involved. I can see myself presenting position papers on ‘chick fits’, how ‘woman’s be thinkin’ too much’, how ‘bitches need their titties slapped around’, and how ‘they need to quit their bitchin’ and get back to the kitchen’. I could even put in clinics and on why they ‘look fat in those pants’.

        I would troll them until they overstepped and set them up for a massive lawsuit. All on Uncle Sucker’s dime.

  3. Old man yells at cloud.

    1. Funny

      “Warren, his main rival for the support of progressives chiefly motivated by income-inequality issues, is surging in the polls. No doubt he would like to offer the left-wing Democratic base something to get excited about.”

      So it’s a give away arms race.

      1. Spewing free lunch from the mouth seems to be the fuel for those two in their horse race. I guess that means they are racing backwards.

  4. The contrast between this and the Left’s attitude towards taxes is very instructive. On the one hand, the Left views any tax cut as an expendature and anyone who wants to keep more of the money they made as “greedy and selfish”. On the other hand, wanting to keep someone else’s money in the form of student loans without ever paying it back is “justice”.

    If ever there was a doubt that the entire purpose of the left is theft, that contrast ends it.

    1. Theft is the ultimate result, but most of the Left aren’t that crass. They’re just misguided feel-goods with an appalling ignorance of economics. Everything should be free because itfeelzgood.

      And most frightening of all, the overwhelming majority of voters operate under the same itfeelzgoodtome principle. No need to bother using the brain when a warm tingly feel will do.

    2. So are you against all taxes?

      Espouse something that makes some goddamn sense.

      If you’re against all taxes, you’re an anarchist. If you’re against certain government programs, just say so.

      If we agree that taxes are required for programs that make a civilized society, then you must appreciate that a policy of cutting taxes for the wealthy is arguably a terrible misallocation of resources.

      1. Tony your posts make all the sense of an old man ranting at a dishwasher about corporations. I would explain to you how seeing taxes as a necessary evil and something that should be kept as low as possible is not the same thing as saying we shouldn’t have taxes, but that is the kind of logical distinction you never seem to grasp.

        You are just dumb as a fucking post Tony.

        1. As a pragmatist I find the concept of “necessary evil” to be troublesome. If something is necessary, how can it be evil?

          Say something that is coherent, if you can.

          1. If Tony and John eventually end up fucking, the Reason comment section will cease to have any satisfying value. It will be like Who’s The Boss?, after Tony and Angela finally hook up.

            1. It is good to know you have an active sexual fantasy life.

                1. Well, Chipper is a low energy dullard.

          2. You mean instead of being an old man you are really just a pragmatist yelling/ranting at the dishwasher about corporations.

            1. That doesn’t sound like a very pragmatic use of time.

          3. Tony, you’re not a pragmatist, just an idiot.

      2. Taxes are not required to make a civilized society. You use a service, you pay for it. There is no need to force people to pay for things they don’t use. As for social programs, voluntary donations should cover it. After all, we live ina democracy. So if people really voted for all these social programs, they should be willing to fund them voluntarily.

        1. *tip of the cap*

        2. And when and where has this worked before?

          1. So since they don’t want to voluntarily donate their own money to pay for their education, I am on the hook for it? Is that really your best argument?

            1. If we decide to make it a social program just like anything else.

              If you don’t think it’s a good idea, fine, but stop it with the tiresome anti-tax argument. You don’t want to live in a society with no taxes.

              1. I don’t support any social program. And I am not a fan of the 16th amendment. The government has very defined and limited roles according to the Constitution. You are operating under the misconception that I feel that this is in any way a valid (or any social program) exercise of the federal government. If anything, this would be far better dealt with at a local level. If it works most states would copy it. Federal taxation is a blunt instrument that has contributed to less freedom and uncontrolled growth. Once the government returns to only it’s Constitutional duties then we can discuss what taxes are valid. Until such time, all taxes are seen as suspect.

                1. Eh, there are some localities that have what the entire population of the United States was in 1776, so who really cares at what level of government something is done? Seems like such a technical thing to be concerned about. And I think the constitution is seriously flawed (not that it’s not great, it’s just old and inflexible), so that’s not a merit-based argument.

                  Why can’t we all agree on how civilization works and then just debate what we want to pool resources for, and what we don’t, based on a rational examination of evidence?

                  1. Tony likes his causes light and transient.

                  2. So because state populations are bigger they can’t make their own decisions and need a centralized government, that oversees an even bigger population to run things? Logic isn’t one of your strong suits. As for your argument against the Constitution, show me a better alternative. And if there is one, why do you not move there? I rarely use the love it or leave it argument but if you don’t like the Constitution, find a better alternative or change it but stop ignoring it!

                    1. The fact that our population is larger (as is our land mass) is an even bigger argument for decentralization. A single, central power is far more unlikely to meet the needs, fairly, of a large population then several smaller powers. Damn, like I said logic is obviously not a tool in your debate repertoire.

                    2. That is one possible contribution to an argument for decentralization, but I’ve never seen decentralization do much good for any society. Europe is objectively better off post-WWII than pre-WWII, is it not? Even America failed at trying a decentralized approach before they decided to make a strong national government.

                      The good thing about larger centers of power is economies of scale. Sure, some things are most practically left to jurisdictions that handle those things, but where we have no good reason not to have a universal rule or method, it’s best not to duplicate efforts, isn’t it?

                      Again, this is not really an ideological problem so much as a technical one, but by treating it as the former you’re not applying critical thinking to it.

                  3. Goddamn Tony, you are truly a simple idiot. Probably never done any real work in your life, or contributed anything of value. It really would be best to just harvest all your viable organs in one go. That would be the highest and best use of you.

                    1. Why am I supposed to contribute something of value? To whom? Society? You? Are you a communist? What do the many corpses under your floorboard have to say about the common good?

          2. Charity has worked for hundreds of years. Stop being intellectually lazy and educate yourself tony.

            1. it’s not really scalable.

      3. Any tax above 10% is theft.

        1. How did you arrive at that figure?
          It seems to me that either all taxes are theft or they aren’t. Or I suppose there is a third possibility that it is theft, but it’s OK when the government does it (at least sometimes). I think it comes down to what you think government is. If it’s just another group of people doing stuff, with no special ethical status, then taxation is theft (and you are an anarchist, which is not an insult coming from me). If government has some special moral status that allows it to take money and initiate force, then it’s pretty hard to draw a hard line between reasonable taxation and theft.

          1. 10 is the best number because “decimal” system. Bro.

            1. So anti binary, I can’t even.

          2. Zeb: precisely. If it is acceptable in principle to take another’s money for any reason, then there is in principle no limit on the amount that can be taken.

            1. That’s pretty much what Bastiat said.

        2. Any tax regardless of % not used for what it is designed for and not accountable is theft.

        3. Any tax above 10% is theft.

          Now you’ve got it.

      4. If we agree that taxes are required for programs that make a civilized society

        Most people probably agree with that. The difficulty is in agreeing which programs those are.

        1. Most people probably agree with that.

          And they’re wrong.

      5. “If you’re against all taxes, you’re an anarchist”

        That’s so wrong that calling it stupid is a compliment.

      6. Why should anyone have to pay more than anyone else?

        With the staggering amount of money that the government wastes, getting upset about the people who pay the most for this bloat getting a break is just ugly resentment.

        I guess it’s easier than demanding that the government stop wasting so much. Lazy.

        Haha

    3. Real greed is Senator Warren taking a carving knife and helping herself to 2 percent of your accumulated wealth every year. But only if you’re the “tippy top”.

  5. These loans should have never been guaranteed. But they were and we have to deal with reality as it is not as it should be. I do think that treating these loans differently than all other loans and immune to bankruptcy is creating an injustice. If I go out and run up $200,000 in credit card debt to feed my drug habit, I can walk away from it in bankruptcy. But if I do the same in student loans, I cannot.

    I understand I get to keep the degree and that you can’t treat these loans the same way as credit card debt because people would take them, get the degree, and then immediately declare bankruptcy. So make them eligible after 15 years of good faith repayment efforts. Then pay for making good on the guarantees by putting a tax on college endowments. The colleges were the ones who benefited from these loans and they should be the ones who have to pay for cleaning the mess up.

    1. “If I go out and run up $200,000 in credit card debt to feed my drug habit, I can walk away from it in bankruptcy. But if I do the same in student loans, I cannot. ”

      It’s unlikely you could do the former, since your credit scores would tank quickly and you’d be unable to get anyone to lend you more money. OTOH, credit card interest rates reflect the realities of some people using bankruptcy, and the fact that some people are high-risk borrowers.

      Student loans are treated differently in many ways, not just in the inability to discharge in bankruptcy. There’s not need to prove credit-worthiness for student loans, at least not like you would for a mortgage or car loan or credit card. There’s nothing securing a student loan, so the whole amount is at risk (like with a credit card and unlike mortgage and car note), but the interest rates are not allowed to reflect the risks of such large unsecured amounts.

      Unlike other sorts of loans, student loans can be forgiven in several ways, e.g., via public service job, as part of their government underwriting. Unlike other sorts of loans, student loans have caps on repayments (10% of income), again as part of their government underwriting.

      It seems to me that these limitations almost require these loans to not be dischargeable via bankruptcy. As money borrowed from the government and owed to the government, they are like back taxes–hard to skip them in bankruptcy.

      “Tax debts are typically considered “priority” debts in both Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcies. This means that they’re addressed and paid first when assets are liquidated in Chapter 7, and they must be included and paid in full in a Chapter 13 payment plan. Priority tax debts are not dischargeable in Chapter 13.”

      1. It’s unlikely you could do the former, since your credit scores would tank quickly and you’d be unable to get anyone to lend you more money. OTOH, credit card interest rates reflect the realities of some people using bankruptcy, and the fact that some people are high-risk borrowers.

        Happens every day. Talk to a bankruptcy attorney sometime. A large number of their clients are people with gambling or drug habbits who have managed to run up hundreds of thousands of dollars in credit card debt.

        First, they are not money borrowed from the government. They are loans borrowed from banks that are guaranteed by the government. And other forms of government guaranteed loans go tits up all of the time and end up being discharged in chapter 7 or even 11.

        Even if they were, there is nothing to say money owed to the government cannot be set aside in bankruptcy. You miss the real purpose of bankruptcy, which is to provide an orderly and fair payment to all creditors and prevent insider dealings and favoritism of one creditor over another. There is nothing to say the government must always be the favored creditor such that its debts are immune from discharge.

        1. “There is nothing to say the government must always be the favored creditor such that its debts are immune from discharge.”

          Except the government saying they’re first in line, since they make the rules.

          1. And I am saying the rules should be different. You are just begging the question here. There is nothing to say the government can’t change those rules.

        2. “A large number of their clients are people with gambling or drug habbits who have managed to run up hundreds of thousands of dollars in credit card debt. ”

          I’m seriously interested here, how does someone with those problems get that much credit? If they had credit lines of $100k or more before they started their downward spirals, I could see that. But a 20-something with a meth problem who’s never held a job for more than 2 weeks…who’s lending them $100k on a credit card? I can see bad actors signing up for 10 cards at once and maxing them all out, maybe, too.

          1. They do it because banks are greedy and will give a line of unsecured credit to damn near anyone with an income.

            1. Unsecured loans are capped at relatively small amounts and at high interest to capture those that dont pay back the loans. Go try to get an unsecured 100k loan.

              You dont have to lie to make a point.

        3. “First, they are not money borrowed from the government. They are loans borrowed from banks that are guaranteed by the government. And other forms of government guaranteed loans go tits up all of the time and end up being discharged in chapter 7 or even 11.”

          I originally had written “borrowed–essentially–from the government” but dropped the word. FHA loans require PMI/MIP (until the rules allow it to be dropped). Maybe student loans should have required insurance premiums too, then the risk falls to the insurer…but then again govt probably would not let their fees cover actual risk involved.

      2. I think the fix starts with eliminating the federal guarantee, and then making future student loans dischargeable in bankruptcy, in certain circumstances (like you mentioned). Ten years, after strict means testing, and after X years of payments—hey, they are dischargeable.

        And again, I’d only do this for new loans—as has been discussed, the interest rates of existing loans don’t account for the risk of being unsecured loans that are dischargeable—the interest rates would look a lot more like credit card rates if that was the case.

        By injecting risk for the lender, they have an incentive to underwrite the loans. Hopefully that puts cost pressures on colleges, as prospective students won’t have access to limitless funds to pay for college.

        Maybe that will kill off the dozens of “diversity coordinator” positions at these places.

    2. You seem to understand why you cannot declare bankruptcy with student loan. Regardless anyone borrowing $200K for any kind of an education is outrageous. Expecting the taxpayers to subsidize your bad (education) decisions is insane. If we eliminated or capped the loans Universities would suddenly quit paying half wit PhD’s like Lizzie Warren $400K a year to baby sit young adults. Perhaps you would see them dip into their monstrous endowments. Perhaps you would find tuition drop to reasonable levels

    3. “I understand I get to keep the degree and that you can’t treat these loans the same way as credit card debt because people would take them, get the degree, and then immediately declare bankruptcy.”

      What if you cannot claim a degree if you discharged your loan via bankruptcy? Kinda like if you claim military service but were dishonorably discharged. Maybe we can have that status somewhere?

      1. Corporations dont actually call your school to verify your degree. That’s a nothing punishment.

  6. Look, I realize we Koch / Reason libertarians are concerned about government spending. However, keep in mind our most important priority is unlimited, unrestricted immigration. So if proposals like free college and Medicare for All make the US a more attractive destination for immigrants, we should seriously consider supporting them.

    #ImmigrationAboveAll
    #LibertariansForBernie
    #LibertariansForWarren

    1. #OpenCampusBorders

      1. #BarbariansAtTheGate

      2. #OpenCampusBorders

        This. Why is it only some people get to attend an Ivy League? Everyone who wants in should get in.

        1. Unless they are Asian non-minorities. Or male. Or Republican. Or part of the patriarchy. Or fat chicks (unless they are super cute with a hot friend that has daddy issues).

    2. Half of all students are below the median SAT score. Harvard, Yale, and others of their ilk need to ensure half of their student body consists of students coming from the bottom half of SAT scores. It’s the only fair solution. How can they limit opportunity to only the most elite* students?

      *Elite used here meaning those students of exceptional intellectual talent, or whose parents happen to be extraordinarily generous with gifts to their child’s school.

      1. I am not sure an Ivy league education is really valuable beyond the contacts you make.

        1. yes it is — it signals to employers that you could get into an Ivy League school. the value is in the entrance filter, not what they teach you (which you could learn anywhere)

          1. Dont know about your employer…. bit as someone who helps interview and vet applicants to a top engineering firm we treat Ivy degrees as a net negative.

      2. Half of all students are below the median SAT score

        Well that’s the problem with the oppressive math of the patriarchy. It’s all zero-sum intended to make people kowtow for crumbs. What we need is more universities like Lake Woebegon where they know that ALL the children are above average.

    3. #FreeEducationAndHealthcareForAllIncludingUndocumentedImmigrants

  7. What should the penalty be for a candidate trying to bribe a voting demographic with money out of the public treasury?

    This campaign promise is corrupt at its heart.

    1. I agree with you, and Bernie is a sick socialist!

      However, Boomers have fucked over the young people, and here is where the likes of Bernie offer the young people revenge on the Boomers.

      The Atlantic generally leans liberal, I am told, yet the below offers a strong case for voting Libertarian! But see the below for why (how) “Boomers fucked over the young”.

      https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2019/06/boomers-are-blame-aging-america/592336/?utm_medium=offsite&utm_source=google&utm_campaign=newsstand-ideas

      The Boomers Ruined Everything
      The mistakes of the past are fast creating a crisis for younger Americans.

      1. Boomers were responsible for the New Deal? Or the 16th and 17th amendment? Or Lincoln’s centralization of power under the auspices of the federal government? Or Adams’s administration? Or the rejections of Jay and Henry’s proposed amendment to the Constitution barring the national government to impose national tax policies but rather to set quotas that they states then paid via their own tax rules? Blaming the boomers is historically inaccurate. They certainly contributed but it is a long list, dating back to at least 1787.

      2. Seriously? Are you blaming all Boomers or just progressives? I half think this is sarcasm but reading the Atlantic I see the idiot that wrote it is serious. As a boomer I volunteered to serve when I hit 20 yrs old. Took student loans in addition to supplement the GI Bill and paid them back. Worked my way through college(for room and board) and then bought a House. Got a job with a Fortune 500 company and have been a productive member of society ever since (I am 65). I only missed one national election (was overseas) since casting my first vote at 18. I have paid my taxes and whenever possible rallied against increased regulations and growing government. I have never discriminated in hiring, never sexually harassed anyone and have dedicated the remainder of my free time to helping to save homeless and abused dogs. How am I to blame for the problems of a generation of whiners and cry babies who worry about gender neutral bathrooms, reparations for gays, the latest IPhone and other silliness..

        1. “Boomers fucked over the young”… (Some Boomers at least)…

          …By demanding ever more degrees and credentials and licenses before you are allowed to do ANYTHING for a dollar!!! If I offer to scratch your butthole for you (while both of your hands are bandaged up from carpal tunnel surgery), then I had damned well better be a degreed-licensed-credentialed-regulated -board-certified proctologist, just to be able to scratch yer butthole for ya!!! (for ANY money exchanged).

          And then endless restrictions on starting businesses or building a house, or blowing yer nose, etc.!!! BOOMERS (many of them, not all of them) are to be thanked for this!!! Present company of freedom-loving libertarians excepted, of course, ye must understand…

          1. You seem to blame Boomers for a trend that started before they were of age. Additionally, many boomers weren’t even old enough to vote when the first big push for licensing and university degrees started. That started with World War 2 veterans returning from the war and utilizing their GI Bill to better themselves. The increase in educated young men led to more companies requiring degrees for jobs that previously didn’t require them. Also, licensing as protectionism dates back to at least the guilds of Renaissance Europe (and probably before then). Spanish barbers in Mexico City during the 16th century were demanding tougher licensing to suppress competition from Chinese barbers moving into Mexico City as part of the new Trans-Pacific trade route.b

          2. They learned that shit from their Woodrow Wilson loving parents.

            1. More likely FDR loving parents. Wilson would have been the Grandparents.

              1. *their grandparents

  8. In other words, if you worked hard and paid off your college debts then FUCK YOU but if you are careless, irresponsible and unaccountable, Bernie Sanders wants to send you someone else’s money ’cause you are a victim of capitalism.

    1. I paid for college with work and student loans and now my loans are paid off. I demand reparations for the full cost of tuition, adjusted for inflation, with interest. Don’t make me add fees and penalties.

      1. ” I demand reparations for the full cost of tuition, adjusted for inflation, with interest. Don’t make me add fees and penalties.”

        (the 43 million people with outstanding student loans) “No. Fuck off. There are far more of us than you. Eat my ass with jelly.”

        Now what?

        1. Is there more of them?

        2. Tony wants to know, what kind of jelly?

    2. It is the nature of progressiveness to subsidize feckless behavior

  9. If Bernie were serious about this alleged problem, he would sell all his houses, and cash in all his stocks, and bullshit Gates and Bezos into donations, and pay off all the loans on his own. Maybe put a 200% tax on political campaign contributions?
    And oh by the way, stop future loans. We have a decade of empirical evidence that a college ‘experience’ (as opposed to education) for all is NOT a good idea.

  10. This proposal is very bad. This stuff is as bad for the liberal-libertarian mainstream as the Tea Party yahoos and the Trump malcontents were for conservatives. I hope Democrats don’t fall for this the way the conservatives swallowed Tea Party-Trump poison.

    1. Shut up you racist idiot. Go post on storm front or somewhere more conducive to your toothless hick thinking.

      1. Is he actually a racist? I knew about the other stuff already.

        1. If not racist at least elitist and narrow minded.

      2. Open wider, John.

        Your obsequious compliance with the rules established by your betters is noted and appreciated. You can mutter all you want, with the other disaffected wingnuts, so long as you continue to toe that line, clinger.

        1. Right, you’re upset we know you’re a racist. We get it.

          1. Anti-social right-wing bigots are among my favorite faux libertarians and favorite casualties of the made-America-great culture war.

            Carry on, clingers.

        2. Aww, look who learned a new word for cuck.

    2. “” I hope Democrats don’t fall for this the way the conservatives swallowed Tea Party-Trump poison.””

      The Socialist Democrats are the new Tea Party as far as political fads go. I expect the socialist to be just as effective and relevant in the coming years.

    3. trolling again… hey pastor!

  11. Zero-minute abs makes its return.

    1. Is that also anarchy you fucking cretin?

      1. Do you eat out your mother with that mouth?

  12. I wonder if Bernie considered the admissions impact of this. If you think its hard to get in to a good school now, imagine how hard it will be once every single student in the country is applying to the same handful of schools

    1. Maybe the elite schools would have to raise their standards to scare more people off.

      1. Only for whites and Asian students though. Not sure about whites of Jewish descent, they’ve been down that road once but I can certainly see them going there again.

        1. I could see the Asians starting their own universities and professional schools here the way the black and Jewish communities did.

          Why should they put up with this crap?

          1. Only until they start classifying Asians as white (Persians and Northern Indians are also Indo-European peoples so I can actually see this argument being made).

            1. And aren’t the Caucuses already partially in Asia. See Asians are white or whites are Asians. Or both. I will wait for the SJW to fully define this argument.

  13. I think Bernie is mostly crazy, but I do have a couple of serious questions about his proposal. Will he cancel out student debt for students that attended private colleges/universities – or just public universities? As to free college going forward, I’m pretty sure he means just for public universities/colleges – right? I guess I could look up the answers on his campaign website, but I’m feeling lazy.

    1. What about those of us who paid back our loans on time? Where’s our cash?

  14. There is more wrong to this than just the free tuition shit.

    Currently universities differentiate themselves by their reputation and quality. The better universities charging more. I know people who go to San Jose State instead of Stanford, solely based on the costs. But when tuition is free every university costs the same. Meaning the better schools get swamped and the mediocre schools get avoided. While that sounds like a good thing, it most certainly is not.

    When all food is free, no one eats meatloaf but everyone eats filet mignon. When college is free, no one will go to Midvale State but everyone will be lined up to Prestigious U. That doesn’t mean everyone gets in to the school of their choice. It’s going to end up being a race to mediocrity.

    1. If tuition is ‘free’ paid for my the government why wouldn’t i just raise my tuition to $1million a year?

    2. But when tuition is free every university costs the same. Meaning the better schools get swamped and the mediocre schools get avoided. While that sounds like a good thing, it most certainly is not.

      The Universities are still going to be selective over whom they take I suspect. I’m guessing it’ll be even harder to get into the better schools and the poor schools will be swamped with “everyone else”. Think of it like healthcare. Everyone gets a shitty education.

      1. except they will be even lousier … nothing is free

    3. it’s already that way. you go to the highest ranked school, and get financial aid and loans. now the loans are meaningless, if Bernie or his ilk win.

  15. It just keeps getting worse and worse on the Democrat side, and the sickening thing about it is that we’re not talking about some fringe black bloc group protesting a WTO meeting in Seattle.

    This shit is mainstream.

    No matter who wins the nomination on the Democrat side, we libertarians should throw our support behind Trump. The Democrats must lose–because of their socialism. Protest votes against Trump are absurd when the Democrats are openly advocating socialism.

    Like I was saying yesterday, it’s easy to forget that the Nolan Chart is just a measure of theory–not the magnitude. If communism and fascism are equidistant from libertarianism, that doesn’t mean they’re both a threat.

    How many fascist voters are there in comparison to the number of communists? Is one of the two major parties openly advocating communism while the other one isn’t advocating fascism? Does one of the parties have concrete proposals to make the country communist?

    The Democrats are openly embracing socialism, and it isn’t just that they’re calling themselves that word. It’s also that they have concrete proposals like the Green New Deal and Medicare for All. These aren’t fringe slices of the Democratic Party that are embracing these issues either–both proposals are widely supported by registered Democrats. Add to that the Democrats open hostility to our First and Second Amendment rights, and they are not an equal threat to Republicans generally or Donald Trump specifically.

    If I wanted to describe what libertarianism means to me in terms of concrete proposals, being in favor of our First and Second Amendment rights and opposing socialism and expanding socialist programs like Medicare would be near the top of the list.

    I think some of us are getting our principles backwards. Being so anti-socialist that you won’t vote for Trump–not even to deny a socialist control of the White House–isn’t being principled against socialism at all. Quite the opposite. Being principled means you stick to your anti-socialist guns even when that means you have to do something hard–like vote for Trump.

    1. we’re not talking about some fringe black bloc group protesting a WTO meeting in Seattle.

      Those guys are alt-right now.

      1. and alt right is what?

    2. Fascism and communism are not opposed

      1. They aren’t that different. That doesn’t mean they aren’t in opposition to each other. Often times fights between “two sides of the same coin” so to speak are the most vicious political battles (as was the case with Communists and Nazis in Germany).

        1. They aren’t different other than an argument about who will be doing the oppressing and the murdering.

      2. They’re both authoritarian and they’re both totalitarian, but Fascism and communism are not the same. Strychnine and arsenic are both poisons that can be used to kill pests, but they’re not the same.

      3. I thought the difference was that communists do not believe in Nationalism whereas Fascist believe in extreme Nationalism but the one thing they do have in common is a desire for a centrally planned economy and a collective mind set. Regardless they are both turds.

    3. You are probably right, Ken.

      But I’m still not throwing my support behind any candidate ever.

    4. I’ll proudly cast my vote for the best candidate, like I did last time when a two-term governor with private industry and smaller government bona fides ran against a huckster and a grifter.

  16. I feel like this is going to happen the day after I pay off my student debt.

    1. Yeah. I finished law school in 2010, and paid $700-1000/month until I decided to just pay off the remaining balance a few months ago.

      Sucks for me, I guess.

      1. stupid me, i stretched my master’s degree out over 4 years so i could pay cash as i went. should’ve just borrowed borrowed borrowed

  17. How “free” is Comrade Bernie planning to make it? Is he just proposing to cover tuition, or will his program cover other stuff like the cost of books?

    And there is the inevitable economic results of making something “free”: increased demand. Does Comrade Bernie’s price tag include the cost of building new classrooms, dorms, admin buildings, cafeterias, etc.? Or hiring more professors, “diversity” experts, janitors, campus cops, etc.?

    1. I’m sure he hasn’t got the faintest goddamn idea. He is a stupid Bolshevist who should be executed for treason.

  18. Why do only some people get free college? I attended part time and worked full time for 6.5 years so I could graduate debt free. Shouldn’t I get reimbursed for my expenses during those 6.5 years?

    1. No. Because you are now ‘advantaged’.

      1. My jacket is blue, my boots are yellow, and my lady’s name is Goldberry. That doesn’t scream POC to you?

    2. (the 43 million people with outstanding student loans” “Nope.”

      1. Not all of us with student loan debt are in favor of this, trust me. Some of us understood what we were undertaking and understand we owe it back. What I am more pissed about is how nothing is being done about out of control tuition, books etc and ever expanding administrations while classroom instruction and research are shorted. Oh and the ever increasing echo chamber in many departments.

    3. Of course not, we only reimburse the potential Bernie voters. Not people with jobs

  19. The state of Louisiana pays the cost of tutition for in-state students attending in-state colleges if they gradute high school with a B average. Bernie’s plan is just another version of what’s already happening in Louisiana. And then one could compare this to the way the federal govt hands out money to rebuild houses after natural disasters. There are ten of thousands of people who have gotten hundreds of thousands of dollars to rebuild their homes after flooding or hurricanes. I just find it ironic to see these people attacking Bernie for suggesting that we help out people who are struggling with student loan debt. If I had my way the govt would keep track of every dollar it paid to subsidize people so that we could compare and see who has taken the most from govt. I guarantee you would be surprised to learn who exactly has been paid and who has never received a penny. I’ve never gotten shit but some of my Republican friends have gotten tens of thousands of dollars after hurricanes and floods.

    1. You know, it’s possible to be opposed to more than one subsidy/handout.

    2. The State of Louisiana cannot print money.

      Fuck off slaver.

    3. The state of Louisiana pays the cost of tutition for in-state students attending in-state colleges if they gradute high school with a B average.

      That’s called gambling, and in Louisiana, it’s a pretty safe play. At least half of New Orleans would never see a dime of that program.

    4. Disaster payouts are also a problem.

    5. “”The state of Louisiana pays the cost of tutition for in-state students attending in-state colleges if they gradute high school with a B average. “‘

      I think Georgia was the first to do this. I’m not sure if Sanders plan has a GPA to qualify. That would be a huge difference. The problem will be people complaining about how the money is being applied in a disparaging way due to meritocracy.

      BTW. Trying to get an education is the same has having to rebuild your home after a disaster.

    6. How long would that last when, based upon current data, whites and Asians are the most likely to qualify for a program like that? I am not stating other groups can’t qualify but based solely upon current data, they are far more likely not to. We already see SAT and ACT scores being adjusted or ignored in the name of diversity.

  20. This stuff is pandering and nothing else. Hey college kids who don’t vote unless someone promises you free money, here’s some free money!

    I don’t have any college debt because I scored well on my PSAT and got a full ride. I don’t begrudge anyone for getting free money I won’t get. But what we need is a more comprehensive plan to transfer wealth from the top to the bottom and do away with the new gilded age. Guillotines should not be necessary, I hope.

    1. Tony – no one is stopping you from transferring your wealth to the deserving poor.

      Set the example. Be the change you want in the world.

      1. Tony would never give HIS money away.

    2. “I don’t have any college debt because I scored well on my PSAT and got a full ride.”

      You’re a laugh riot.

      1. I read “bare faced liar “ there too.

        1. I don’t believe him either.

    3. Hey college kids who don’t vote unless someone promises you free money, here’s some free money!

      They’d get the free money and still wouldn’t vote.

    4. I don’t have any college debt because I scored well on my PSAT and got a full ride.

      Check out White Privilege over here.

    5. “I don’t have any college debt because I scored well on my PSAT and got a full ride”

      See that’s an interesting lie, consider you took out 250k in loans for a humanities degree.

      But keep peddling shit no one will ever believe short stuff.

    6. I don’t have any college debt because I scored well on my PSAT and got a full ride.

      I’m sure you did, and you enjoyed it too. However, riding the admissions officer isn’t a viable strategy for most college kids. Unlike you, they actually need to demonstrate talent and achievement.

      1. Any quasi-prostitution I may or may not have engaged in during my college years was purely to afford luxuries.

        1. If you traded sex for material gain there is nothing quasi about it. However, prostitution really should not be regulated other than to protect minors.

          1. Melania Trump objects to this characterization.

            1. See if I care? Also, at least according to some rad-fems, marriage is a form of prostitution.

  21. Why is it that only rich liberals think Sanders and Warren are good?

  22. Hey, it’s just revenue! Or maybe profit; he’s not sure.

  23. Bernie and his ilk desperately want to prop up the Academic Left, keep all their Lefty Intellectual cheerleaders employed, and avoid anyone taking a good long look at the steaming pile of monkey-poo that Higher Education has become.

  24. it forgives all student debt and ends the absurdity of sentencing an entire generation to a lifetime of debt for the ‘crime’ of getting a college education.”

    To be paid for by “those people” who didn’t go to college.

    1. College graduates on average earn more. It would be they themselves paying for it more than people who didn’t.

      What kind of asinine point are you attempting to make?

      1. College graduates, in certain fields earn more than those without specialized training. However, this number is a biased mean based upon the high earning potential of a few degrees and the low earning potential of many entry level jobs. If you compare say a journeyman electrician to a BA in art, who has the better earning potential?

        1. Many people need to take more statistics to understand the limitations of statistical analysis. The above statement about degree holders is strictly true but there are numerous caveats which renders it less than useful.

          1. Additionally, this is a correlation, not necessarily causative. There are also several co-variants that need to be taken into account before any meaningful conclusion can be drawn.

  25. “I support forgiving student debt!”
    “Oh, yeah, well I support forgiving student debt AND making college tuition free.”
    “Well, I…I support reparations for black Americans!”
    “Yeah, but I support reparations for… for…uh..GAY Americans! Yeah! Ha!”
    “Screw y’all: I support all of that..PLUS taxing the wealthy whose children don’t join the military! I’d like to see you beat that!”

    1. I’m going to tax all of you and I’m going to make Mexico pay for it!

      Am I doing it right?

  26. Democrats and progressives are all about product liability and sticking it to corporations.

    How about some product liability for college educations? Let people who owe money on their student loans sue the colleges/universities they attended for educational malpractice and predatory pricing?

  27. “ends the absurdity of sentencing an entire generation to a lifetime of debt for the ‘crime’ of getting a college education”

    I’ve been sentenced to a lifetime of debt for the crimes of getting a house and a car and clothes and food in addition to the health care and the college education – where do I get my check?

  28. I give Bernie a lot of credit.

    He is nuts but he is consistent about it.

  29. Total Bullshit! I saw so many kids getting student loans for amounts that FAR exceeded the cost of tuition and books. They paid their rent and cell bills etc etc, all with borrowed money. Will Bernie differentiate between loans applied to actual education versus excess applied to partying and living expenses? If only $25K of your $100k in student loans went to paying for your education there is no way in hell we should be covering that cost. Pay your damn loans back fuckers!

    1. ^ There is a bit of this.

    2. i’ve thought this all along.

      if they proposed something that allowed people to apply to have written off some of their loan balance attributable to over inflated tuition, i could be on board.

      If Jimmy borrowed an extra $10k to go on spring break every year, it can follow him around for the rest of his life for all i care.

  30. […] foreshadows the staggering amount of check-writing that will be promised in this week’s opening round of Democratic presidential […]

  31. Why doesn’t he just propose canceling the debts directly? No state shall make laws impairing the obligation of contracts, but it doesn’t say Congress can’t.

  32. […] foreshadows the staggering amount of check-writing that will be promised in this week’s opening round of Democratic presidential […]

  33. […] foreshadows the staggering amount of check-writing that will be promised in this week’s opening round of Democratic presidential […]

  34. I mean, this would’ve been a far better economic stimulus than cutting taxes for the already obscenely wealthy. That little burst of energy has near run its course whereas this would’ve invigorated the economy in a manner not seen in quite some time.

    That is, if we’re just looking at spending the money anyhow.

    1. Really? Taxing investment (which is what he is proposing) will stimulate the economy?

  35. I mean, it’s free right. Who wouldn’t want free stuff? To any thinking college kid worth the grade on his SAT scores report, this is a no-brainer. Literally.

    2 trillion you say? Oh, not quite free, but hey, America’s got the money. National debt doesn’t matter at all when you vote in the richest country in the world.

    Now I wonder what new plan Warren’s going to come up with.

    1. Free peyote-flavored toothpaste via Medicare?

  36. “Obviously” typically precedes a wrong guess. Bernie is aware that at least half the debtors are fertile young ladies. This choice cherry on top of the usual Dem offers to shield them from coercion at the hands and guns of Rapturous Republicans and race-suicide Dixiecrats may well attract female voters. After all, 90% of Reason readers are male, and 66% of women evidently regard today’s LP as in bed with christianofascist Republicans. After all, in 1972 it was we who did the shielding of individual rights under the first three words of the Fourteenth Amendment. Abdication has its cost…

  37. Echoing other comments here: Has anyone proposed to actually address the rising cost of higher education, or has it already been decided to let the universities set tuition to whatever they decide and while the feds simply pay the bill?

    1. Who needs higher education when Trump’s new deal is all about turning citizens into tomato pickers and coal miners?

      1. That wasn’t a racial jab at illegal immigrants, I trust.

        1. Tony lets the truth about himself out from time to time.

          He’s not as up front about it as twits like Arthur Kirkland but it does come out.

        2. Our current immigrant wave happens to be Latinos. We’ve always made immigrants do crap work. Then they, with their self-selected entrepreneurial spirit, make America greater as the generations come along. Do you want to pick tomatoes?

          1. Or conversely, we see these jobs being taken over by innovation and mechanization. Which is already happening. Dairies are investing in mechanical/robotic milkers. Robots are starting to be utilized in fruit and vegetable harvest. This will probably result in less damaged food, less contamination and lower food prices in a decade or so. The only reason this technology hasn’t advanced further was because of cheap labor. Labor is no longer cheap and plentiful so farmers are adjusting. The same thing happened in the 1970s and 1980s in grain crops.

            1. I’m all for the robots taking over. Nobody should have to do a crap job when a robot can do it. The libertarian position is, of course, to allow labor to move according to supply and demand, with no minimum wage to encourage innovation and economic growth. Actually I’m not quite sure where the libertarian line is on labor rights. Somewhere above indentured servitude, I hope?

              1. Actually, indentured servitude was fairly equitable to both parties. It allowed for lower class British, Welsh, Scots and Irish to immigrate to the colonies. They had a far better chance of obtaining wealth and land in the colonies. But they couldn’t afford the cost to immigrate. So they agreed to a personal contract that they would exchange their labor for on average 7 years in exchange for transportation to the colonies. It was also cheaper than purchasing slaves for the landowners, and the workers were generally more enthusiastic then slaves and less likely to revolt. If it wasn’t for the fact that indentured servants in the south were exposed to more deadly forms of malaria then what they had in England (and only a small portion of England had any malaria to begin with) and yellow fever (both of which Africans were more resistant to) indentured servants would have likely kept the slave trade fairly small in the British colonies. If you really want a good explanation, try reading Charles Mann’s 1493.

              2. Also, if you truly want to replace drudgery with robotics then you should support strict border controls. Only when labor becomes to expensive does automation replace humans. Especially in agriculture.

              3. What are labor rights? Something you and Bernie just came up with to sound nice?

                1. Same as any other rights. Things we make up in order to improve the human condition.

                2. Rights are not made up. They are objectively realized based on rational thought and natural law theory.

                  If you’re not born with it, it’s not a “right.” It’s nothing more than a figment of your imagination that you demand from other people. We are endowed with only negative rights, that is liberty.

                  1. Well that’s a bunch of mystical horseshit.

                    Who decides what the natural rights are?

  38. So Sanders is upping the bribe Warren offered?

  39. This guy. Tiresome.

    Other than that….how do we link their stupidity to Trump or conservatives?

  40. Spending more money they don’t have, but at least it would actually help people, vs. spending 5 trillion on fighting climate change and accomplishing nothing.

  41. Forgiving student loan debt and giving free education will result in a massive increase in pathetic useless course in the social sciences. Students leaving universities and colleges with useless degrees which will have the opposite effect of making them employable. I would NEVER employ anyone with a degree in social studies. These people are SJWs and will be a nightmare in the workplace. They will demand safe spaces and object every time someone else is promoted before them. It is really not worth the hassle.

  42. People were debating earlier in this comment section if taxation above 10% was theft, if taxation at all was theft, or if it never was theft. I draw the line at direct taxation vs indirect taxation. Direct taxation is a tax on you as an individual person and your property. Income tax and property taxes are direct taxation. Sales tax, on the other hand, is not. Neither are tariffs. Direct taxation is theft because it is imposed merely because you happen to have money or property for the taking. Indirect taxes, though, are imposed on certain actions, usually transactions of some kind, instead of directly on a person.

    Bottom line: income tax = theft. Sales tax does not = theft.

  43. I’m correct in assuming that all of the savings I spent on my kids’ education rather than have her graduate with debt will be reimbursed?

  44. I can’t believe Sanders wants to forgive student debt!

    Doesn’t he know there are starving children in this country?!

    No more shoes, deodorant, or education until all children are adequately fed!

  45. […] the largest home-buying cohort).  Some Presidential hopefuls say they’ve got the answer in just erasing the whole thing.  This is a case of finding a gullible voting bloc and riding them as hard as possible in the […]

  46. […] blue bunting you crave. Sure, soccer’s offside rule might not make sense, but neither does Bernie Sanders’ plan to cancel student loan debt—and the soccer game is sure to feature fewer own-goals than a debate that includes Bill de […]

  47. […] blue bunting you crave. Sure, soccer’s offside rule might not make sense, but neither does Bernie Sanders’ plan to cancel student loan debt—and the soccer game is sure to feature fewer own-goals than a debate that includes Bill de […]

  48. […] Bernie Sanders Wants To Cancel All Student Debt and Make College Free, at a Cost of $2.2 Trillion: T… – Robby Soave, Reason Magazine […]

  49. Name Bernie’s Plan. Bert Hoover came up with a 1931 Moratorium on Brains that let Germany rearm under national Socialism instead of paying war reparations. A catchy enough name will likewise sell Bernie’s socialism.

  50. […] Warren to Introduce Student Debt Cancellation Bill. Bernie doubles it. Something’s […]

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