Hillary Clinton doesn’t just want to make college free. The Democratic presidential candidate wants to kill college debt, and by doing so she is striking at the heart of the Republican plan to make the richer wealthier and everyone else poor.
In a post on Medium, Clinton laid out the basics of her New College Compact:
– Under the New College Compact, no student should have to borrow to pay tuition at a public college.
– Schools will have to control their costs and show more accountability to their students.
– States will have to meet their obligation to invest in higher education.
– The federal government will increase its investment in education, and won’t profit off student loans.
– And millions with student debt will be able to refinance it at lower rates.
That’s my plan. It’s ambitious — and we should be ambitious. But it’s also achievable. And it would make a big difference in people’s lives.
Clinton’s plan adds the Elizabeth Warren inspired wrinkle of allowing students to refinance their loans. A vital component of every Republican economic plan involves the government profiting off of student loan debt to pay for tax cuts to the wealthiest Americans. Former Sec. of State Clinton’s proposal ends this practice by changing the way the federal government encourages higher education.
Under Clinton, the government would take steps to incentivize states to increase funding for higher education while working with colleges and universities to lower the cost of attendance. The plan would be paid for by limiting tax deductions for the wealthy.
Like all good policy proposals, the Clinton plan takes a little from the left and a little from the right and adds some twists that are unique to the candidate. Republicans are opposed to any plan that lowers student debt and makes college more affordable. Increasing economic opportunity is a concept that runs counter to the values of the right.
The idea that economic opportunity can be increased by forcing the wealthiest Americans to pay more pushes Republicans over the edge. The national discussion on higher education is rapidly changing. The debate has shifted beyond expanding Pell Grants and into fundamentally changing an education system that is causing crippling debt more often than it aids economic advancement.
Mr. Easley is the founder/managing editor and Senior White House and Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA.Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association