This week, Sen. Bernie Sanders upped the ante on free stuff the legion of Democratic presidential candidates are promising voters. In what he called a “revolutionary proposal,” Sanders says that if elected he would forgive “all student debt” — that’s $1.6 trillion worth — and end “the absurdity of sentencing an entire generation to a lifetime of debt for the ‘crime’ of getting a college education.”
It would be hard to devise a plan that would shower more benefits on the wealthy than this one.
Just 12% of college debt is owed by those in the bottom quarter of income earners, according to the Urban Institute. “In other words, education debt is disproportionately concentrated among the well off,” the report notes.
Sanders’ plan would relieve doctors, MBAs, and computer scientists of their student debt. These are people who are or soon will be making six-figure salaries. Keep in mind, too, that students who borrow money for college are investing in their own futures, since a college degree is a ticket to higher incomes.
Even the left-leaning Slate.com had to admit that “from a pure fairness perspective, this would be a pretty questionable use of federal tax dollars.”