Bernie Sanders Issues Bill To Make 4-Year Public Universities Free

Bernie Sanders introduced a bill today that would make the dream of going to college a possibility for all Americans, rather than simply those whose parents can afford to send them there.

The “College for All Act,” would eliminate the $70 billion state college industry in favor of having the federal government cover 67 percent of the cost and requiring states to cover the rest.

For those wondering “And how would we pay for that?” Sanders proposes a Robin Hood Tax on Wall Street: “A .5 percent speculation fee will be charged on investment houses, hedge funds, and other stock trades. Additionally, a .1 percent fee will be charged on bonds, and a .005 percent fee will be charged on derivatives.”

The bill would also cut interest rates on current student loans in half.

Seems fair to me! I know I’d certainly prefer having a more educated populace, and more opportunities for all to lower taxes on Wall Street. Quite frankly, it is a much better investment in the long term. Sure! A few rich people having some extra money to spend might be nice now (for them), but this is far more likely to be a boon for our economy in the future.

In the long run, it would be a genius move. Let’s be real here–there just aren’t enough jobs here anymore for high school graduates–well, at least not ones people can support themselves on. Many of the jobs we used to have didn’t require a college degree have either moved overseas or now require one.

On average, state college tuition costs $9,000 a year, so about $36,000 total. However, a person with a college degree will end up making more money, thus paying much more in taxes throughout their life. They’ll also be less likely, overall, to need to rely on government assistance. So, you know, this is actually cheaper for all of us in the long run.

It will also, quite frankly, be better for Wall Street. Producing more qualified workers is good for our economy. People having money to buy things is an overall good thing for our economy. It’s not charity, it’s an investment in America.

To boot, do we really want to be living in a country where our parents wealth is such a determining factor in whether or not we will be successful ourselves? We call this the “land of opportunity” and I’m sorry, but for the most part it’s not. A lot of people just can’t afford to go to college, and aren’t lucky enough to land scholarships. I think that if someone is willing to work hard and do well in college, then they should have the option to do that without the fear of crushing debt hanging over their heads for their entire lives.

Naturally, everyone is saying “Oh, this is nice and super great and all, but there’s no way it will pass.” I suppose that’s true, given who’s in office right now, but it sucks that it won’t.

[USAToday]