Elizabeth Warren Calls for Wiping Out Student-Loan Debt, Making College Free

By gideon.resnick@thedailybeast.com (Gideon Resnick)
BRendan Smialowski/Getty

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) is rolling out a comprehensive higher-education plan that includes a broad proposal to cancel student-loan debt.

The plan, which would cancel $50,000 in student-loan debt for every person with a household income under $100,000, is the latest in the presidential candidate’s list of ambitious policy proposals, including breaking up large tech companies, a new corporate profits tax and universal child-care coverage.

According to a Medium post detailing the policy, the debt cancellation would also apply for every person with a household income between $100,000 and $250,000, with the cancellation amount declining a dollar for every three dollars in income above $100,000, so that a person earning $130,000 would have $40,000 in cancellation. It would not cancel debts for people earning more than $250,000.

The cancellation would take place in most cases, through data the federal government already has on income and student-loan debts. The canceled debt wouldn’t be taxed as income, according to her plan.

“The enormous student debt burden weighing down our economy isn’t the result of laziness or irresponsibility,” writes Warren, whose first bill as a senator sought to provide relief to student borrowers. “It’s the result of a government that has consistently put the interests of the wealthy and well-connected over the interests of working families.”

An analysis of the plan from experts at Brandeis University estimates that Warren’s policy would provide total debt cancellation to more than 75 percent of Americans with student-loan debt and some form of relief to more than 95 percent.

Warren also has a plan for universal free college, a platform that has become a hallmark of many 2020 presidential contenders since it was a staple of Sen. Bernie Sanders’ (I-VT) 2016 run.

The estimated cost for the debt cancellation and the universal free college program is around $1.25 trillion over 10 years, a figure Warren wants to pay for with her ultra-millionaire tax, which would apply a 2 percent annual tax on households with $50 million or more.

The Massachusetts Democrat also wants to address how the higher-education system can better serve low-income families and students of color, with a planned investment of an additional $100 billion in Pell Grants, a $50 billion fund for Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and Minority- Serving Institutions (MSIs), and “after an appropriate transition period,” a ban on for-profit colleges receiving federal dollars. Warren suggests instituting an annual audit for public colleges “that identifies issues creating shortfalls in enrollment and graduation rates for lower-income students and students of color,” and prohibiting them from considering citizenship status or criminal history in their decisions on admissions.

Other 2020 candidates have frequently talked about the student-loan debt crisis in less specific terms, with Florida mayor Wayne Messam standing alone in calling for complete cancellation.

“We got into this crisis because state governments and the federal government decided that instead of treating higher education like our public school system—free and accessible to all Americans—they’d rather cut taxes for billionaires and giant corporations and offload the cost of higher education onto students and their families,” Warren writes. “The student debt crisis is the direct result of this failed experiment.”

Read more at The Daily Beast.

  • Obama praises George Floyd protests and sees hope for police reform, racial progress
    Yahoo News

    Obama praises George Floyd protests and sees hope for police reform, racial progress

    In his first extended remarks on the civil unrest that has roiled the nation following the killing of unarmed civilian George Floyd by police officers in Minneapolis, President Obama sounded a cautiously optimistic note Wednesday, praising the protests that have gathered from Sunset Boulevard to Pennsylvania Avenue and reminding policymakers and elected officials that his own administration offered a plan for police reform. In a virtual town hall, Obama said that this difficult moment in the nation's history was an “incredible opportunity for people to be awakened” to the effects of racial injustice. Floyd was black, while the police officer charged with killing him is white.

  • A group of D.C. protesters now has a list of demands
    Yahoo News

    A group of D.C. protesters now has a list of demands

    As protests continue to erupt around the country, a group of three young African-American activists is attempting to link the demonstrations to a list of demands. The group, Concerned Citizens, has emerged from the nation's capital, a hotbed of the protests that began following the death of George Floyd, a black man who died after he was taken into police custody in Minneapolis on May 25. The group's three leading organizers, Aalayah Eastmond, 19, Seun Babalola, 22, and Ty Hobson-Powell, 24, plan to unveil their demands, which they shared exclusively with Yahoo News, at a protest in Washington on Wednesday afternoon.

  • Hong Kong passes controversial bill to make disrespecting China's national anthem a crime
    Business Insider

    Hong Kong passes controversial bill to make disrespecting China's national anthem a crime

    Shutterstock / Lewis Tse Pui Lung Hong Kong passed a controversial bill on Thursday that makes insulting China's national anthem a crime. The bill states that anyone who insults or commercially misuses China's national anthem — March of the Volunteers — faces fines of up to HK$50,000, or roughly $6,380, or up to three years in prison. The bill was passed on the 31st anniversary of the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre, in which Chinese troops entered Tiananmen Square in Beijing and fired on unarmed pro-democracy protesters, killing hundreds.

  • Lawsuit aims to hold nebulous 'antifa' to blame for injuries
    Associated Press

    Lawsuit aims to hold nebulous 'antifa' to blame for injuries

    A conservative writer from Portland, Oregon, filed a lawsuit Thursday against purported elements of the nebulous, far-left militant groups collectively known as antifa, days after President Donald Trump blamed those groups for inciting violence at protests over police killings of black people. The suit was filed on behalf of Andy Ngo, who is known for aggressively covering and video-recording demonstrators. “I am hoping that this marks a turning point, that militants belonging to a criminal movement can no longer depend on the anonymity ... to get away with their crimes,” said Ngo, who previously was a writer with the online publication Quillette and now is with The Post Millennial.

  • India outrage after pregnant elephant dies eating 'firecracker fruit'
    BBC

    India outrage after pregnant elephant dies eating 'firecracker fruit'

    Wildlife officials in India are investigating the death of a pregnant elephant after it ate a pineapple containing firecrackers. The incident in Kerala caused outrage after a forest official posted about the death on social media. It's unclear if it was an accident, who planted the explosives or why.

  • Marine Corps veteran hospitalized after police shot him with rubber bullet during George Floyd protest
    FOX News Videos

    Marine Corps veteran hospitalized after police shot him with rubber bullet during George Floyd protest

    A Marine Corps veteran was sent to the hospital after Los Angeles police officers shot him and other protesters with rubber bullets in an effort to quell the unrest.

  • 10 Years Ago Today, SpaceX's Falcon 9 Blasted Off for the First Time
    Popular Mechanics

    10 Years Ago Today, SpaceX's Falcon 9 Blasted Off for the First Time

    The rocket flew its first test flight on June 4, 2010. It's been a decade of spaceflight innovation ever since. From Popular Mechanics

  • NYPD Says Looters Are Stashing Bricks. Brooklyn Locals Say Otherwise
    The Daily Beast

    NYPD Says Looters Are Stashing Bricks. Brooklyn Locals Say Otherwise

    On Wednesday morning, New York Police Department Commissioner Dermot F. Shea tweeted a low-resolution video of an unidentified officer picking up blue plastic crates on a city street corner. The crates, which appeared to be filled with chunks of masonry, had apparently been left next to a garbage can near Avenue X and West 3rd Street in Gravesend, a neighborhood by the water on Brooklyn's south end that's been largely untouched by the protests elsewhere in the borough and the city. "This is what our cops are up against: Organized looters, strategically placing caches of bricks & rocks at locations throughout NYC," Shea wrote.

  • In 1985, A Nuclear Submarine Explosion Contaminated Russia's Far East
    The National Interest

    In 1985, A Nuclear Submarine Explosion Contaminated Russia's Far East

    Here's What You Need To Remember: The explosion blew out the reactor's twelve-ton lid—and fuel rods—and ruptured the pressure hull. The reactor core was destroyed, and eight officers and two enlisted men standing nearby were killed instantly. A the blast threw debris was thrown into the air, and a plume of fallout 650 meters wide by 3.5 kilometers long traveled downwind on the Dunay Peninsula.

  • As protests rock cities, Rand Paul holds up passage of anti-lynching bill
    Yahoo News

    As protests rock cities, Rand Paul holds up passage of anti-lynching bill

    Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., is holding up the passage of an anti-lynching bill with broad bipartisan support — the latest delay in an effort to pass a federal law against lynching that goes back over a century. When the Emmett Till Antilynching Act passed the House 410-4 on Feb. 26, lawmakers expected it to pass in the Senate and head to President Trump's desk within days. A Senate version, the Justice for Victims of Lynching Act, had already passed by unanimous consent in December 2018 and again in February 2019, but the House version needed to pass separately.

  • California: Vallejo police kill unarmed 22-year-old, who was on his knees with his hands up
    The Guardian

    California: Vallejo police kill unarmed 22-year-old, who was on his knees with his hands up

    Police in northern California fatally shot an unarmed 22-year-old who was on his knees with his hands up outside a Walgreens store while responding to a call of alleged looting, officials said. An officer in the city of Vallejo was inside his car when he shot Sean Monterrosa on Monday night amid local and national protests against police brutality. Police said an officer mistakenly believed Monterrosa had a gun, but later determined he had a hammer in his pocket.

  • Protests in Minneapolis turned violent: Officials first blamed outsiders, but that’s not what arrests show
    USA TODAY

    Protests in Minneapolis turned violent: Officials first blamed outsiders, but that’s not what arrests show

    Read this: Officials blame 'out-of-state' agitators but those at the heart of protests are homegrown Riot, violence, looting: Words matter when talking about race and unrest, experts say Leggat, the security consultant, said intelligence reports from his colleagues indicate most of the hard-core protesters in Minneapolis were far-left or anarchists, and that far-right groups have not yet made a significant appearance. He said looting is typically done by locals – usually people with no criminal record who just get caught up in the moment. But direct conflicts with authorities come from a mix of both locals and outside groups who see these conflicts as a core part of their mission.

  • Trump to accept Republican presidential nomination outside of North Carolina
    Reuters

    Trump to accept Republican presidential nomination outside of North Carolina

    President Donald Trump will accept the Republican presidential nomination outside North Carolina, the party said on Wednesday, following the Democratic governor's decision not to lift social-distancing restrictions for the planned Aug. 24-27 convention. On Tuesday, Governor Roy Cooper rejected Republican demands to guarantee that attendance at the convention in Charlotte would not be restricted by social-distancing measures aimed at preventing the spread of the coronavirus. In response, Trump said on Twitter that the party would relocate the event.

  • The architect of Sweden's no-lockdown plan suggested the strategy was a mistake based on what we now know about the coronavirus
    Business Insider

    The architect of Sweden's no-lockdown plan suggested the strategy was a mistake based on what we now know about the coronavirus

    JONATHAN NACKSTRAND/AFP via Getty Images The scientist behind Sweden's no-lockdown coronavirus strategy has suggested for the first time that the approach may have been a mistake. Anders Tegnell told Swedish radio if the country had more knowledge about the coronavirus earlier in its outbreak, its reponse would likely have been "somewhere in between what Sweden did and what the rest of the world has done." Sweden has repeatedly defended its plan while saying it was constantly monitoring to see if it needed to change its strategy.

  • New Mexico close to historic all-female US House delegation
    Associated Press

    New Mexico close to historic all-female US House delegation

    New Mexico has moved closer to possibly sending a historic delegation of all women of color to the U.S. House. According to unofficial results from Tuesday's primary, Democrat Teresa Leger Fernandez, a Latina, won a seven-way race to capture her party's nomination for the Democratic-leaning seat in northern New Mexico. “This is a win for our communities & families across our district,” Leger Fernandez tweeted late Tuesday.

  • Cars Most Likely to Need a Transmission Replacement
    Consumer Reports

    Cars Most Likely to Need a Transmission Replacement

    To understand how often such problems occur, we analyzed data on older models from our Annual Auto Surveys to see which major systems can lead to expensive repairs and identify the models that have a significant risk. Three problems areas stood out: Engines, head gaskets, and transmissions. With some models, these problems occur with surprising frequency at a certain age and mileage.

  • George Floyd survived the coronavirus before the police killed him, autopsy suggests
    INSIDER

    George Floyd survived the coronavirus before the police killed him, autopsy suggests

    An autopsy on George Floyd conducted by the Hennepin County Medical Examiner's Office says Floyd tested positive for the novel coronavirus postmortem after first testing positive on April 3. According to KSTP, the medical examiner's office and Floyd's family agreed to release his full autopsy on Wednesday. The autopsy concluded that Floyd died as a result of "cardiopulmonary arrest complicating law enforcement subdual, restraint, and neck compression."

  • Why The Middle East Fears Russia's Alpha Group Commandos
    The National Interest

    Why The Middle East Fears Russia's Alpha Group Commandos

    Russia and the Lebanese Islamic militia Hezbollah have become close allies in the civil war in Syria, with both of them supporting the regime of Syrian President Bashar Al Assad in the conflict. When members of Hezbollah kidnapped four Russian diplomats in 1985, killing one of them, Russia dispatched the KGB's Alpha Group to deal with the situation. Alpha Group is part spy network, part counterterrorism team, part general-purpose commando squad — and entirely terrifying.

  • Colorado Ethics Commission Votes Unanimously to Hold Hickenlooper in Contempt for Ignoring Subpoena
    National Review

    Colorado Ethics Commission Votes Unanimously to Hold Hickenlooper in Contempt for Ignoring Subpoena

    Former Colorado governor and current Democratic Senate candidate John Hickenlooper skipped a remote hearing and ignored a subpoena by the state's Independent Ethics Commission over his alleged violations of Colorado's gift ban. When Hickenlooper did not appear at the virtual hearing — which suffered from technical difficulties — the commission voted unanimously to have the state attorney general's office enforce the subpoena. After the vote, Ethics Commission chair Elizabeth Espinosa Krupa said that she found Hickenlooper's actions “a little bit contemptible,” and the commission later voted 5-0 to hold him in contempt for failing to comply with the subpoena.

  • Ponzi king Bernie Madoff's bid for early release rejected by judge
    NBC News

    Ponzi king Bernie Madoff's bid for early release rejected by judge

    Dying Ponzi king Bernard Madoff lost his bid for early release from prison Thursday when the judge who sentenced him to 150 years behind bars said he intended for him to die there and nothing has happened in the last 11 years to change his mind. Judge Denny Chin, who now sits on the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, noted the continuing suffering of Madoff's thousands of victims who lost $17.5 billion when a decades-long scheme that deceived them into thinking their money was invested properly was exposed in December 2008. The judge said he'd reviewed public statements made by Madoff, 82, and found they “show that he has never fully accepted responsibility for his actions and that he even faults his victims."

  • Chris Hayes Slams Cuomo and de Blasio for Trying to ‘Gaslight the Public’ on Cops Beating Protesters
    The Daily Beast

    Chris Hayes Slams Cuomo and de Blasio for Trying to ‘Gaslight the Public’ on Cops Beating Protesters

    MSNBC host Chris Hayes took New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and New York Governor Andrew Cuomo to task on Thursday night for falsely claiming that New York police hadn't beaten protesters despite video evidence to the contrary. In recent days, several videos have surfaced on social media showing NYPD officers whacking peaceful protesters with batons, including a “horrifying” viral clip of three officers bludgeoning a cyclist on Wednesday night. Noting that Wednesday night's New York protest over George Floyd's death devolved into violence because “the NYPD started beating people,” Hayes went on to highlight several incidents captured on video by protesters and journalists.

  • China de-escalates airline spat with US
    AFP

    China de-escalates airline spat with US

    China said Thursday foreign airlines blocked from operating in the country over virus fears would be allowed to resume limited flights, apparently de-escalating a row with Washington following US plans to ban Chinese carriers. Beijing's announcement comes as tensions between the world's two superpowers are sent soaring by a series of issues including Donald Trump's accusations over China's handling of the pandemic, Hong Kong and Huawei. The latest spat was rooted in the Civil Aviation Authority of China (CAAC) deciding to impose a limit on foreign airlines based on their activity as of March 12.

  • Boris Johnson told Italy's prime minister the UK had been aiming for coronavirus herd immunity, new documentary reveals
    Business Insider

    Boris Johnson told Italy's prime minister the UK had been aiming for coronavirus herd immunity, new documentary reveals

    Getty Boris Johnson reportedly told the Italian prime minister in March that the UK was aiming for herd immunity, according to a new documentary. Pierpaolo Sileri, a health minister in Giuseppe Conte's Italian government, told Channel 4's Dispatches that UK Prime Minister Johnson informed Conte of his plan during a phone call on March 13. Sileri said: "I remember he said, 'He told me that he wants herd immunity'."

  • Associated Press

    US says Alaska man laundered nearly $1B for Iran through UAE

    An Alaska man accused of laundering $1 billion held in South Korea for Iran funneled nearly all the money through the United Arab Emirates, U.S. federal court documents released early Thursday show. The court documents, filed as part of a U.S. asset seizure effort, shed further light on how Kenneth Zong allegedly created fake invoices to help Iran draw cash held by South Korea in lieu of payment for oil shipments. It also renewed questions about financial transparency in the UAE, as the order sought to seize $20 million held by one of the country's seven emirates.

  • African, Caribbean migrants continue trek towards U.S. border
    Reuters

    African, Caribbean migrants continue trek towards U.S. border

    Migrants from Africa and the Caribbean, stranded in Honduras after Central American countries closed their borders to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus, on Wednesday kept marching north in an attempt to reach the United States. Honduras currently allows only cargo trucks in and out of the country, but migrants and a local official said the group is determined to reach first Mexico and then the United States. "We're already on the way, we want to reach the border with Guatemala and then, at least for now, get to Mexico until the situation in the United States improves," Cuban migrant Armando Hernandez, said in a telephone interview.