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Elizabeth Warren blasted for 'free college' proposal

Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass. (Wikimedia Commons)

Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., is proposing that taxpayers forgive student loan debt of up to $50,000 for tens of millions of Americans to stimulate the economy.

Her plan, announced as support for her presidential campaign appeared to be stuck in the single digits, apparently would offer nothing to those who didn’t go to college.

Nor would it benefit those who already worked hard, saved their money and paid off their loans.

That issue arose on Twitter.

“How is that fair for those ppl that worked hard to pay off all their loans?” asked Michael Mei.

And Okio B. Designs asked, “Will I get reimbursed for paying back my student loans 20 years ago?”

Actor and director Nick Searcy tried to make sense of the proposal.

“This makes sense only because @ewarren and her fellow leftists have made college absolutely worthless. The cost of it should be zero, because it isn’t worth anything. But what she is actually proposing is making taxpayers pay her and her fellow leftists lots of money for crap,” he wrote.

Warren said: “I’m calling for universal free college and the cancellation of student loan debt for more than 95% of Americans. This is the kind of big, structural change we need to make sure our kids have opportunity in this country.”

CBS News reported student debt now totals $1.46 trillion, and loan payments are linked to delayed first-home purchases and more.

“Obtaining a college degree has become something of an economic Catch-22 in recent decades. Earning a bachelor’s degree is increasingly necessary to guarantee lifelong higher earnings — but the accompanying debt can hamper a grad’s ability to buy a house, a car or climb the socioeconomic ladder,” the network commented.

CBS said the typical repayment is about $400 a month.

“The impact would help not only boost millennials, but Gen Xers and baby boomers who are also struggling to repay their loans. ‘This is an issue that affects me and so many of my friends,’ one Twitter user wrote. ‘The effect on the economy would be enormous, and not just millennials moving out of their parents houses, but Gen X folks like me who just might be able to buy a house,'” the network said.

CBS noted the plan largely would benefit students from richer families, as well as whites and Asians over those of other races.

Warren proposes to pay for the plan through a new tax on the wealthy totaling about $2.75 trillion over 10 years.

Her proposal would forgive loans up to $50,000 for households with income of $100,000 or less. Less would be forgiven for wealthier households.

Also, it would make colleges tuition-free for lower-income households.

She proposes grant programs for housing, food, books and other expenses, an expansion of Pell Grants and $50 billion for black colleges.

A similar bill failed in Congress last year.

Barack Obama’s plan to have the government take over student loans nationwide, which the Wall Street Journal described as a “bill for buying millennial votes,” is estimated by the Government Accountability Office to have cost taxpayers $108 billion.