Education is a basic human right and should not cost a dime in a nation rolling in money and unable to keep track of all of its wars or all of its billionaires. In many other nations, public education is free or close to it.
No student in the future should be burdened with debt, and anyone now burdened with student debt should have it relieved.
Congresswoman Ilhan Omar is leading the public conversation in a progressive direction, and receiving the attacks for it from the right wing that have become familiar. She's even being accused of trying to end all student debt in order to wipe out her own personal student debt. (If that were her goal, wouldn't it be far easier to simply kiss-up to a few corporate sponsors?)
If you support Rep. Omar's effort to end student debt, click here and contribute to her re-election campaign.
Together with Rep. Pramila Jayapal and Senator Bernie Sanders, Omar has introduced legislation to eliminate tuition and fees at all public four-year colleges and universities, as well as make community colleges, trade schools, and apprenticeship programs tuition- and fee-free, and to eliminate all $1.6 trillion in student debt for 45 million Americans.
Of those in debt, Omar said, “That’s 45 million people who are being held back from purchasing their first home; 45 million people who may feel that they can’t start a family; 45 million people who have dreams of opening a business or going into public service, but are held back."
“My bill," Omar said in reference to her Student Debt Cancellation Act, "would end this crisis by cancelling all $1.6 trillion in student loan debt. This would not only allow Americans struggling with debt to pursue their dreams, but would unleash billions of dollars in economic growth—stimulating our entire economy. We can fully fund this with a small tax on Wall Street speculation. The American people bailed out Wall Street. It’s time for Wall Street to bail out American people.”
The benefits of this change would be transformational for U.S. society and for millions of individual lives, reducing the wealth gap and also the racial wealth gap. As reported in Common Dreams: "Economist Marshall Steinbaum concluded that the elimination of all student debt would reduce that gap in younger households from a 12:1 advantage for whites to 5:1. . . . A report from the Levy Institute showed that full student debt cancellation will create more than a million jobs annually, and significant economic growth, over a period of several years."
Click here to donate to Congresswoman Omar's re-election campaign and to support the work of RootsAction.org.
—Norman Solomon, Jeff Cohen, and the RootsAction Team
>> HR 3448: Student Debt Cancellation Act
>> HR 3472: College for All Act
>> Common Dreams: Ilhan Omar and Bernie Got It Right: Full Student Debt Cancellation
>> ABC News: Trump defiant amid backlash, security concerns over tweeted video of Rep. Ilhan Omar
>> The Nation: Donald Trump Isn’t Playing Games With Ilhan Omar—He’s Inciting Violence