Brown University political scientist reacts to Elizabeth Warren’s student debt plan

By Jordan Mazza

 

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WLNE) — Senator Elizabeth Warren is announcing a bold plan for higher education.

Her plan would eliminate $50,000 in student loan debt for households making less than $100,000 a year, and use a sliding scale for households making up to $250,000 a year.

Brown University political scientist James Morone says Warren is on to something.

“She has noticed what very few have noticed: that the federal government owns a ton – most – of the college debt,” the professor said. “And so they could do something, the federal government could do something with the stroke of a pen, to make the burden a lot lighter on many, many people.”

The plan also calls for all public colleges to be tuition-free.

“This is, I believe, almost unique in American electoral history to have someone throwing this many very ambitious plans at the electorate,” Morone said. “Really quite exciting if you’re just a pundit, and don’t have to figure out how to pay for all this.”

The projected price tag is $1.25 trillion dollars over ten years.

Warren says it would be paid for by a two percent on multimillionaires.

But there could still be pushback from them, and from public colleges themselves.

“What it would mean is new federal regulations, new federal rules, and new tensions within the university system,” Morone said.

So does Morone think it’s realistic?

“Is this plan going to pass when President Elizabeth Warren comes to Congress, with a closely divided Congress even if the Democrats take over? No, it’s not. But, has Elizabeth Warren changed the conversation about education in the United States today? Yes, she has.”

 

©WLNE-TV/ABC6 2019