Sanders’ college plan is unrealistic next to Clinton’s College Compact

Katelyn Green, Staff Writer

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Perhaps the biggest draw to Democratic Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders for many young people is his promise to take big money not only out of politics but out of higher education as well. However, when stacked against Hillary Clinton’s plan to make college more affordable, it’s easy to see that her plan is far more practical and easier to implement.

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Sanders has made numerous claims to make college affordable, or to even eliminate tuition to follow in the footsteps of countries like Germany, Chile, Finland and Sweden. However, he proposes that the 75 billion dollar cost to the country for free tuition will be achieved by imposing a small tax on Wall Street speculators.

On Sanders’ website, he states that, “If the taxpayers of this country could bailout Wall Street in 2008, we can make public colleges and universities tuition free and debt free throughout the country.”

The problem with this statement is that there is a major difference between stating that you’ll make Wall Street speculators pay for a 75 billion dollar plan and actually implementing it.

The way that Sanders sees it is that since taxpayers bailed out Wall Street in 2008, they should return the favor. However, turning it into actuality is far more difficult and can’t be achieved with a wave of the presidential finger.

In contrast, Clinton’s College Compact starts off with the headline, “Costs won’t be a barrier,” meaning that the plan promotes college affordability while keeping costs down. Clinton proposes that an identical plan to Sanders could instead cost 350 billion over a ten year period, paid for by closing tax loopholes and expenditures for top earning individuals.   

Sanders proposes that the cost be covered by taxing every single stock, bond and derivative sold in the United States. The problem is that no one knows how the economy or Wall Street firms would react if such a tax was put in place.

Clinton demonstrates a more streamlined, practical system for making college more affordable. However, both Sanders’ plan and the College Compact highlight several important points which will be beneficial to the way higher education works in this country.

However, both programs will allow more students to access education. Clinton’s plan would offer more subsidies to middle-to-low income students, whereas Sanders’ aims to make all public universities and colleges free.

Most importantly, they will allow students to focus more on what they get out of a college education in terms of content rather than focusing on what plan to use to dig their way out of debt.

With a strong majority of college freshmen having the ability to vote this fall, it is imperative to understand both Sanders’ and Clinton’s college tuition plans.