Americans are leaving our state universities with an average of over $30,000 in student loan debt. This, despite the fact that families are often saving and spending thousands of dollars in order to help bring down the cost. Education is an investment in our future, it should not result in tens of thousands of dollars in student loan debt. As it stands, there is over $1,600,000,000,000 in outstanding student loan debt. This is an incredible drag on our economy and the lives of young people.
Those seeking to learn a trade are similarly encumbered with debt too often. Learning a trade brings with it the ability to make a significant contribution to our nation and the economy. Those who have the ability to do the work and successfully complete their courses should not be saddled with the burden of significant debt. It is time that we make public colleges and trade schools tuition-free. Students will still need to pay for portions of their education/training through room and board, books, tools and student fees. Those who work hard before starting can get those costs covered through scholarships and sponsorships. However, eliminating tuition fees will save young people from being encumbered with overburdensome debt for seeking further education.
This can be paid for, and more, through a 0.05% financial transactions tax on Wall Street. This tax will almost exclusively be paid for by day-traders, who benefit greatly from the educated and trained workforce that our higher education institutions provide.
This policy will bring significant benefits to working families and give them more financial freedom at a time when that is greatly needed.