Analysis of Bernie Sanders’ Free Tuition Program
Bernie Sanders, current candidate for the President of the United States, Democratic party affiliation, believes that all students deserve the opportunity to receive an affordable, quality education from the earliest stages of schooling to high-level degrees. He has sponsored bills to make public colleges and universities tuition-free, as well as to drastically reduce interest rates on student loan debt.
While his plan is not well defined, according to USA Today, Bernie Sanders plans to pay for “free tuition” with tax increases specifically at this time under consideration: .5% fee on stock trades, .1% fee on bonds and .005% fee on derivatives. One problem with this plan is even with these taxes, this will not raise enough money. The program that is currently under consideration cannot be financially sustainable. Bernie Sanders’ program is the government matches with $2 for every $1 the state provides for education. The $2 funding comes through the taxes mentioned above. Government also tends to underestimate its own programs’ costs. According to a Wall Street Journal article, it will cost $750 billion dollars over 10 years to pay for free tuition program currently outlined by Bernie Sanders. The revenue creation to fund this program as it currently stands only raises $50 billion per year according to the Tax Policy Center. No matter what, it will require a lot of money to offer free tuition.
Another obstacle to his free tuition plan is that it doesn’t address students trying to get out of college and obtain well-paying jobs, and the experience of overcoming obstacles, including financing education that produces a pride of accomplishment and all the underdog stories of t...
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...eve in free tuition. Upper income earners tend to perform better on grades and standardized tests. The free tuition plan could end up benefiting the group that needs it least, upper income earners. Academically advanced students may automatically take courses that they don’t plan on actually majoring in, taking away from students with lesser credentials.
In summary, despite being an innovative socialist plan, I believe Bernie Sanders’ free tuition program will prove to be financially unsustainable, provide minimal benefit to the economy, and have unintended consequences for the very students it is intended to help. There are many variables that are not addressed such as trade school offerings as well as developing an educated and productive worker. So for as long as these doubts are in the air, I don’t think his plan should be taken into consideration.
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