Sen. Bernie Sanders’ tuition plan makes sense

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders has proposed a plan to make all public universities tuition free. If this plan were to be instated, it would benefit the United States tremendously.

College graduates all carry a major burden of student loans, some never financially progressing in society. This also places a major burden on the families who assist in paying their children’s loans.

The main argument against this proposition is people not wanting to pay higher taxes. This assertion is definitely fair, but it is also a result of people not understanding the facts. Sanders does not plan on raising the taxes of the average American; he plans on taxing Wall Street. Tuition-free college is something this country desperately needs and it can be achieved, according to Sanders, by allowing students to use needbased financial aid and work-study programs, as well as taxing Wall Street speculators.

Sanders has conducted years of research to develop this plan. People are not convinced that this plan is logical — the main reason being that they don’t understand how it will be funded. The source of funds will be Wall Street; there will be a tax on things like investment houses, hedge funds, and other speculators of 0.5 percent on stock trades, meaning 50 cents for every $100 of stock. Sanders and hundreds of economists estimate that this will provide hundreds of billions of dollars — way more than enough to meet the costs of college tuition. This is not a plan that Sanders came up with out of nowhere; he has used more than 40 other countries as examples. Countries such as Germany have imposed a similar tax and made colleges tuition free. The plan does not end there, because tuition is not the only thing included in college expenses. There are things such as room and board fees, and the cost of books. Although these would not be completely free, Sanders has developed a strategy that would require public colleges and universities to meet 100 percent of the financial needs of the lowest-income students. Students of low income would be able to use federal, state and college financial aid to cover room and board, books and some living expenses. The final addition would be tripling the work-study program, which would lead to an increase in more experienced workers, helping them after they graduate.

Those who believe tuition-free college would not benefit the United States misinterpret the information. Higher taxes are not the source of the money used to pay for tuition. People who have put their children through college, and conservatives who disagree with this policy have their beliefs, and rightfully so, but having a youth that is more educated and intelligent will grow the economy tremendously.

The plan would create jobs for students, hire new faculty and even provide professional development opportunities for professors. A balanced economy and class system is what this country needs. Granting everyone the right to free higher education would be the foundation. People against this plan believe that it would destroy the job market. Those people must understand that it would not destroy the market, but create a competitive market that will incentivize students to obtain good grades and work hard.

John Phillips Edison