Stein supports a plan for free college education and the cancelling of all existing student loan debt
JILL STEIN: There are 43 million young people and going into middle age and beyond who are trapped in predatory student loan debt. They happen to be very well networked. They’re really good at self organizing on the internet. There’s only one place that they can put their votes in order to cancel their debt. My campaign is the only one that will do for young people what our misleaders saw fit to do for Wall Street not that long ago when they bailed them out to the tune of like 16 or 17 trillion dollars when you count all the free loans that they got. But it was about 4 trillion in free money in the form of so called quantitative easing, which is a magic trick that basically people don’t need to understand anymore about other than it is a magic trick.
So there’s about 4 trillion we gave the crooks who crashed the economy. It’s about time that we bail out the young people who are victims of that waste, fraud and abuse on Wall Street. There’s a very compelling argument for it, not only because it’s the right thing and the just thing but it’s also essential for our economy in order to liberate the real engine of creativity and inventing the new economy for the 21st century etc and also because social change is always led by the younger generation. Right now they are missing in action because they’re very busy working 2 and 3 part time lousy jobs in order to pay back these loans. So it’s good all around. We’re the only place those votes can go. 43 million is a winning plurality of the presidential race. It’s all about getting the word out. If that word gets out millennials can come out and take over the election.
CENK UYGUR: Let me just be clear on that policy issue. So Bernie Sanders for example says free college education is about 75 billion dollars a year. Okay now the mainstream media says that’s unrealistic but they thought spending 1.7 trillion dollars on the Iraq war was lovely and perfectly realistic so I get the disconnect. But your proposal goes beyond that?
STEIN: That’s right, oh yes, and in fact by the way on free college education, it pays for itself. So there may be some money to put in but it’s returned at a rate of about 7 to 1 according to the track record of the GI Bill following the second World War where basically returning GI’s got free college education and congress was following the numbers. For every dollar that was put in seven dollars were returned. So this is just bunk about it not being affordable. It’s actually not affordable not to do it, so it can be done.
UYGUR: What about the existing loans?
STEIN: Existing loans, okay. They’re largely held by the U.S Government which is sort of the final place of accountability for that money so they should be cancelled in the same way that the debt of Wall Street was cancelled, essentially writing it off as a digital hat trick which is done in the form of quantitative easing. In the case of Wall Street this was not good for the economy because it simply enabled more reckless gambling with taxpayer dollars essentially but in the case of liberating a generation to actually use their skills to do what they’ve been trained to do, to reinvent the economy, to take the risks that need to be taken in order to create that new economy of the 21st century this is great.
UYGUR: You would write off all student loans?
STEIN: We would cancel them in the same way they were cancelled for Wall Street.