Don't Fight for Lower Student Debt Interest Rates - Forgive the Debts!

Ian Schlakman - Green Party candidate for United States House of Representatives in District 2 - responded to the failure of Senator Elizabeth Warren's plan for lower student loan interest rates by calling for forgiveness of all student loan debt and a program of free tuition for all qualified students at publicly-funded colleges and universities.

"Allowing some people to refinance the interest on their student debt is better than doing nothing, of course," said Schlakman, "but Republicans blocking this small measure should have been no surprise to Senate Democrats. Again, Democrats seem to be limited to half-measures and token gestures while the American people are demanding real solutions."

"Although Senator Warren is frequently referred to a progressive lawmaker, the progressive solution to the student debt crisis isn't lower interest rates for some, but debt forgiveness for all."

Schlakman notes a pattern of Republican opposition to Democratic legislation. "The pattern is disturbingly clear, but the most disturbing part is the Democrats' refusal to take bold action in the face of Republican opposition. On health care reform Democrats wouldn't even speak the name of "Medicare for All" for fear of Republicans. On the minimum wage, President Obama's $10.10 per hour plan truly is the bare minimum. A living wage proposal isn't even on the table. Now on student debt the best they can present is an interest rate adjustment for some individuals. When Democrats know that whatever they present is going to face opposition, why not take the fight to Republicans by offering the truly progressive solutions American are looking for?"

"Democratic timidness doesn't make Republicans want to work across the aisle. Presenting watered-down legislation in the hopes of winning conservative support only makes it easier for Republicans to win."

According to a recent analysis, the United States government could fund a universal tuition program for less than the current costs of subsidies to public colleges and universities.

"If American graduates are going to have the flexibility and creativity to research and solve our energy crisis, our food shortages, and other challenges that their generation will face," Schlakman says, "we must find a way to eliminate student debt."

"I am running to re-balance our economy so all Americans have a chance to succeed. To do this we need truly revolutionary ideas like a basic income guarantee, universal single-payer health care, and free college tuition and forgiveness of student debt."