Sen. Bernie Sanders (I–Vt.) unveiled his latest policy proposal on Monday, and it comes with an eye-popping price tag: The democratic-socialist presidential candidate wants to erase all student debt and make college completely free—at a cost of $2.2 trillion over 10 years.
"This is truly a revolutionary proposal," said Sanders, according to The Washington Post. "In a generation hard hit by the Wall Street crash of 2008, it forgives all student debt and ends the absurdity of sentencing an entire generation to a lifetime of debt for the 'crime' of getting a college education."
Sanders' plan is indeed revolutionary. It goes much further than his previous free-college plan, which eliminated tuition costs for only those making less than $125,000. It also goes much further than the debt-relief plan currently being touted by Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D–Mass.), which is means-tested and takes earnings into account. Under the Warren plan, those making less than $100,000 would receive up to $50,000 in loan forgiveness, while those making substantially more would receive less.
The Sanders campaign is clearly concerned that Warren, his main rival for the support of progressives chiefly motivated by income-inequality issues, is surging in the polls. No doubt he would like to offer the left-wing Democratic base something to get excited about. Well, this is certainly something.