By CCN: 2020 Democrat presidential hopeful Elizabeth Warren is at it again. Just a few weeks after flying the kite of slavery reparations in an effort to pander to African American voters, the Massachusetts senator has come out swinging. First, she called for the House to commence impeachment proceedings against President Trump. Now she’s proposed a student loan forgiveness plan that would wipe clean the student loan debts of more than 95% of 45 million Americans currently paying off their student loans.
The proposed college plan will also see a rapid expansion of government expenditures on education so that America’s university students won’t have to pay tuition fees. In addition, the plan includes expanded government intervention such as grants to help low-income and minority students with expenses across books, food, accommodations, and childcare. The plan is projected to cost more than $1.25 trillion over a decade.
Student loan debt is crushing millions of families. That’s why I’m calling for something truly transformational: Universal free college and the cancellation of debt for more than 95% of Americans with student loan debt. Read all about it here: https://t.co/IG9J5CiNb7
— Elizabeth Warren (@ewarren) April 22, 2019
Elizabeth Warren’s Proposals Are Political Dynamite
Most people agree that the U.S. is currently in its most polarized state in living memory. At a time like this, while a number of prominent players from both sides of the political divide are looking for ways to reconstruct the political center that 2016 ethered, hearing such rhetoric from a front-line Democrat does not help any efforts to achieve a measure of bipartisan cooperation.
There is little point going into the merits of each proposal because even a cursory examination should be enough to reveal how unrealistic and unhelpful they are. Reparations for slavery, for example, in addition to being perhaps the single most contentious and divisive issue in America would easily bankrupt the U.S. government, depending on who is doing the calculation.
Commencing impeachment proceedings on Donald Trump when his first term comes to an end in just 19 months would achieve what exactly? The Republicans have successfully stacked the courts, rolled back environmental protections, cut corporate taxes, curtailed regulatory oversight over businesses, secured emergency funding for Trump’s border wall, and even re-ignited Roe vs Wade through the back door. They already have what they want, so even in the unlikely event that Elizabeth Warren and her fellow House Democrats are able to force through a humiliating impeachment, what would be the point now?
This Is Not Helping Anyone
Trump has successfully made the point that the Democrats are a bunch of bullies who are victimizing him, whether that talking point is true or not. A shrewd political operator should be able to read the room and tell that nobody on either side of Capitol Hill is really hot on the idea of getting into a damaging political mud fight with Trump, with the Democrat primaries only months away.
Moreover, Elizabeth Warren’s proposed plan for funding the student loan initiative is to levy a new set of taxes on the rich – 2% on all income surpassing $50 million and 3% on wealth surpassing $1 billion. On paper, this does not look like a terrible plan, but the political atmosphere right now is such that any mention of taxing the wealthy any further will only provoke the sort of frenzied eye-rolling that meets Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
Issuing such bombastic comments might well be a good way for Elizabeth Warren to ensure that her name remains in the news cycle, which keeps her visible to voters ahead of the DNC primaries. In the long run, however, all of this grandstanding helps no one.