Fix the college debt crisis

CREDO action
Tell Democratic leaders: Endorse debt-free college

Petition to leaders of the Democratic party:
"Support the congressional resolution calling for any student in America to be able to graduate without debt from any public college or university."

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Dear 5849376,

End the student debt crisis

The latest reports from the campaign trail say that Secretary Hillary Clinton's plan to tackle the outrageous levels of student debt is "coming soon,"1 and her campaign manager has even hinted that she may endorse making debt-free college education accessible to all Americans.2 We need to make sure that happens.

Dozens of progressive leaders in Congress, including Senator Elizabeth Warren, Congressmen Keith Ellison, and Raul Grijlava have already rallied behind the idea that any student should be able to graduate from a public college or university without taking on debt by introducing a congressional resolution.3 Senator Bernie Sanders has called for making public education not only debt-free, but 100% free of any tuition costs for all students.4 And President Obama has proposed a first step: free community college.5

This is a big idea whose time has come. Every Democratic leader in the House and Senate, as well as White House aspirants, should get on board. If they don't, they risk another election season with a dispirited electorate who have little faith in politicians to solve the big problems that are driving income inequality in this country.

Tell Democratic leaders: Endorse the congressional resolution for debt-free college. Click here to sign the petition.

Today, education debt – also known as student debt, even though parents and grandparents are often on the hook to pay it back – is a trillion-dollar scheme to redistribute wealth away from poor and working class people. Wages have stayed flat for 30 years, while slashed funding for public colleges removed quality, low-price competition and caused tuition everywhere to skyrocket. The worst of the 1% finagle big tax breaks, argue that we cannot afford to fund higher education, and then profit big-time off the loans to students.

It makes no sense to finance education with a loan. Most other types of loans are backed by an asset, like a car or a house, that can be repossessed. But even the worst Wall Street banks know we cannot repossess and education, which is why bankers lobbied to make sure that education debt cannot be discharged in bankruptcy or even in death.6 The result is a system that demands young people get a degree in order to compete in the economy – but also to turn over anything they scrape together to pay their loan bill.

Tell Democratic leaders: Endorse the congressional resolution for debt-free college. Click here to sign the petition.

Every dollar spent on education is an investment in America's future, and a nation as powerful as our always can always afford wise investments – we only lack the political will. That's something we can fix, if we demand leaders who take a bold stand.

That's why we are joining our friends at Progressive Caucus, and other progressive allies and throwing the weight of hundreds of thousands of CREDO members behind support of the congressional resolution for debt-free college.

Tell Democratic leaders: Endorse the congressional resolution for debt-free college. Click the link below to sign the petition.

Thank you for speaking out.

Murshed Zaheed, Deputy Political Director
CREDO Action from Working Assets

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  1. Alex Seitz-Wald, "Coming soon: Hillary Clinton's student debt plan,", April 28, 2015.
  2. "Clinton Campaign Manager Embraces Debt-Free College," ProgressiveTVvideo, May 6, 2015.
  3. Sam Levine, "Democrats Introduce Resolution Calling For Debt-Free Public College,", April 21, 2015.
  4. Bernie Sanders Press Release, "Make Public Higher Ed Tuition Free," Sanders.Senate.Gov, April 13, 2015.
  5. Seitz-Wald, "Coming soon: Hillary Clinton's student debt plan," MSNBC, April 28, 2015.
  6. Ashlee Keiler, "You Can't Discharge Your Student Loans In Bankruptcy Because Of Panicked 1970s Legislation," Consumerist, March 17, 2015.

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