Stabenow Drumming Up Support for Campaign to Reduce the Burden of Student Debt in Michigan
Student loan debt is a serious issue all over the nation, including in Michigan. Now, U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow is touring local colleges as she centers her campaign around putting an end to the student debt crisis.
According to MLive.com, Sen. Stabenow recently visited the University of Michigan to discuss her stance on student loan debt.
“It is incredibly important that we finally fix what’s happening here in terms of the cost of college,” Stabenow said last Wednesday in front of about two dozen U-M students.
While some politicians may casually mention student loan debt to catch the ears of young voters, Stabenow is taking action in several different ways to make positive changes to the system.
The senator is an author of the Reducing Educational Debt Act, or RED ACT, which will be presented to the U.S. Senate for an official vote in the near future. The RED ACT would allow student loan borrowers to refinance high-interest loans, in addition to taking advantage of lower rates that were offered to borrowers in 2013-2014.
“Right now, it’s a variable rate that goes up,” Stabenow said. “So, we would reduce the rate and lock it in.”
Stabenow’s legislation also piggybacks off of an ideal popularized by Bernie Sanders, the Democratic presidential candidate who has promised tuition-free community colleges if elected.
In its current form, the RED Act would create new federal and state partnerships that would waive the tuition fees of eligible students for two years. All of this is part of #InTheRed, a campaign created by Stabenow to drum up support from young voters.
The average college graduate today will have to pay back a little more than $35,000 in loans, which can severely hinder a person’s financial stability in adulthood. When inundated with student loan debt, most graduates find it difficult to buy a home or make other investments, which harms the entire economy.
“This is really something that’s affecting our whole economy now,” Stabenow added.
According to The Michigan Daily, approximately 40 million Americans carry a total of $1.3 trillion of student loan debt. Currently, about one out of every four Americans is either in delinquency or has defaulted on their payments.
While Stabenow’s legislation will certainly attract many young voters, some have questioned how her administrations plans to bring her plan to fruition.
“We have to look at the total numbers,” Stabenow said. “But it will be completely paid for because we are going to be using what’s called the Buffett Rule, Warren Buffett, recommending that high-income individuals pay at least a 30% tax rate, and by closing loopholes and companies taking their earnings offshore.”
It remains to be seen if Stabenow’s message will resonate with young voters, but it seems as if her focus on reaching young voters has been successful thus far.