One of Joe Biden’s leading policies to get the youth vote is a promise to pay tuition for those whose families make under $125,000 annually, but it’s not all it’s cracked up to be.
The policy states “Providing two years of community college or other high-quality training program without debt for any hard-working individual looking to learn and improve their skills to keep up with the changing nature of work,” and or “Make public colleges and universities tuition-free for all families with incomes below $125,000.”
While this plan is good in theory, bipartisan support is unlikely, the planned funding is unstable, the estimated cost is off by about 50%, it could cause harm to the stock market and this doesn’t account for things like education inflation.
Funding for this plan is assumed to be the same as the plan proposed by Bernie Sanders as there is no mention of funding on Biden’s website. Sanders proposed a tax on Wall Street speculation. This has issue because of the way speculation works and how difficult it would be to determine if an action was speculatory or not.
Speculation in this context is defined as “the purchase of an asset (a commodity, goods, or real estate) with the hope that it will become more valuable in the near future.”
Dr. Alex Cartwright, assistant professor of Economics said “If you tax speculation, then they’re going to do less of it, and there will be less speculation in which to tax. It’s also very hard to define the difference between speculation and actual investing.”
Less speculation could harm the economy in a big way. Speculation provides the liquidity and ability for people to off-load stocks and other assets they may not want, and without that, a stock market crash could come soon after.
Cartwright also added that they were underestimating the cost of this program significantly. “The Biden campaign has estimated the cost at $600 billion, but many have calculated it out to being almost double that.” he said.
The plan didn’t lay out any of the math used to get to the $600 billion, either. They also fail to lay out their projections for the economic stimulation this program would provide, which seems to be a thing most voters care most about.
“This plan is honestly just stupid,” social work sophomore Olivia Begin said. “This will cost too much and they could do it better. My idea would be a government funded, online university that would offer the same quality of education, but in the way public primary schools operate,”
This plan also doesn’t account for “education inflation.” A concept that says if more people are qualified for a position, then employers will raise the required qualification for that position. With this plan making college more lucrative for people that wouldn’t attend for reasons that aren’t financial, education inflation is bound to happen.
There was an overall lack of clarity in this plan and while it is just a campaign platform, more information is needed for it to be taken seriously. The Trump Campaign does not have any plans listed for college funding reform.