Help me, Obi Wan Kenobi. You're my only hope.
Bernie Sanders beat Hillary Clinton in Michigan--stunning everybody, including Bernie.
Bill O'Reilly scoffed, and pundits dismissed Bernie's victory as a blip; but change is in the wind. Bernie has the support of young people, and Hillary will never win them away. They are attracted to Bernie's clarity and straightforward message.
In particular, Bernie's call for a free college education at a state college is very appealing. And--as I've written before--his free college plan is not wacky. It would actually be cheaper than the cumbersome student aid program we now have in place..
Now I encourage Bernie to reach out specifically to overburdened student-loan debtors--and there are 20 million of them. If he will make four simple promises to this weary and oppressed multitude, I think he will win over millions of voters to the Bernie Crusade.
And these are the promises:
1) If I am elected President, the federal government will stop garnishing Social Security checks of elderly student-loan defaulters.
2) If I am elected President, I will forbid the government and its debt collectors from slapping unreasonable fees and penalties on student-loan balances.
3) If I become president, student borrowers who complete long-term income-based repayment programs will not be taxed on any forgiven student-loan debt (a policy recommended by President Obama).
4) If I become your President, I will draft regulations forbidding for-profit colleges from requiring students to sign arbitration agreements that cut of their right to sue their college for fraud.
None of these promises are radical, and none are expensive. And in fact, if all four of these promises were fulfilled by the next President, the impact on student-loan debtors would be minimal.
But these promises would be a signal to oppressed student-loan borrowers that Bernie understands their suffering and will do what he can to give them some relief.
But whether or not Bernie makes these particular promises, he has my unwavering support right through the election process. Of all the candidates vying for the Presidency, Bernie is the only one who will do something substantive to address the student-loan crisis. Indeed, as Princess Leia might have put it, Bernie is our only hope.
|Help me, Obi Wan Ka-Bernie. You're my only hope.|