Senator Warren New Education Plan: Make College Free, Forgive Student Loan Debt

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF CNN)

 

Sen. Elizabeth Warren on Monday proposed eliminating the student loan debts of tens of millions of Americans and making all public colleges tuition-free, staking out an ambitious stance on one of the central policy debates of the 2020 Democratic primary.

Student debt and college affordability have become a key dividing line in the Democratic race, between more progressive candidates who favor sweeping new tuition and student-loan benefits and others who support more incremental adjustments to the way Americans pay for education.
Warren’s new plan would forgive $50,000 in student loans for Americans in households earning less than $100,000 a year. According to analysis provided by her campaign, that would provide immediate relief to more than 95% of the 45 million Americans with student debt. The Massachusetts Democrat and 2020 contender is also calling for a drastic increase in federal spending on higher education that would make tuition and fees free for all students at two- and four-year public colleges and expand grants for lower-income and minority students to cover costs like housing, food, books and child care.
The campaign estimates that the plan would cost $1.25 trillion over 10 years.
The revenue from Warren’s wealth tax proposal — a 2% tax on wealth above $50 million and a 3% tax on wealth above $1 billion — would pay for her newest proposal, her campaign said. According to details shared by her campaign, the massive debt cancellation and free college plan additionally asks states to chip in to cover the cost of tuition and fees. Warren has also said her universal child care proposal would be paid for by her wealth tax.
Asked about connecting the viability of her new proposal to another, Warren insisted that there is broad support for the idea of taxing the ultra-rich.
“For two cents on the dollar, we could pay for universal child care, universal pre-K, universal college and knock back the student loan debt burden for about 43 million Americans and still have nearly, just short, of $1 trillion leftover,” Warren said in an interview with CNN. “It tells you how badly out of whack our economy is right now.”
Warren — a co-sponsor of Sen. Bernie Sanders’ 2017 legislation that would make four-year public colleges tuition-free for some students — said her new plan is “bigger” and “goes further” than Sanders’, who is also vying for the Democratic nomination.
“It covers more and it addresses both the access question of going to college and the problem of the debt burden for our students,” she said.
The former college dropout and law professor described the proposal as one of the most “personally important” of her growing White House platform.
“I got married at 19 and I took a job answering phones and I thought that was going to be my whole life. And the fact that there was a commuter college about 45 minutes away that I could pay for on a part-time waitressing job — you know, it opened a door,” said Warren, who has made the story a fixture of her stump speech. “It all started with that chance in college.”
“Free college” has become a popular progressive rallying cry in recent years, with Sanders helping bring the idea mainstream during his 2016 presidential campaign. Hillary Clinton also ran on a tuition-free proposal for low-and middle-income students, and several states, including New York, Oregon, Tennessee and Rhode Island have recently implemented some form of a tuition-free plan. Public polls have shown broad support for tuition-free colleges and making higher education more affordable.
But Warren’s proposal of forgiving outstanding student debt goes a significant step further than previous Democratic policy plans. (One bill introduced in Congress last year did call for using revenue from President Donald Trump’s tax cuts to cancel all student loans, but it was largely viewed as a political rebuttal to the President and gained little traction in Congress.)
Warren’s plan would offer debt relief based on income. Households that make less than $100,000 a year would get $50,000 in loan cancellation, with the amount of relief getting gradually smaller as income level goes up, with households that make more than $250,000 not eligible for any debt relief.
Altogether, it would wipe out all student debt — including both federal and private loans — for more than 75% of Americans with outstanding loans, according to analysis provided by Warren’s campaign.
The “Universal Free College” portion of Warren’s plan makes public college free for everyone, regardless of their finances. While Sanders’ 2015 proposal offered free tuition for everyone, a 2017 bill scaled back eligibility based on income — language built on a compromise proposal agreed on between Sanders and Clinton during the 2016 election.
Warren’s proposal also makes significant investments to help lower-income and minority students afford the non-tuition costs associated with attending college. She wants to invest an additional $100 billion in Pell grants over the next 10 years, making them available to more students and increasing the size of the award. Currently, the lowest-income students are eligible to receive about $6,200 a year from the federal Pell program.
“It’s not just paying the tuition. It’s how they pay for books,” Warren told CNN. “It’s how they pay for the expenses of having a baby taken care of if they already have a child at home or being able to cover commuting expenses or maybe it’s a chance to live in a dorm and have the kind of college experience that other kids can.”
There is broad support among the Democratic presidential candidates for making college more affordable, though they differ on how to do so. Sens. Cory Booker, Kamala Harris, and Kirsten Gillibrand — along with Warren — are all co-sponsors of Sen. Brian Schatz’s Debt-Free College Act. It would establish a matching grant to states that commit to helping students pay for the full cost of attendance without taking out loans.
But other candidates — including Sen. Amy Klobuchar and South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg — have stopped short of embracing a free-college platform.
“I am not for free four-year college for all, no,” Klobuchar said at a CNN town hall in February, though she noted she would support making community colleges free.
Buttigieg has argued that free college would result in those who earn less because they didn’t go to college subsidizing those who did go to college and tend to enter higher-paying careers. But he has called for expanding Pell grants and incentivizing states to invest more money in higher education.
Asked whether she agrees with Buttigieg’s analysis, Warren answered: “No.”
“The way we build a future where everyone’s got a chance is we start out by investing in their education,” Warren said.
Since announcing an exploratory campaign on New Year’s Eve, Warren has released sweeping policy proposals at a rapid clip. They include the wealth tax, universal child care and a proposal to break up the biggest tech companies.
Warren is unapologetic about her heavy focus on policy.
“Look. Policy is personal. It touches people’s lives,” she said. “People come up to me in tears talking about their student loan debt. People talk to me about their fear that healthcare is going to be taken away. People talk to me about drugs, prescription drugs that they take that they simply can’t afford. The way we fixed these problems? It’s with policy. It’s policy that touches where people live.”

Trump Is Tired Of World Leaders Calling Him Out For Being An Idiot

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE BRITISH NEWSPAPER ‘THE TELEGRAPH’)

 

Donald Trump ‘tired of Theresa May’s school mistress tone’ and will not hold talks with her at G7

It is unclear whether Donald Trump and Theresa May will hold bilateral talks during a G7 meeting in Canada
It is unclear whether Donald Trump and Theresa May will hold bilateral talks during a G7 meeting in Canada CREDIT: EPA/SHAWN THEW

Donald Trump has grown frustrated with Theresa May’s “school mistress” tone, allies of the president have told The Telegraph, as it emerged the pair will not hold formal talks at the G7 summit in Canada.

The US president is said to bristle at the Prime Minister’s approach during phone calls, with Mrs May quick to get into policy details rather than wider conversation.

One senior US diplomat said Mr Trump had expressed annoyance at Mrs May’s frequent demands, which are seen as taking advantage of the UK-US relationship.

Another long-time friend of the president revealed he had privately complained of how Mrs May calls him out in public when he is deemed to have stepped out of line.

A third figure, a former White House official who attended meetings between the pair, confirmed the frosty relationship: “No offence, but she is basically a school mistress. I’m not sure anyone gets on well with her.”

Donald Trump and Theresa May were photographed holding hands in January 2017, raising hopes they could strike up a political friendship
Donald Trump and Theresa May were photographed holding hands in January 2017, raising hopes they could strike up a political friendship CREDIT: NEW YORK TIMES / REDUX / EYEVINE

The comments made to this newspaper chime with a report in The Washington Post on Thursday that Mr Trump sees Mrs May as too politically correct after she rebuked him over claims that parts of London have become “no-go” areas.

Asked about Mr Trump’s reported view of her before the summit in Quebec, Mrs Mrs said: “I just get on and make sure that I’m delivering. That’s the job of any politician.”

World leaders will gather on Friday in Charlevoix, Quebec, for a meeting of the G7 that has been overshadowed by Mr Trump’s decision to hit allies with hefty steel tariffs.

On the agenda for the two-day summit will be economic growth, the future of employment, gender equality, climate change and world peace.

Prime Minister Theresa May arrives in Quebec for the G7 leaders summit 
Prime Minister Theresa May arrives in Quebec for the G7 leaders summit  CREDIT: AFP

However, the discussions risk being overshadowed by a growing rift between Mr Trump and leaders of countries traditionally closely aligned with America.

Mr Trump’s decision to put 25 per cent steel tariffs and 10 per cent aluminium tariffs on Canada, Mexico and the European Union have infuriated allies, as has his withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal.

Government sources said Mr Trump was not expected to hold bi-lateral meetings with Mrs May during the trip.

The White House said in a briefing on Wednesday that Mr Trump would hold bilateral meetings with Justin Trudeau and Emmanuel Macron, the leaders of Canada and France.

Donald Trump dismisses reports of rift with Theresa May as ‘false rumour’

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However, there was no mention of Mrs May.

Gordon Brown was once infamously snubbed by Barack Obama when he turned down five requests for a bilateral meeting during a 2009 gathering of world leaders in New York.

The then-prime minister had to settle for what one aide would later call a “snatched conversation” with Mr Obama in a kitchen, causing acute embarrassment when it was later reported.

Mrs May and Mr Trump, who have very different backgrounds and characters, have struggled to develop a close political friendship over the last 18 months.

The Prime Minster became the first world leader hosted in Mr Trump’s White House in January 2017, where the pair were pictured holding hands, but officials admit they are now not especially close.

Conservative MPs call on Donald Trump to delete his Twitter account

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A state visit to Britain offered at that time is still yet to happen and they have clashed a number of times over Mr Trump’s tweets and policy stances.

Former aides of Mrs May have insisted that Mr Trump often expresses his love for Britain during phone calls and adopts a respectful tone. However, few claim their relationship is especially warm.

British officials hope rolling out the red carpet when Mr Trump visits Britain on July 13 for a working trip will help improve relations, with a round of golf and tea with the Queen expected to feature.

But Mrs May is not alone in failing to build a rapport with Mr Trump. Angela Merkel, the German chancellor, has a frosty relationship with the US president, who often swipes at her country’s trade policies.

Donald Trump will head to Singapore after the G7 in Canada for his summit with North Korean leader Kim- ong-un
Donald Trump will head to Singapore after the G7 in Canada for his summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un CREDIT: WIN MCNAMEE/GETTY IMAGES

And many Western leaders have done little to hide their anger at the US president’s decisions over Iran and tariffs, going public with their criticism in recent weeks.

The row over tariffs, which have seen those affected hit back with reciprocal moves, has led to one of the most troubled run-ups to a G7 meeting in years.

Mrs May said that while she has made clear to Mr Trump that the tariffs are “unjustified”, she urged the EU to ensure its response is “proportionate”.

She said: “I made my views clear of the steel and aluminium tariffs. We disagree with these, we think they are unjustified. Obviously the EU will be responding.

“We will be working with others in the EU to ensure that response is proportionate, that it is within WTO rules. I will continue to put the argument for the importance of those trade relationships around the World.”

Prime Minister Theresa May and her husband Philip are greeted as they arrive at CAF Bagotville airfield 
Prime Minister Theresa May and her husband Philip are greeted as they arrive at CAF Bagotville airfield  CREDIT: GETTY

Mr Macron, widely seen as having developed one of the warmest relationships with Mr Trump among world leaders, did little to hide his frustration before the gathering.

“You say the US President doesn’t care at all. Maybe, but nobody is forever,” Mr Macron said, appearing to cite the fact that Mr Trump will someday leave office.

Mr Macron also made reference to the joke that the G7 has become the ‘G6 plus one’, saying: “Maybe the American president doesn’t care about being isolated today, but we don’t mind being six, if needs be.

“Because these six represent values, represent an economic market, and more than anything, represent a real force at the international level today.”

Mr Trump referred to the trade row in a tweet on Thursday night, adding he was looking forward to seeing Mr Trudeau and Mr Macron.

Donald J. Trump

@realDonaldTrump

Please tell Prime Minister Trudeau and President Macron that they are charging the U.S. massive tariffs and create non-monetary barriers. The EU trade surplus with the U.S. is $151 Billion, and Canada keeps our farmers and others out. Look forward to seeing them tomorrow.

The US president is reportedly unhappy at having to attend the G7, coming on the eve of his historic meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in Singapore.

The US president fears being lectured to by other world leaders and would rather spend the time preparing for his talks with Kim, according to US media reports.

FBI: Andrew McCabe speaks out in op-ed after firing

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF CBS NEWS)

 

Andrew McCabe speaks out in op-ed after firing

Former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe is speaking out over he was apparently fired from the bureau for a “lack of candor.” McCabe authored an op-ed published in the Washington Post Friday night, claiming those accusations are “not true.”

“Not in my worst nightmares did I ever dream my FBI career would end this way,” McCabe wrote.

McCabe was fired by Attorney General Jeff Sessions two days before he could retire, after FBI officials recommended that he be fired. McCabe is expected to be the subject of criticism in an upcoming Department of Justice Inspector General report.

“I have been accused of ‘lack of candor,'” McCabe wrote. “That is not true. I did not knowingly mislead or lie to investigators. When asked about contacts with a reporter that were fully within my power to authorize as deputy director, and amid the chaos that surrounded me, I answered questions as completely and accurately as I could. And when I realized that some of my answers were not fully accurate or may have been misunderstood, I took the initiative to correct them.

At worst, I was not clear in my responses, and because of what was going on around me may well have been confused and distracted — and for that I take full responsibility. But that is not a lack of candor. And under no circumstances could it ever serve as the basis for the very public and extended humiliation of my family and me that the administration, and the president personally, have engaged in over the past year.”

McCabe’s firing last week was not unexpected. But it was how he was fired that the former FBI official found disconcerting. McCabe claimed he learned he was fired after a friend called to to tell him the news from TV.

“So, after two decades of public service, I found out that I had been fired in the most disembodied, impersonal way — third-hand, based on a news account,” McCabe wrote. “Shortly after getting word, I noticed an email from a Justice Department official in my work account, telling me that I had been ‘removed from the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the civil service.'”

McCabe said he awoke to a tweet from President Trump praising his firing.

“I was sad, but not surprised, to see that such unhinged public attacks on me would continue into my life after my service to the FBI,” McCabe wrote. “President Trump’s cruelty reminded me of the days immediately following the firing of James B. Comey, as the White House desperately tried to push the falsehood that people in the FBI were celebrating the loss of our director.”

Andrew McCabe FIRED, a great day for the hard working men and women of the FBI – A great day for Democracy. Sanctimonious James Comey was his boss and made McCabe look like a choirboy. He knew all about the lies and corruption going on at the highest levels of the FBI!

McCabe said young people cannot be “dissuaded” from public service by the “divisive politics and partisan attacks that now so characterize our national discourse.”

“There is nothing like having the opportunity to be a part of the greatest law-enforcement organization in the world, working every day for goals that you respect and cherish,” McCabe said. “It is the best job you will ever have. Even if a president decides to attack you and your family. Even if you get fired on a Friday night, one day from your retirement.”

Earlier this week, it was reported that McCabe had overseen a criminal probe investigating whether Sessions was untruthful in congressional testimony last year about his contacts with Russians. A Justice Department official claimed Sessionsdid not learn of the probe until it was reported this week, after McCabe’s firing.

  • Kathryn Watson

    Kathryn Watson is a politics reporter for CBS News Digital.

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Sen. Bernie Sanders: ‘Democratic brand is pretty bad’

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF CNN)

Sen. Bernie Sanders: ‘Democratic brand is pretty bad’

(CNN)Sen. Bernie Sanders said Thursday he agreed with Democratic congressman Tim Ryan‘s claim that the Democratic brand is worse than President Donald Trump’s in some parts of the country.

“I speak as the longest serving independent in American congressional history, the Democratic brand is pretty bad,” Sanders told CNN’s Anderson Cooper on “AC360.”
“I think the Trump brand is also pretty bad as is the Republican brand. That’s why so many people are giving up on politics.”
Following the Democrat Jon Ossoff’s defeat in a Georgia special House election, some Democratic lawmakers have voiced their concerns about the party’s future.
The Vermont senator argued that the recent special elections need to be put in context.
“The context is all of them are Republican seats and Trump did, in most of those seats, did very, very well.” Sanders continued, “Democrats did much better than was the case in the last election.”

Sanders: GOP health care bill is barbaric

Sanders: GOP health care bill is barbaric
The former Democratic presidential candidate added that the Democrats have the momentum, but the party has to do some “internal soul searching.”
“Understand that for the last 10 years, the model that they have had really has not worked,” Sanders said. “It doesn’t work when you lose the US Senate, US House, the White House. When almost two-thirds of governors chairs are controlled by Republicans. When Democrats have lost a thousand seats and legislatures all over the country.”
Sanders told Cooper what he believes the Democrats have to do to win back voters.
Democrats need to “make it clear to working people of this country that the Democratic Party is on their side,” Sanders exclaimed. “The Democrats need a progressive agenda. They need to rebuild the party in states they have ignored for decades, where they have almost no presence right now and create a 50-state party.”