Sen. Bernie Sanders shuts down Fox News reporter’s question about taxing Wall Street
Bernie Sanders Image via Yasamin Jafari Tehrani, Shutterstock
Sen. Bernie Sanders and Rep. Pramila Jayapal introduced the “College For All Act” in tandem with Sanders and Rep. Barbara Lee reintroducing the “Tax on Wall Street Speculation Act” this past week. The first bill would eliminate tuition and fees at four-year higher education institutions for people and families making under $125,000 a year. It would also make community college tuition, and fees, entirely free to everyone.
The plan would also help Americans to refinance existing student loans at considerably lower interest rates while ending the practice of the federal government turning a profit off of student assistance. The second bill, originally introduced in 2021 and based on a similar bill Sanders put forward in 2008 as a response to the Wall Street bailouts connected to the housing crisis, looks to generate the revenues that pay for this plan.
Republicans, disagreeing with the concepts of free college and student debt relief, have offered up status quo plans while trying to push people away from going to colleges and toward trade schools. You can read Sen. Bill Cassidy’s worthless bill here. The right-wing media is now ginning up anti-student loan relief sentiment, directing Americans’ ire not at the predatory loan system or exorbitant higher education costs but at the students themselves. This means framing the conversation as one about Americans being taxed to pay for students who can’t pay back their loans.
While walking to his office, Sanders was asked by Fox News Business correspondent Hillary Vaughn, “Is it really free if you're raising taxes to pay for it?” Sanders gave a very short and sweet masterclass on messaging:
“Well, given the fact that we have the billionaire class paying a lower tax rate than working families, I think it's appropriate that the wealthiest people in this country start paying their fair share of taxes.”
Vaughn attempted what passes for a hard-hitting followup at Fox: “People say that the Wall Street tax would hit average Americans saving for retirement.”
Sanders stopped to shut this bullshit down: “What people say that? People on Wall Street. Thank you.”
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