Bernie Sanders, the Democratic presidential candidate and self-proclaimed socialist who wants the United States to morph into a vast Scandinavia, is holding a Tuesday press conference to explain how he will soak the rich to make tuition at public, four-year colleges and universities free.
Sanders will propose legislation to fund his free-college scheme with massive new taxes on stock transactions, Bloomberg reports.
The Vermont senator’s bill, if passed, would add a 50-cent tax for every “$100 of stock trades on stock sales, and lesser amounts on transactions involving bonds, derivatives, and other financial instruments,” according to a press release from a group called Robin Hood Tax on Wall Street.
The Robin Hood group notes that the new federal surcharge would reduce and decrease trading — and suggests that such an economic shrinkage would improve the economy.
“The Robin Hood tax would also slow the growth of automated high frequency trading, which makes the stock market more dangerous,” the group’s press release claimed, according to Bloomberg. “A small tax would make risky HFT unprofitable, and help reduce the excess speculation on commodities like food and gas that drives up prices, which will protect the economy from computer-generated collapses and market manipulation.”
Sanders also believes encumbering capital transactions will help the economy by ultimately creating laborers with bachelor’s degrees.
“We live in a highly competitive global economy and, if our economy is to be strong, we need the best-educated work force in the world,” he said in a Sunday press release. “That will not happen if, every year, hundreds of thousands of bright young people cannot afford to go to college, and if millions more leave school deeply in debt.”
Sanders does not say if he believes more jobs will be available after a new tax scheme hits capital markets.
As of Friday, just 14 percent of the college seniors in the class of 2015 have steady, career-type jobs lined up for their lives after graduation. Thus, 86 percent of America’s college grads — about five out of every six — have zilch in the way of career prospects for their post-campus lives. (RELATED: Just 14 PERCENT Of This Year’s College Grads Have Real Jobs Waiting)
If imposed uniformly, the Robin Hood tax would add $500 to the cost of each $100,000 in transactions for small-time investors and American retirees looking to create liquid assets.
Earlier this month, Hillary Clinton, another Democratic presidential candidate, floated the idea that government largesse should allow students to graduate from four-year colleges with no loan debt in an attempt to lure college-age and twentysomething people to vote for her. (RELATED: Hillary Clinton Floats Debt-Free College To Subsidize Rich People, Fancypants Schools)
“What voters are looking for in this election is someone who is going to be a champion for everyday people,” Clinton campaign manager Robby Mook told CNBC.
The Clinton campaign was otherwise short on details.
The notion of college without debt as any sort of real political possibility in today’s political and economic climate is a new development. For example, a group called the Progressive Change Campaign Committee (BoldProgressives.org) has been pushing the new welfare benefit only since January.
Leaders of the Progressive Change Campaign Committee believe that depressed turnout among Democrats in the 2014 election was due to a shortage of audaciously progressive ideas — not enough hope and change, if you will.