• Biden Speech Embraces Bernie’s Education Plan, Not Hillary’s

    Vice President Joe Biden’s speech announcing that he won’t run for the presidency included an indirect shot at the college plan of Hillary Clinton, and support for a plan recently proposed by her rival, Sen. Bernie Sanders.

    Despite rejecting a presidential run, Biden still delivered a very policy-oriented speech afterwards, which appeared very similar to the speech he may have given if he had actually chosen to run. During this speech, Biden laid out his vision for American higher education, and revealed that it is closer to the plan of Sanders than of Clinton (Biden made no presidential endorsement in his speech).

    “We need to commit. We are fighting for 14 years — we need to commit to 16 years of free public education for all of our children,” Biden said, with the 14 years referring to President Barack Obama’s push to make community college free. (RELATED: Progressive Group Outlines Dreams Of Free Education For All)

    “We all know that 12 years of public education is not enough,” Biden continued. “As a nation, let’s make the same commitment to a college education today that we made to a high school education a hundred years ago.” To pay for this, Biden proposed capping tax deductions at 28 percent of income, effectively levying a general tax increase that would mostly fall upon high earners.

    It’s a bold proposal, and notably, it’s one that Clinton has rejected. Clinton has proposed making public education debt-free, meaning tuition would be scaled in a manner needed to keep poorer students from borrowing money, but she has explicitly said college should not be free in the same way K-12 schools are.

    “I am not going to give free college to wealthy kids,” Clinton told The Des Moines Register last month. “I’m not going to give free college to kids who don’t work some hours to try to put their own effort into their education.”

    A couple weeks later, Clinton used similar rhetoric, saying she wanted tuition to be low enough to avoid debt, but that “I am not in favor of making college free for Donald Trump’s kids.”

    Sanders, though, has a more aggressive plan that appears to fit more closely with what Biden called for Tuesday almost exactly. Sanders’s plan would institute a federal program to eliminate tuition and fees at all public colleges that participate. The only difference in Sanders’ plan is how to pay for it; instead of capping deductions, his plan would raise the needed funds by taxing Wall Street transactions. (RELATED: Weekend With Bernie: A Dive Into The Heart Of The Sanders Campaign)

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