Bernie Sanders: A Hero for Students and Working Americans

by Emmanuel Decaudin

(Photo: Wikimedia Commons)

Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, the junior Senator from Vermont, has taken center stage of the Democratic Party not only for his stances on issues that hit home with working Americans, but also for his plans to make public colleges free of charge and to decrease the tremendous burden of student loan debt on graduates.

In his College for All Act, Sanders wants to award states grants to eliminate tuition costs at their public higher learning institutions. State schools–including Westchester Community College–would become even more accessible to those seeking to expand their knowledge and increase their employment opportunities.

The Act would also lower student loan interest rates to pre-2006 levels (a decrease to about 2.32 percent for undergraduate students) and allow borrowers to refinance their existing debt.

Bernie Sanders’ plans to improve access to public education is just one piece of his presidential agenda to reduce income and wealth inequality that he says is rampant across the country. He intends to increase the federal minimum wage from $7.25 to $15 an hour, increase taxes on the “one percent”, and stop corporations that shift profits overseas to avoid paying taxes.

He said at an event at Liberty University that “there is no justice when the top one-tenth of 1 percent own almost as much wealth as the bottom 90 percent. There is no justice when all over this country people are working longer hours for lower wages, while 58 percent of all new income goes to the top 1 percent.”

He also supports the controversial deal with Iran, ending racial discrimination from police forces, and supporting women’s rights by defending organizations such as Planned Parenthood and advocating equal pay and guaranteed maternity leave.

Steps like these are what this country needs to combat the devastating harm corporations and people at the top have caused the working and middle classes to suffer financially for their own profit. We need a candidate like Bernie Sanders to stand up for everyday Americans and take our country back for ourselves.

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