How wiping out $1.5 trillion in student debt would boost the economy

Jillian Berman in Market Watch:

Since at least the Great Recession a decade ago, borrowers, activists and others have been building a case that erasing debt acquired during students college years is a matter of economic justice. More recently, researchers have found that canceling some or all of the nation’s outstanding student debt has the potential to boost gross domestic product, narrow the widening racial wealth gap and liberate millions of Americans from a financial albatross that previous generations never had to contend with.

Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders, both vying for the Democratic nomination for president, are proposing to wipe away some or all of the country’s burdensome debt as a key part of their campaigns. They plan to pay for it — and accompanying proposals to make public college tuition-free — by raising taxes on the wealthy. Warren estimates her plan would cost $1.25 trillion over 10 years, and Sanders says his would cost $2.2 trillion.

Critics question whether those proposals would fix the underlying problems in the way Americans pay for college, and also whether student-debt cancellation would entail a giveaway to well-off families.

More here.