Father Confronts Warren on Free College: People Who Did the Right Thing Get Screwed

January 23, 2020

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D., Mass.) is running for president promising to cancel student debt, but a father in Iowa argued this week that her policy would be unfair to people who didn't take out loans.

"My daughter is getting out of school. I saved all my money. She doesn't have any student loans. Am I going to get any money back?" the man asked Warren after an Iowa campaign event Monday.

"Of course not," Warren responded.

"So you're going to pay for people who didn't save any money, and those of us who did the right thing get screwed," he said.

Warren told the man her policy would not disadvantage him, but he described how he and his daughter sacrificed to avoid going into debt, while others spent money on cars and vacations.

"My buddy had fun, bought a car, went on vacations. I saved my money," he said. "He made more than I did. But I worked a double shift, worked extra—my daughter worked since she was 10. So, you're laughing."

"No, I'm not," Warren said.

"Yeah, that's exactly what you're doing," he said. "We did the right thing, and we get screwed."

Warren told the man she appreciated his time as he walked away.

The Massachusetts senator has proposed tuition-free higher education and student-debt cancellation, which would cost taxpayers an estimated $1.25 trillion. A study by the National Bureau of Economic Research found that free college would require radical tax hikes and leave 86 percent of American households in a worse financial position.

Published under: Elizabeth Warren , Video