Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders will introduce a bill on Tuesday that would eliminate tuition for college undergraduate students through the use of a “Robin Hood tax,” Bloomberg Politics reported.
The proposal calls for imposing a 50-cent tax on every $100 of “stock trades on stock sales, and lesser amounts on transactions involving bonds, derivatives, and other financial instruments” to cover the cost of funding tuition at four-year colleges and universities.
“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,” Sanders said in a statement on Sunday. “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.”
This past February, Sanders — an independent campaigning for the Democratic Party presidential nomination — called for both federal and state governments to invest $18 billion into its public colleges and universities, saying it would allow students to attend tuition-free for two years.
Supporters of the bill said in a separate statement that the “Robin Hood tax” has been backed by 172 advocacy organizations for groups ranging from nursing professionals to students to clergy, among others.
“Income inequality is now at the center of our national political discourse, with politicians of every stripe recognizing it as a major problem of our time,” National People’s Action executive director George Goehl said. “What too few are willing to say is that we must demand more revenue from corporations and the 1 percent to level the playing field.”