NBC Props Up Warren’s ‘Big Idea’ of ‘Free’ College, Loan Cancellation

Tuesday’s installment of NBC Nightly News’s pre-debate, Democratic propaganda campaign featured Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren and her “Big Idea” to “cancel about 95 percent of student loan debt and to make college, technical school, two-year, four-year all fee-free and tuition-free.”

As with the previous 10 of these so-called “Big Ideas” from the 2020 Democratic field, correspondent Harry Smith offered no analytical or expert takes on the Senator’s plan, only some weak questions about the policy in which he let her explain the concerns away.

Warren's plan would cancel up to $50,000 of student debt for 42 million Americans. She also wants free college at public institutions. To pay for it, she would tax welt, two cents on every dollar on fortunes greater than $50 million,” Smith explained to viewers on her behalf.

There was nothing offered to explain what canceling roughly $1.5 trillion in student loan debt would do to the finances of federal and private lenders. And viewers were left with only take Smith’s and Warren’s word that her plan could cover the cost of free higher education for millions of people.

The reason the price of college tuition was out of control was that the federal government was handing out loans to students no matter the degree, the school, or whether they could pay it back or not. It’s no wonder schools jacked up the prices when they knew the federal government would just pay students what they wanted.

 

 

How would Warren’s “Big Idea” be any different? Smith apparently didn’t care to ask.

Instead, he pretended to be a critic of the proposal for the sake of the interview. “Let me be cynical for a minute and say this is a play for millennials,” he posed to her. He then let her just talk her way out the obvious “yes” to that premise:

WARREN: For me this is personal. I'm somebody who's daddy ended up as a janitor. I had a dream to be a public schoolteacher. And I wasn't going to be able to do that without a four-year college. I thought I'd completely lost it until I found a commuter college that cost $50 a semester. I have lived my dream, and I love this work. But that option, it's just not out there for kids today.

That was followed up with Smith noting that critics would (accurately) call it “wealth redistribution”. Her response?

WARREN: Here's the deal. Any time you look at a budget, a budget is not numbers, but it is truly a statement of our values. What I want to do is say is two cents guys, up at the top. Pitch that in so everybody else gets a chance.

Cancelling student debt, making public college free. That's Elizabeth Warren's big idea,” Smith boasted as he signed off.

The transcript is below, click "expand" to read:

NBC Nightly News
June 20, 2019
7:14:50 p.m. Eastern

LESTER HOLT: Just six days and counting until the first Democratic debate here on NBC. And tonight, our series My Big Idea, Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren shares her goal of ending crippling student loan debt.

[Cuts to video]

HARRY SMITH: What is your big idea?

SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN: It's to cancel about 95 percent of student loan debt and to make college, technical school, two-year, four-year all fee-free and tuition-free.

SMITH: It was a perfect day for a little retail politicking when we spoke with Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren in Portsmouth, New Hampshire.

WARREN (to a baby in a stroller): I can tell you're into politics.

SMITH: Warren's plan would cancel up to $50,000 of student debt for 42 million Americans. She also wants free college at public institutions. To pay for it, she would tax welt, two cents on every dollar on fortunes greater than $50 million.

Let me be cynical for a minute and say this is a play for millennials.

WARREN: For me this is personal. I'm somebody who's daddy ended up as a janitor. I had a dream to be a public schoolteacher. And I wasn't going to be able to do that without a four-year college. I thought I'd completely lost it until I found a commuter college that cost $50 a semester. I have lived my dream, and I love this work. But that option, it's just not out there for kids today.

SMITH: So, the other word that comes up is, well, this is just -- this is wealth redistribution.

WARREN: Here's the deal. Any time you look at a budget, a budget is not numbers, but it is truly a statement of our values. What I want to do is say is two cents guys, up at the top. Pitch that in so everybody else gets a chance.

SMITH: Cancelling student debt, making public college free. That's Elizabeth Warren's big idea. Harry Smith, NBC News, New Hampshire.

NB Daily Campaigns & Elections 2020 Presidential NBC's 'Big Idea'/'What Matters' Broadcast Television NBC NBC Nightly News Video Harry Smith Elizabeth Warren

Sponsored Links