Make College Free By Taxing Stock Trades, Dem Presidential Candidate Says

Tyler Durden's picture

As the student loan bubble steams along towards the $1.5 trillion mark, pundits, researchers, and even (gasp) ratings agencies are starting to sound the alarm. While everyone is (as usual), around three years behind when it comes to admitting what’s been outlined extensively in these pages, we’re at least glad to see that the world is waking up to the fact that i) $1.3 trillion is a lot of money, ii) delinquency rates are far higher than the headline figures suggest, iii) students are never, repeat never, going to repay all of this, and iv) it is taxpayers who will eventually foot the bill. 

To the latter point there, the calls for across-the-board debt “forgiveness” have already started and even if they hadn’t, and even if The White House weren’t looking at ways to make the discharge of student debt “more efficient” in bankruptcy, there are a number of reasons to believe that when it’s all said and done, taxpayers will be on the hook at least for hundreds of millions and more probably for hundreds of billions. Consider for instance that the cost of closing just one for-profit college could well run more than $200 million in federal loan forgiveness. Then there’s IBR (that’s “Income Based Repayment") in which borrowers whose disposable income isn’t deemed sufficient when it comes to making monthly payments have the remainder of their loan forgiven after 25 years. There’s literally no way to know what the cost to taxpayers will ultimately be from IBR plans, but what we do know is that an increase in the number of borrowers opting for some kind of IBR plan is one reason why Moody’s thinks some $3 billion in student loan-backed paper may be at risk for default. 

So against this backdrop, America needs a plan, because as we’re fond of reminding people, one person’s liability is another person’s asset, meaning debt is never really “cancelled”, it’s just written off at some else’s expense. Ideally, opportunities in the job market and a robust economy would allow new graduates to obtain high-paying, full-time jobs which would in turn allow them to pay down their loans, but since that isn’t going to happen any time soon, we’re open to suggestions. 

Fortunately, Democratic Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders has a plan that will ensure future generations of taxpayers aren’t stuck paying for their parents' college degrees: simply tax investors so the entire country can go to school for free. 

Via Bloomberg:

Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders wants to take from the rich in order to make public college tuition-free for everyone else.


On Tuesday, the Vermont senator will hold a press conference in the nation's capital at which he will introduce a plan to use a so-called Robin Hood tax on stock transactions to fund tuition at four-year public colleges and universities. 


Sanders' bill sets 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," the group Robin Hood Tax on Wall Street said Monday in a press release. 


"The Robin Hood tax would also slow the growth of automated high frequency trading, which makes the stock market more dangerous," the press release stated. "A small tax would make risky HFT unprofitable, and help reduce the excess speculation on commodities like food and gas that drives up prices, which will protect the economy from computer-generated collapses and market manipulation."


Sanders, who is the only candidate so far to mount a formal primary challenge to Hillary Clinton, argues that making college tuition-free will help America compete in the global marketplace. 


"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," he said in a press release 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." 

There you go. Problem solved. We’ll leave it to readers to judge what kind of reception that plan is likely to get from GOP lawmakers, but we will venture to propose an alternative: make market rigging algos fund the education of the nation’s best and brightest by taxing all canceled orders. Then again, that plan would only generate revenue for one day because it would put the HFT crowd out of business overnight.

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Publicus's picture

That's actually a very good idea. Time to transfer some money from HFT to the state!

Citxmech's picture

Nail gun accident in 3, . . 2, . . 1, . . 

lordylord's picture

Making college "free" sounds like more malinvestment.  It will only achieve an increase in unemployed young adults with degrees.

Zpigs's picture

More [supposedly] quailified workers at a discount then? 

greenskeeper carl's picture

These people always seem to be very confused about Robin Hood. Robin Hood stole from thieving government and have the people their own money and property back to them. Today's progressives we be calling Robin Hood an 'anarchist' or a 'right wing extremist'. While I certainly am not defending parasitic HFT firms and their rigging and skimming, I also don't want to see this government get any more money. Since I disagree with the vast majority of what they spend it on, I don't support them taking more money from anyone

zaphod's picture

I paid for my college and grad school. Do I get those payments back under the upcoming student debt bailout?

kaiserhoff's picture

Typical Stalinist idiocy.

Once the government starts to tax trades, they will soon have all the money, and destroy the last remaining markets,

which is no doubt the real agenda.

Automatic Choke's picture

I'm with you Zaphod...paid for undergrad and grad, as well as full tuition for offspring. 

Bend over and prepare to be governed.

Citxmech's picture

Maybe you guys can get PhDs. . . 

SoilMyselfRotten's picture

and destroy the last remaining markets


you said 'markets', hahaha....

forexskin's picture

vermont's version of the village idiot -and i should know, since he poached my pal dave's (ex) wife for his own. F*****g housewrecking cuckold.

he's got to be the one that moves the thinkable thoughts on the left FURTHUR.

what an asshat - no thought to unintended consequences, no practical idea of net effects. hell yea, since there's no upper age limit, i'll coast to a useless B school degree, and drink beer while watching 20 somethings sunbathe.

welcome to vermont - we luv u.

Creepy A. Cracker's picture

Need more vivid details regarding what he did to your pal Dave's ex-wife...

forexskin's picture

as for Sander's housewreaking, its all out there, look up "Jane Driscoll"

StychoKiller's picture

Hmm, better plan:  Tax Politicians for every time they open their pieholes and demand the Govt. STEAL Munny from someone at the point of a gun!

Bilderberg Member's picture

Gee, maybe we should start with the endowments ...Harvard University, has the largest endowment, nearly $32.7 billion. Yale follows, with more than $20.7 billion in endowment dollars. Princeton, had nearly $18.8 billion at the end of fiscal year 2013.

Haus-Targaryen's picture

Dear Bernie, 

The US can never have Euro style socialism as it lacks the semi-homogenous culture that socialism needs to work.  Thus, your attempts are futile.  Take care of the population in the US that makes all the money.  IF you focus on "the poor" all the time -- you'll sink the nation.  There is normally a reason somsone is poor. 

fallout11's picture

College is now such a massive malinvestment that the likes of Businessweek and Fortune are saying it makes little economic sense for the average attendee. Close the schools, let them fail. Kids won't need a degree for a future career in being unemployed, burger flipping, coffee pulling, plumbing, or robot factory nightwatchman. All other jobs will be filled by H-1B immigrants (thanks Trans Pacific Partnership). Charles Hugh Smith's posts on the nearly free education are prescient, the equivalent of a good education is literally a click away already today, for those willing to put forth the effort (see Khan Academy on Youtube for a good example), with technology now or soon able to accreditate the actual individual, rather than the school (which merely acted as an extorting gatekeeper, pay us so we can give you our stamp of approval).

graftvshost's picture

You should ask for 'reparations'...

Abbie Normal's picture

Yes you do... and on your way home, don't forget to stop off at the food bank for that free bag of groceries that you also deserve.

lordylord's picture

It's the 2016 tax-payer give-a-way!

Vote democrat for entry.

Grand prize: Free college degree

Must be 18 or older to enter.  Valid ID not necessary.  Enter multiple times for more chances to win!


MonetaryApostate's picture

That's precisely the plan Zpigs, great job catching that....

Cheaper Qualified Workers = More For Less...

It will also devalue the 4 year education as well, even the masters.

two hoots's picture

Colleges and Universities are running out of money and students/families are loaned out thus the Fed will feed academia and pump out usless degrees in a few scattered months.

Chauncey Gardener's picture

You want fries with that fine arts degree?

lordylord's picture

Slow down socialists! you're going to run out of other people's money sooner than you think.  Start with free community college or something.

Larry Dallas's picture

Taxing all cancelled trades souds like the perfect idea.

surf0766's picture

Lets eliminate all corporate taxes. Why tax us twice?

Stop the Fed from back stopping the loans and the price will come down.

GoldSilverBitcoinBug's picture

That's right, fund the useless females going in 50,000 in debt for women and LGBT studies.

No thanks.

If we could tax all stupid things that statist said we could have a world debt jubilee by now...

sun tzu's picture

Forget the classrooms. It's cheaper just to hand everyone a college degree of their choice. What do you want to be? A doctor? Attorney? Engineer? Here's your degree. Make it a PhD for everyone on the house. 

falconflight's picture

I'll raise him one and put a tire around his neck :)

nmewn's picture

Bernie Sanders, an open socialist, advocating for a long term jobs program for tenured professors & administrators.

Why am I not surprised ;-)

falconflight's picture

For years he actually sported the "S" after his official name/title.  Only upon seeking his Senate Lordship did he become an "I".  I don't know why he bothered to change it, his constituency was alright with the "S."

kaiserhoff's picture

The difference between a Communist and a Socialist,

  is how much power they can abuse at the moment.

falconflight's picture

Someone at another site posted that a socialist is a communist that doesn't use a gun to kill his political enemies and a communist is a socialist that uses a gun to kill his political enemies.  

nmewn's picture

"Every pregnant socialist delivers a bouncing baby communist."...thats an nmewn original ;-)

forexskin's picture

according to mike v, a socialist is just a communist that has not yet discovered an AK and the will to use it.

Elliott Eldrich's picture

"The difference between a Communist and a Socialist, is how much power they can abuse at the moment."

Yeah, those damn Commies! How we hate them! Those damn Commies who... make pretty much everything available to buy nowadays... but we hate them so much! Because Commies are BAD! So very, very bad. So bad that everything we own was made by them... because they're BAD! Bad, BAD, BAAAD! Evil, even. Those darn evil Commies, making all the stuff that we all own and use everyday. Because they're EVIL! And it's all evil too! YES!


Sorry, I think maybe something in my logic circuits just blew; could you explain again why we're supposed to hate those evil Commies? Because if they're so bad, why do we have unlimited free trade with them? Something just don't compute somewhere.

Or is it just that we're supposed to hate whoever whenever it's profitable to hate them, and then we're supposed to look the other way when it's profitable to trade with them? Because if that's the case, then we really don't actually believe in anything but profit, do we? So any ideology being promoted by us is simply whatever it is we've decided is the most expedient tool available for us to make a profit.

nmewn's picture

There is a large difference between "free trade" and fair trade. And there is no such thing as fair trade with communists as "individual free will" is something they don't appreciate by their very nature.

And there is nothing wrong with profit when you come about it fairly.

lordylord's picture

Making college free will solve all of our problems.  I'm going long beer stocks.

Payne's picture

he is playing The Academics against Wall Street.  Nice move.

MrTouchdown's picture

Well, HE'S not getting elected. Maybe if he pulls a Bruce Jenner he can save himself.

forexskin's picture

going long eye chlorine in anticipation of that kind development

Yen Cross's picture

  WTF?! These delusional fucks will say anything to garner a vote... This coming from one of the assclowns that caused the runaway debt problem in the first place.

techstrategy's picture

Yen, usually agree with you but a $.05 per ORDER tax would be brilliant.  Wouldn't affect any serious orders with intent to buy, but would quickly become real money and a problem for HFT/MM algos that have destroyed price discovery.

nmewn's picture

Its not "real money" now. Anyways, all the idiot Bernie is doing is giving HFT's a get out jail free card.

Schumer will be right behind him saying "We can't rein in the depredations of HFT's with a new law! Look at all the "money" they provide higher education!"

Politicians get so tiring with their lottery bullshit, after a while one can read them like a

Blankenstein's picture

As much as I abhor HFT thieves, giving more tax money to another thief, a government that is $18 TRILLION in debt, so it can spend even more money?  Nope

ThroxxOfVron's picture

"Yen, usually agree with you but a $.05 per ORDER tax would be brilliant.  Wouldn't affect any serious orders with intent to buy, but would quickly become real money and a problem for HFT/MM algos that have destroyed price discovery. "


Simply enforce the God Damned RULES.

It is illegal to place orders that you do not intend to execute.

Spoofing the exchanges is already against the Law.


I'd consider a massive tax on traffic on co-located servers designed to front run retail first.


Prosecute and fine out of existance the fucking algorythmic spammers with existing laws and close down the colocated front running bullshit.


Education?  Fucking pay for it yourself.  

 Your aspirations should not be realized at my expense.

techstrategy's picture

Out of curiosity, what do you do for a living?

ThroxxOfVron's picture

"Out of curiosity, what do you do for a living? "


The impossible.

Stanley Kubrick's picture

'the impossible', eh?

You're not a fellow IBM reseller, are ya?

Cause that's the boulevard of broken dreams....and I'm living the dream.....

Yen Cross's picture

  The tax would hypothetically be on sales of stocks,{1/2 of 1% on every 100 dollars} and would do nothing to stop front running and spoofing by algos.

 The HF traders would still be able to load the order books and also initiate individual trades under $100.00, which by the way, they do all the time. The net losers would be retail traders and pension fund/retirement investments.

 As many have already stated, the laws need to be enforced, that prohibit front running and spoofing. Both of which are illegal.