EXCLUSIVE: Huckabee Slams Hillary’s College Debt Plan

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton takes questions from reporters following a town hall meeting at Exeter High School August 10, 2015 in Exeter, New Hampshire. Clinton answered questions about Donald Trump's recent comments regarding women.
Darren McCollester/Getty Images
Washington, D.C.

Republican presidential candidate Gov. Mike Huckabee is blasting Democrat Hillary Clinton’s costly plan to relieve college student loan debt.

Clinton discussed her “New College Compact” plan at Exeter High School in New Hampshire Monday. It proposes $350 billion in new taxpayer spending.

Huckabee is not a fan of the spending.

“Colleges and universities are charging an outrageous amount of money for diplomas and this disastrous economy is making it impossible for graduates to pay their loans and launch their careers,” Huckabee said in a statement first provided to Breitbart News.

While Hillary Clinton proposes government bailouts for states, government handouts for schools and band-aides for irresponsibility, $350 billion in new government spending is no way to solve a college debt crisis that is crushing American families. Higher education, like K-12, is a state function, not a federal one. And Governors can deal with this far better than Hillary.

“We must hold colleges that saddle students with mountains of debt accountable,” Huckabee added. “We must stop overlooking the importance of trade schools and reject a one-sized-fits-all college plan for every American.  But most importantly, we must grow our economy out of this bottomless pit because if our children and grandchildren cannot find a good-paying job, everything else is just political theater.”

Most of Clinton’s proposed spending would be used to provide states and colleges with grants to “ensure tuition” for some students. One-third would go to relieving existing student debt, and the rest would be spent on a vaguely-defined “innovation fund to expand new models of life-long learning, rewarding college completion and enrollment, and broadening support for student parents.”

Clinton also wants to provide free community college, which President Obama recently pitched to the American people.

How would Clinton’s plan be paid for? By taxing high earners.

The plan claims that it would be “fully paid for by closing tax loopholes and expenditures for the most fortunate.” In reality, the plan would eat up most of the revenue that the government takes in from Clinton’s plan to curb itemized deductions for taxpayers in the top brackets. A similar Obama plan was projected to raise about $600 billion at the beginning of his second term.

The plan also targets for-profit colleges, vowing to expand “support for the CFPB, FTC, DOJ, and VA to enforce laws against deceptive marketing, fraud, and other practices.”

Clinton’s student loan talk, though well-attended, did not inspire much fanfare among young people in New Hampshire Monday.

“Few college-aged students outside Hillary Clinton event in Exeter,” local reporter Kirk Carapezza tweeted outside the speech.