Bernie Sanders's great idea: Free public college education
© Greg Nash

Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersDeVos: 'My job isn’t to win a popularity contest with the media' DNC candidate Harrison drops out, backs Perez for chairman The Hill's 12:30 Report MORE (I-Vt.) has proposed a formula to create free college education at public universities and finance the program through a small transaction tax on Wall Street trades. This is a powerful, wonderful and profound idea. It should be added to the far-reaching proposals for student loan relief proposed by Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenDeVos: 'My job isn’t to win a popularity contest with the media' Protesters crash McConnell's speech DNC candidate Harrison drops out, backs Perez for chairman MORE (D-Mass.) and become a major Democratic Party initiative that should be supported by all Democratic candidates for president, included in the Democratic platform at the next Democratic National Convention and serve as a dramatic campaign pledge to elect Democratic candidates for the House and Senate in the 2016 elections.

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Sanders is absolutely right. Nothing would do more to bring opportunity to young men and women throughout the nation than to make college education at public universities affordable to all. Warren is absolutely right. It is high time to end the crushing burden of student loan debt that afflicts moms and dads, and their sons or daughters, who are hard-pressed to pay back this crushing debt.

The suggestion by Sanders to finance this program through a small tax on Wall Street transaction would be fair, effective and is supported by a long list of Wall Street reformers and financial industry executives.

Let's give a standing ovation to Bernie Sanders for putting this issue at the forefront of the presidential campaign. Let's give a standing ovation to Elizabeth Warren for making student loan reform and relief a central issue in national politics and Congress. Democrats should take this powerful political issue and this great cause of educational opportunity to the voters in 2016 in a platform that is the right thing to do for the students and their parents and the smart political move to propel Democrats to victory in the 2016 campaign.

Budowsky was an aide to former Sen. Lloyd Bentsen (D-Texas) and former Rep. Bill Alexander (D-Ark.), who was then chief deputy majority whip of the House. He holds an LL.M. degree in international financial law from the London School of Economics. Contact him at brentbbi@webtv.net.