Yesterday I announced that, as president, I’ll establish a student loan debt forgiveness program for Pell Grant recipients who start a business that operates for three years in disadvantaged communities. https://t.co/ldwuC9RiIE
— Kamala Harris (@KamalaHarris) July 28, 2019
What? Does this describe like one person? Does Harris understand who gets Pell Grants? Does she understand the structural issues around employment in disadvantaged communities? Does she understand what these communities really need and why bigger policy proposals are necessary? And who is this really going to appeal to? This is the equivalent of people who respond to the need for widespread economic justice policies by advocating for a tiny increase in the Earned Income Tax Credit, except that it does those people injustice to compare them to whatever Harris is doing here. I love the idea that Bernie or Warren might propose free college or the abolition of student debt and Harris responds with this proposal of utter meaningless.
This is what happens when you surround your campaign with centrist staffers who fear angering rich people and don’t understand how, in primaries at least, big proposals are what attracts voters. It’s like they took the most popular student financial aid program, combined it with something that the Wall Street financiers will like (no debt relief for those who provide social services!) and then made it all as tepid as possible. The details don’t help her here. To quote my friend, it’s a means test of a means test:
Kamala’s plan is a means test in a means test! I didn’t even know we could do that! pic.twitter.com/v4y5nQQsHg
— Brett Banditelli (@banditelli) July 28, 2019
I don’t have any overarching beef against Harris, but this is pretty weak beer. Do better.