Florida mayor Wayne Messam announced his exploratory bid as a Democratic nominee for the 2020 presidential election, and his campaign proposal includes a very bold suggestion: to cancel the student loan debt.
American students have amassed a $1.5 trillion debt that the mayor's aide called "an issue that threatens the economic security of this country."
Messam's aide told Buzzfeed that a move to debt-free college isn't possible without removing the student loan debt.
He also rationalized the proposal by insisting, "We don't have to walk into another Great Recession."
Most of the Democratic presidential hopefuls — including Senators Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Kamala Harris (D-CA) and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) — have proposed various forms of debt-free or tuition-free colleges to help more students afford higher education.
But Messam is setting a precedent by suggesting eradicating student loan debt entirely.
It's a gutsy declaration that could earn him support from voters.
Potential Democratic Presidential Contender Mayor Wayne Messam Wants To Wipe Out Everyone's Student Debt… https://t.co/qfVXIj2wnY— Pretty Politico (@Pretty Politico)1552602596.0
Crippling student loan debt threatens the economic security of this country. More details to come! https://t.co/3IVDzg2OSU— Wayne Messam (@Wayne Messam)1552568826.0
The high cost of college is immoral and the burden of debt threatens our future. No student in America should have… https://t.co/Xfmbrpp6vs— Wayne Messam (@Wayne Messam)1552601441.0
@Blavity I’m all for it! I’ll even do community service in lieu of payment. That’s what I think we should be allowe… https://t.co/biEvPPYJRW— BlissBae (@BlissBae)1552600218.0
Americans held over $1.5 trillion in student loans in 2018, according to Federal Reserve data. https://t.co/Ju6oVTsuum— WEAU 13 News (@WEAU 13 News)1551905041.0
I really hope @WayneMessam is able to push the proposal to cancel the $1.5 trillion + in loan debt & that other politicians are on board.— CoCoChappelle218 (@CoCoChappelle218)1552580664.0
What makes him a qualified presidential candidate?
"Mayors are known to be problem solvers," explained Messam. "Mayors are known to be closest to people. Quite frankly, being in Washington for a number of years, it's kind of hard for me to believe that sensible solutions can come out of Washington that touch people the most," he said in an HBO interview.
@daveweigel BOOM. He's got my vote.— the cowboy (@the cowboy)1552504075.0
The former Florida State University wide receiver just won his second term as mayor of the South Florida city of Miramar, which has a population of 140,000 people.
With Donald Trump in the White House, the "anyone could be president" mindset is rampant as other hopefuls announce their candidacy to run in the 2020 election.
The 44-year-old's motivation stems from his family's history.
"The reason why I'm running is because I'm living the American dream my immigrant parents came to this country for."
"My father and mother are immigrants from Jamaica, and that's the American Dream that's quite frankly slipping away from Americans."
@ByRyanBrooks @BuzzFeedNews He’s got my vote— Files5 (@Files5)1552568070.0
@ByRyanBrooks @BuzzFeedNews https://t.co/p3I7IjKyqj— Gondor Kishibe (@Gondor Kishibe)1552567853.0
When asked if he was a socialist, Messam, the owner of a construction company who is in the business of making money, was slightly evasive. He identified himself as the mayor who fought for a living wage.
So does he believe socialism is a good thing?
"I think solving the problems of America is what's good," said Messam.
Sounds good enough for me.