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Cardi B's Interview With Joe Biden Touched On His Plans To Provide Free College

Cardi B took a break from defending her “WAP” music video to discuss what’s at stake in the upcoming election with presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden. During Cardi B's interview with Joe Biden, which comes ahead of the 2020 Democratic National Convention on Monday, Aug. 17, the pair touched on topics such as police brutality, the coronavirus pandemic, and Biden's plan for making college education more affordable. Elle magazine released a video and transcript of the interview between Cardi B and Biden on Monday, and it provides some insight about what Cardi values most in a leader.

Biden and Cardi had a socially distanced video chat, and the singer didn't hold back when laying out the list of things she wants to see for the country. Among the list of requests: free higher education. Addressing what she believes her fans care most about, Cardi asked Biden about the prospect of free college education. Cardi explained why the cause is near to her, recounting struggles to come up with enough money for transportation to and from college classes, after getting free MetroCards all throughout high school. She also said she often would go eight or more hours between eating because she couldn’t afford to buy food during her class breaks. “I was starving, and I felt so discouraged. So I just feel like that is so important, to finance students while they’re in college,” she said.

Biden said, "If I get elected president, anybody with a family [that makes] less than [$125,000 per year], you’re going to get free education. And everybody gets free community college." According to Biden’s Plan for Education Beyond High School on his campaign website, if elected, Biden would offer two years of debt-free community college to give individuals a path to become work-ready with a two-year degree or an industry certification. Biden’s plan to make public colleges and universities tuition-free for all students with family income below $125,000 was adopted from Sen. Bernie Sanders’ College for All Act, which he proposed in 2017.

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According to Biden’s official plan on his campaign website, the expanded education funding would be split between the federal government and state governments, with the federal government covering 75% of the costs. Biden told Cardi B that some of the funding would come from “practical things, like making sure that everybody has to pay their fair share.” He indicated that corporations shouldn’t pay “less than 15% tax.” According to a 2019 study from the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy, at least 91 Fortune 500 companies paid an effective tax rate of 0% in 2018.

In addition to the issue of affordable college, Cardi also expressed her frustrations with President Donald Trump's handling of the coronavirus pandemic and the need for police brutality reforms in the country. "I want Black people to stop getting killed and no justice for it. I'm tired of it. I'm sick of it. I just want laws that are fair to Black citizens and that are fair for cops, too," she said.

Biden added that young people, like Cardi’s fans, have the power to influence and advocate for change. “In 2016, if 18- to 24-year-olds had voted in the same percentage as the rest of the population, there would have been 5.2 million more votes. We wouldn’t have [Trump]; we would have had Hillary Clinton. The vote matters,” he said. According to the Pew Research Center, in 2016 Clinton won 18-29 year old voters by a margin of nearly two to one. However, 18-29 year olds made up only 13% of confirmed voters that year.

Biden also praised younger Americans, including Cardi, for their willingness to stand up for justice, including racial justice. “The reason I’m so optimistic is because of your generation,” he said, calling young voters “the best educated, the least prejudiced, and the most engaged generation in history.”

Biden wrapped up the chat with a vow, "I’ll make mistakes as president, but I’ll admit to the mistakes I make, and you’re never going to have to wonder whether I’ll keep my word."