Republican tax plan harms higher education


Tiana Watts | Staff Artist

In these times of political punditry, the left and the right can never seem to agree on anything, yet the GOP has finally pushed a unifying tax plan. The plan, though, is one that almost all serious economists agree helps the rich and hurts the poor.

Aside from effectively giving the wealthy a massive tax cut and shifting the brunt of the burden onto the middle class, this tax plan also eliminates the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate, allows drilling into protected nature reserves in the Arctic and lets tax-exempt churches funnel untraceable money to the candidate of their choice. This tax plan is a disaster not only for our country’s economy but for our education system.

If you’re a college student, you have even more reason to be afraid. In the short-term, the plan will cut tax benefits and savings for college students by $65 billion over the next 10 years. It does offer the benefit of saving people with student loans up to $625 a year, but even that meager amount is difficult to justify. It gets even worse for graduate students, who will see their taxes increase by roughly 400 percent because tuition waivers will be taxed as income. This makes it almost impossible for some people to pursue doctorate degrees.

This new policy also has broader implications. The new tax plan would save people money, but the total money saved will only decrease every year after 2019 as the tax plan shifts up. By 2027, almost everyone making under $100,000 in yearly income will be losing money on this tax plan, all while corporations and the wealthiest in our society profit.

This tax plan would cost the U.S. $1.5 trillion over the course of 10 years. That is $1.5 trillion that could go to necessary services for the working class like food relief, healthcare and, most importantly for Tulane students, education.

Other economists have noted that if this plan actually does succeed in raising the GDP by the estimated levels, the Federal Reserve would be forced to raise interest rates, resulting in more difficulty creating and sustaining new businesses and growth. For college students and other young adults, this means there will be more economic burdens they will take on after they have to deal with the graduate school dilemma.

This tax plan is an affront on all levels to the American people. It puts the U.S. in a very difficult situation. University students and young people all over the country will be severely hurt by this plan. It is essential that a future administration or Congress overturns or modifies this, and that can only be accomplished by mobilizing the people and demanding the change we need.

This is an opinion article and does not reflect the views of The Tulane Hullabaloo. Quinn is a freshman at Newcomb-Tulane College. He can be reached at [email protected]

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