Tax Cuts and Tuition Hikes

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I always try to connect both sides of the budget. With that in mind, I was really disheartened by the news in the New York Times today about the major reductions in federal financial aid for college tuition.

I know it's difficult, but imagine for a second that these scholarship cuts came from the same budget included these tax cuts (plus added debt burden, or "birth tax").

College is often viewed as a gateway for economic mobility. With these adjustments, for many families, that gateway is moving further out of reach. In many cases, the article reports, the required contribution to qualify for scholarships such as Pell Grants will increase by over a few thousand dollars. The article leads with a case in which a California family must come up with an additional $6,000 to cover their son's tuition to UNLV. That's serious money.

Since tuition has been rising pretty steadily in recent years, this is a big problem. Combined with local property taxes that are on the rise nationwide, you've got a pretty clear picture of the administration shifting budgetary costs off of the wealthy (and away from the present) and squarely onto the middle class.

So what's on Congress's agenda? Surely there is wide bipartisan support to deal with this issue. Actually, no. Instead, there is serious movement to repeal the AMT. Now, the AMT is in need to serious reform, but a complete repeal will offer yet another major, unaffordable, reckless tax cut to the wealthiest citizens of our country.

Thank you for visiting Tax Justice Blog. CTJ and ITEP staff will soon retire this domain. But ITEP staff are still blogging! You can find the same level of insight and analysis and select Tax Justice Blog archives at our new blog,

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