Editorial: On the Republican Tax Bill

By now, most of us have heard about the scary new tax bill the GOP has introduced and was passed by the House. But how does this affect us as students?

First off, the impact could be substantial as a college education or advanced degree could become even more expensive than they already are or unavailable, according to Liz Clark from the National Association of College and University Business Officers. According to USA Today, over $71 billion in cuts and changes are to be expected in the field of higher education.

Specifically this will affect student loan interest which is currently tax deductible regardless of whether a taxpayer itemizes if income is under a certain level. According to the Joint Committee on Taxation, this deduction was eliminated and leads to a tax increase of $21 billion over the coming decade.

Graduate students who teach or work as researchers are offered free or reduced tuition as well as stipends at many universities, according to USA Today. Right now, only the stipends are taxable as income, but the GOP bill would make the tuition break taxable, too, which would then make it more expensive to attend grad school.

It doesn’t end there. The bill would hurt even scholarship funds as private university endowments would be hit with a new tax of 1.4%, according to USA Today. The effect on students would be that the money intended for financial aid or research could be paid in taxes instead of benefiting us.

It becomes quite clear that the tax bill isn’t just an attack on students, but an attack on education itself, something that the Trump Administration is well known for at this point. Students already have a hard time pursuing and continuing the pursuit of higher education. This bill will only add another roadblock in the face of current and potential students.

It is through higher learning institutes that the public can gain employment which can not only assist the individual student, but spread the wealth of knowledge, create change, and stimulate the workforce with new ideas. Should the tax bill pass, it could damage the job market for generations, limiting the amount of minds that can enter graduate schools and beyond.

If the true goal for the tax bill is to encourage job growth in this country, the Senate should hold corporations accountable for not hiring and staying in America, not pass the deficit to the next generation.

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