Am I being greedy for liking the prospect of saving $2,500 each year I have a kid in college? In my case that could add up to a total savings of $20,000. I have two sons who would be attending undergraduate school back to back – One will finish (I hope), just as the other is set to start (I hope).
If you haven’t been able to keep track of all the financial news coming out of Washington, D.C., these are the broad strokes:– Already approved in the federal stimulus package are two years of $2,500 federal tax credits for college expenses.
– Those annual tax credits would become permanent under the President’s proposed budget. Of course this would need to be approved by Congress.
The argument in favor of the tax credits? As so many are noting in these days of economic high anxiety, college education benefits not only the individual, but our nation as a whole. The U.S. faces increasing worldwide competition and that competition is increasingly over knowledge and ideas – the stuff of education, which would be encouraged by easing the cost of college. Of course this argument conveniently matches my own economic self-interest.
On the other side? I haven’t read specific arguments against the education tax credits yet, but I imagine the same arguments against the overall Obama budget might might apply – they will be expensive and help run up deficits in the trillions over the next 10 years.
Of course those deficits come on top of all the other red ink this country has been running up and committing to in recent years- such as the long-term cost of the war in Iraq and the various bank and auto industry bailouts. Together those figures have been reported to add up into the trillions.
So maybe the issue comes down to this: What should we be spending our money on? What do you think? Please let us know.
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