In theory, all American taxpayers pay for the education of each and every American student on their taxes. But that’s not very fair to parents, teachers and students.
First, the federal government doesn’t get all the money it spends: the federal government gets 40 percent of the tuition dollars for federal public university and the state governments get 30 percent (in some states, even less — and this is how “fair” the government gets it, as if that counts as “privatizing” education).
And there’s always the risk of private students choosing to pay for their education and using the student loan interest to offset their tuition. That would be bad news for the economy.
And let’s face it: even though most American parents and teachers make a good income working hard to raise a family and earn a good living, the college debt (which, remember, is subsidized by taxpayers) eats up a substantial slice of that.
And that, in turn, is a big blow to many Americans’ dreams. Most of us, including myself, did not attend college because we wanted to have college in our future. That is, until parents and students forced us to attend college. In my case, I did so because it seemed like the only course of action for me to make sure my children had a better and brighter future than I did.
So, here are the ways that we in the United States can help pay for college:
Increase Federal tax rates (and make them higher. The current federal tax rate is 15 percent, which has not been adjusted for inflation, since 1976. We can reduce that rate and then some, and the result will increase the overall tax burden of the typical American family as well as the tax burden for the entire U.S. economy.)
Tax capital gains and dividends on the value of our “investments,” i.e. the income generated by our businesses.
Reintroduce a small property tax on the value of our assets.
Pass an inheritance tax to prevent inheritances from being taxed when we die as the wealthy often do.
Acknowledge the importance of college to our economy’s success and set up a student loan “reform” that increases funds for higher education and helps families and students pay off their student loans.
Make college free or almost free for everyone — especially the poor.
Stop the federal government from paying for colleges that fail to value the life, health and financial security of these
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