Free Community College or Pandering to the Base?

President Obama has recently stated he would like to make community college “free” for those who maintain a GPA of 2.5 or higher and are making progress towards a degree. Liberals love it because it is providing “free” education and young kids hear free college and think it is great as well.

So, does President Obama really want to make college more affordable, or simply appeal to certain voting groups?

Due to his proposed new tax on 529 college savings plans, I believe he is simply trying to appeal to voting groups. A 529 is a college saving plan usually set up by a parent to help pay for their child’s college tuition. If you have a 529 you can contribute money to the account federal income tax free, the account is allowed to build up federal income tax free, and you can withdraw tax-free. Pretty great deal, right?

Well, President Obama has proposed a new plan that will remove the federal income-tax exemption for the earnings part. According to the investment Company Institute, there are roughly 12 million 529 savings accounts with a about $245 million in assets. This averages to 21,000 per account.

Now ask yourself, whom do these accounts benefit? The richest in America have no use for these types of accounts, but the middle class benefits from them greatly.

Why would someone who is trying to make college more affordable make it harder for middle class Americans to pay for college? The truth is he does not care. He only wants to expand the size of the government, which is what both of these policies will do.

– JW

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Filed under Domestic Policy, Political Economy, Political Philosophy

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