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Thread: GOP Tax Plan and Graduate Student Stipends

  1. #1
    Herder of Hamsters AW Admin's Avatar
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    GOP Tax Plan and Graduate Student Stipends

    So here's the deal:

    There are a lot of anxious graduate students at universities around the country right now.

    That's because to help pay for more than $1 trillion in tax cuts for U.S. corporations, the House Republican tax plan would raise taxes on grad students in a very big way. These students make very little money to begin with. And many would have to pay about half of their modest student stipends in taxes.
    Basically, it's really common for graduate students to work for the university as T.A.s or R.As. etc. They get a modest stipend, and often, their tuition and fees, and sometimes a student health fee, are waived.

    They've always been responsible for paying income taxes on the stipend; it's an actual pay check.

    But they've not had to pay taxes on the tuition waiver. The GOP proposes charging standard income taxes on it.

    But at a lot of schools, the tuition waiver on paper is a lot of money. 50,000.00 or even more, for in state "local" students. More for out of state.

    So if you're at a school that pays graduate students c. 30-40K a year for their work, the tuition is going to be a big taxable income increase. Schools like MIT pay that in the sciences. Humanities grad students are often paid less.

    It's not like you're getting rich, mind. Nor are you being paid the actual value of your work as "apprentice personnel."

    Here are the pay scales for the apprentice personnel stipends at UCLA. It doesn't include tuition and fees, which are waived.

    Keep in mind:

    * You're not allowed to work on campus/for UCLA for more than 20 hours/week and be considered a full time student, so look at 50%.
    * 50% time for an English Ph.D. student for most means teaching two sections (20-30, max in a section) of English comp classes a quarter.
    You're responsible for everything, including creating the syllabus, creating assignments, grading, lecturing, and office hours. You're absolutely working more than 20 hours/week, but you're paid for 20.

    That stipend pays for food, rent, transportation, textbooks, medical expenses, utility bills, everything.

    It's pretty common for a full time student to have a T.A. ship or R.A.ship, and some part time or off campus side job.
    You are paid for the actual classes/quarters you work. So at most, you're going to have UCLA income for 38 weeks out of 50.
    So a lot of people also have GSL; which are interest charging, and typically, they already have loans for undergrad.

    Being taxed on the tuition stipend will make it impossible for a lot of students who don't have parental support to go to graduate school.

    We're already turning out people with Ph.D.s, DDS, MDs, DVMs, who graduate and start their career with thousands in debt from student loans.

  2. #2
    practical experience, FTW Twick's Avatar
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    GOP believes education is destructive to the moral fibre of the nation.

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    practical experience, FTW heza's Avatar
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    I know a woman who thinks that. She asked me one day if we should abolish universities. I was asked her why on earth she'd think that, and she said, "Kids go to universities, and then they become Liberals." She was serious. She would rather not have any more doctors than have more Liberals.
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  4. #4
    Barricade AW Moderator regdog's Avatar
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    To ensure it is harder for those who need student loans **cough**(nonwealthy) to get any college education, the GOP tax plan will eliminate the $2500 deduction on student loan interest.

    Link



    Couple this with the tax on graduate student stipends, and it is glaringly obvious the GOP believes only the wealthy should receive higher education.
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  5. #5
    Who's going for a beer? waylander's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by heza View Post
    I know a woman who thinks that. She asked me one day if we should abolish universities. I was asked her why on earth she'd think that, and she said, "Kids go to universities, and then they become Liberals." She was serious. She would rather not have any more doctors than have more Liberals.
    Well who needs doctors 'cos faith and prayer heals people, doesn't it?

  6. #6
    practical experience, FTW MaeZe's Avatar
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    Along with all the increased taxes for students, the proposal is going to take the deduction away from teachers (taking away their deduction for spending their own money on student supplies) while we expand the windfall estate tax deduction for millionaires and billionaires. What is wrong with the GOP?

    No it is not money that was already taxed. Most of the estates in question here have huge amounts of untaxed capital gains. Those capital gains are simply erased when one's heirs inherit one's estate.

    Saving the family business has already been addressed with the current 6 million dollar exemption.

    How about we tax offshore accounts? Drop the corn and oil subsidies. Stop paying farmers (or rather land owners) who get a big payment tied to land they own which used to be a program to allow rotating crops or keeping certain crops viable, but has turned into earning a big paycheck for the land owner. There are many places the tax laws could be revised.

    You can't give someone a tax break without either raising someone else's taxes or increasing the deficit. If we are going to increase the deficit it should be for rebuilding infrastructure.

    Past experiments in trickle down prove it doesn't work. Instead we got an increased deficit and Increased productivity without any real increase in real wages. Stagnant wages is what has slowed economic growth. Cash rich corporations are not going to increase wages or create jobs because they get more cash. If that were the case what is stopping them now?

    Whenever you can, remind people about these neglected topics.
    Last edited by MaeZe; 11-16-2017 at 01:00 AM.

  7. #7
    I meant to do that. Lyv's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MaeZe View Post
    Along with all the increased taxes for students, the proposal is going to take the deduction away from teachers (taking away their deduction for spending their own money on student supplies) while we expand the windfall estate tax deduction for millionaires and billionaires. What is wrong with the GOP?
    Yes to your whole post.

    If you haven't seen Congresswoman Suzan Delbene's line of questioning about the tax plan, it's worth a watch.

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