Our new tax reform - something is rotten

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This is really bad news - planning to write an email to my Representatives. From The New York Times:

The House Just Voted to Bankrupt Graduate Students
Republicans in the House of Representatives have just passed a tax bill that would devastate graduate research in the United States. Hidden in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act is a repeal of Section 117(d)(5) of the current tax code, a provision that is vital to all students who pursue master’s degrees or doctorates and are not independently wealthy.

I’m a graduate student at M.I.T., where I study the neurological basis of mental health disorders. My peers and I work between 40 and 80 hours a week as classroom teachers and laboratory researchers, and in return, our universities provide us with a tuition waiver for school. For M.I.T. students, this waiver keeps us from having to pay a tuition bill of about $50,000 every year — a staggering amount, but one that is similar to the fees at many other colleges and universities. No money from the tuition waivers actually ends up in our pockets, so under Section 117(d)(5), it isn’t counted as taxable income.

But under the House’s tax bill, our waivers will be taxed. This means that M.I.T. graduate students would be responsible for paying taxes on an $80,000 annual salary, when we actually earn $33,000 a year. That’s an increase of our tax burden by at least $10,000 annually.

Trish's son is in Graduate School for his PhD. - he just emailed us with this bit of news. This is what happens when laws are written by committees who have no personal responsibility for their actions - all they are interested in doing is bringing pork back to their district so they can keep being re-elected. Time for Congressional term limits - 12 years and you are out.

This basic research is what brought us the cell phone, computers, modern medicines and technology, the ability to live an additional 30 years in good health, weather forecasting, etc... The actions of  these 435 people have crippled our academic advancement. Let us hope that President Trump does not sign the bill when it appears on his desk.

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This page contains a single entry by DaveH published on November 19, 2017 7:48 PM.

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