Right Hooks

The 529: Record SOTU Backdown

Jan. 28, 2015

Barack Obama set a new record for backing down on a “fairness” tax increase noted in his State of the Union. A week after Obama proposed “free” community college paid for by taxing 529 college savings accounts, the White House is dropping the idea of the tax. Both House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) lobbied the president to drop the half-baked proposal, warning Obama it was a political blunder. Jared Bernstein, former economic adviser to Joe Biden, described the tax on 529s as “kicking a ball in your own goal.” Obama must have thought only rich people used 529s, as he put $240,000 into college savings for his daughters in 2007 alone. But according to the College Savings Foundation, the amount sitting in the average 529 is $19,774 – less than a tenth of Obama’s annual contribution. It’s the way 12 million American families prepare for college. You could call it “middle-class economics.” But Robert Tracinski argues that the Left really is anti-middle class: “The truly committed leftist looks upon our private savings as a vast reserve of capital unfairly withheld from its proper function of servicing the needs of the state.” To the Left, all money belongs to the government. More…

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