President Donald Trump's proposed budget attacks the affordability of higher education in order to cut taxes for the rich.
Colleges and higher ed lobbyists are refining their attacks against House Republicans’ proposed tax overhaul, taking aim at provisions that would significantly affect institutional operations as the tax plan goes under the microscope. The changes would harm colleges’ financial health, drive increased costs for students and harm colleges’ ability to attract top talent to key positions, opponents say. Those arguments join criticisms of other pieces of the tax plan that could directly affect students, such as ending student loan interest deductions, eliminating part-time students’ ability to receive education tax credits and imposing new taxes on tuition assistance.
The Republican budget attacks higher education in multiple ways.
As a whole, the tax plan is notable for the numerous ways it targets higher education in order to pay for Republicans’ political priorities, like cutting corporate taxes and simplifying the individual tax code. That likely signals a difficult political path ahead, according to some observers who see wealthy institutions as actors that have long abused a friendly tax code and have now missed their chance to reform their behavior and negotiate in good faith over policy changes. To many in higher education, the proposals represent a punitive slap at institutions serving the country in many ways.