Stephen Sekula

Write Your Member of Congress: Graduate Tuition is Not Taxable Income!

Stephen Sekula at

"Write Your Member of Congress: Graduate Tuition is Not Taxable Income!"

Write your member of Congress today and tell them that making graduate tuition waivers count as part of taxable income will spell doom for higher education in STEM in the US and threaten the US STEM workforce. https://www.house.gov/representatives/find/ Here is my letter to Congressmen Pete Sessions and Sam Johnson: Dear Congressman X: As a researcher making breakthroughs in STEM, …

http://steve.cooleysekula.net/blog/2017/11/09/write-your-member-of-congress-graduate-tuition-is-not-taxable-income/

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Stephen Michael Kellat likes this.

Stephen Michael Kellat shared this.

It appears the Senate version doesn't have this. Both have the 1.4% excise tax on college endowments. This is to prevent Yale/Princeton/Harvard turning into hedge funds that have small research institutes attached. Not all colleges or universities would be impacted. Boston.com was stating all of 3 years ago that Harvard's endowment in terms of dollars happened to be larger than the Gross Domestic Product of 90 countries (see: https://www.boston.com/news/business/2014/09/25/harvards-endowment-is-bigger-than-half-the-worlds-economies). Both chambers feel a minor amount of spending down of those endowments would serve the public interest. What's a million or two between friends, eh?


My personal policy preference in taxation is probably scary to many people. The USA has the most progressive tax system in the world. The more you make, the more you pay. If I had the chance to reform the tax code myself I would probably delete most of the individual provisions. Everything would come down to filing a Form 1040-EZ without credits or any deductions beyond the standard deduction. I would reduce the tax brackets to three which would reduce the progressivity and sadly match Europe a bit more. Self-employment and Household employer taxes would not be reported on a 1040 form but would be shuffled off to Business Master File taxes for them to handle. In this case the mainframe is already capable of producing such tax returns on its own per 26 USC 6020(b) as an enforcement tool called "Automated Substitute For Return" when people fail to file now. People would pay a bit more initially due to systemic shock but without ways to game it as it would be an almost flat tax it could be made revenue neutral fairly quickly.


This is why I execute the policy and do not write the policy. I haven't had to brave an election. Merely getting hired on and surviving a single year's probation was all I had to do.

Stephen Michael Kellat at 2017-11-09T22:43:36Z