We must do what we can to stop the GOP’s proposed Tax “Reform,” which may include provisions particularly harmful to higher education: taxing graduate tuition remission as income; prohibiting deductions for student loan interest; and taxing endowments at some schools. Recent reports indicate that the first two will not be in the bill emerging out of conference, and opposition is mounting toward the third; our efforts and those of our allies are having an effect! But we cannot rest until we are sure these provisions are not in the bill, and even without them, the bill would be a disgrace. As TAUP member and economist Don Wargo shows here in his clear-eyed analysis , it is founded on lies or mistakes; it disproportionately benefits the wealthy while doing serious damage to millions among the less-well-off and swelling the deficit; and it sets up draconian cuts to programs that millions of children, adults and senior citizens rely upon.
So how can we act as Republicans in Congress speed this monstrosity toward a vote?
Here are three ways:
1) Work with TAUP leaders who have been calling colleagues living in districts represented by Republicans who may be persuadable—Ryan Costello (6th district), Patrick Meehan (7th—though he looks like an unlikely ally), and Brian Fitzpatrick (8th district). We are giving these members a way to contact their representatives and urge them to vote “no” and to specifically combat any provisions that threaten higher education. To help us call members in these districts, contact us at email@example.com.
2) If you live in these districts, call 877-795-7862; you’ll be asked to provide your zip code and will then be connected to your legislator’s office. If you talk to an aide or leave a message, make sure you mention your address so that they can be sure they know you are a constituent.
3) Attend an action— protest outside a legislator’s office, a townhall, etc. Go to the American Federation of Teachers’ page, http://allin.rtp.aft.org/. It provides a wealth of information about what’s wrong with the proposed bills. Scroll down to find various resources including actions put together by Indivisible, Americans For Tax Fairness, and Not One Penny.
It’s the end of the semester and all of us have tons of exams, essays,final projects or performances to grade. Many of us are looking longingly toward the Break. But it is critical that we spare any time we can to raise our collective voice against these wrongheaded, destructive and immoral proposals. There is too much at stake, and signing online petitions is not enough. It is time to act.