Second, that tax break will cost those of us who’ve never had any college loans or who’ve already paid them off an estimated $3.4 million in lost revenue. Supporters of the proposal say that shortfall will be made up by the recent college grads’ higher incomes — and, consequently, their higher income-tax bills. Eventually. In the meantime, you’ll pay up front to make sure these poor kids will be able to afford McMansions, plasma TVs, and Rolexes.
Third, there’s the way this initiative favors graduates of Maine colleges over those who opt to study out of state. Is that because we already have too many Harvard and MIT grads cluttering up the employment landscape? Or is it the result of self-interest on the part of the drafters of this plan, many of whom seem to be Maine students with loans that are about to come due?
Finally, there’s the matter of how this tax break would fit into the state’s overall tax policy. If the state had an overall tax policy. Actually, this giveaway would hardly be noticed among the already existing hodge-podge of loopholes for special interests.
A lot of supporters of the Opportunity Maine initiative are the same people who opposed last year’s Taxpayers' Bill of Rights referendum. They did so, they said, because setting a limit on how much state spending could increase each year and returning any excess money to taxpayers would have been bad for the economy. Every penny, they claimed, was needed to fund vital services.
Like meals for hungry kids.
Medical care for the indigent.
And tax cuts for the educated class.
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Al Diamon: email@example.com
: Talking Politics
, Elections and Voting, Politics, Paying for College, More