From putting my son through college to overseeing the management of Maine’s 529 plans as the State Treasurer, I understand first-hand how important and difficult it is for our hard-working families to save money in order to send their kids to college.
As parents, we want to give our kids everything we possibly can and a higher education degree is on the top of the list. A degree from a four-year college, community college or technical school can lead to a better job, a higher salary and more opportunities.
Unfortunately, it’s getting harder to send our kids to college as the total amount of student loan debt is quickly approaching $1.2 trillion. That means that our students are graduating from college with several thousands of dollars in debt.
To make matters worse, President Obama introduced a proposal in his budget that would tax 529 college savings plans. This is simply unacceptable.
Congress should be doing everything within their power to help ease the burden of college and its increasing financial costs, rather than letting the President make it harder for our kids to have a successful college experience. Washington should not be penalizing our hard-working families for planning ahead and saving money.
To that end, Republicans introduced and passed a bill, with strong bipartisan support, that will help expand, strengthen and modernize 529 college savings plans to make college more affordable. For example, families will now be able to purchase computers, which are a necessity for students, using their 529 account funds.
After receiving much scrutiny from Republicans AND Democrats, the President dropped his proposal to tax 529 college savings plans. However, the President still believes taxing our hard-working families who are responsibly planning ahead and saving for college is good idea – it just wasn’t worth the fight right now. Clearly, the President would have no reservation in attempting this jeopardizing action once again when it’s politically more convenient for him.
I will always remind the President that we should not penalize our hard-working families. Moreover, I will continue to cosponsor and support cost savings bills, like H.R. 529, that will help our families plan ahead and save money in order to provide their children with a college degree.
Again, I’m honored and proud to represent Maine’s Second District. If our Congressional offices can be of service to you, please don’t hesitate to contact us or visit poliquin.house.gov.