The worst Republican congress in history seems to have little shame.
“Soaking broke-ass grad students to pay for a private jet subsidy. All-out class war on the 99 percent.”
One provision—crammed in the middle of the latest version of the so-called “Tax Cuts and Jobs Act”—would provide a windfall to the wealthy few who own or lease private planes by exempting them from certain taxes related to “maintenance and support,” “the hiring and training of pilots and crew,” and “administrative services such as scheduling, flight planning, weather forecasting, obtaining insurance, and establishing and complying with safety standards.”
Graduate students, however, would not fare so well if the GOP plan becomes law.
As CNBC reports, “[s]ome programs provide graduate students with a modest stipend for food and housing. For instance, Ryan Hill, a fourth-year Ph.D. student at MIT, receives a $30,000 living stipend and a tuition waiver allowing him to forego paying $50,000 in tuition. He currently pays taxes on his $30,000 stipend, but under the proposed House tax bill, his tuition waiver would also be taxed—meaning he would be taxed as if he was earning $80,000 a year.”
In total, the House GOP tax plan would raise taxes by 400 percent on many graduate students, the Harvard Crimson estimated.
Such a tax on students who are already drowning in loan debt “would be devastating,” Samantha Hernandez, legislative director of the National Association of Graduate-Professional Students, told Wired. “I monitor all legislation at the state and federal levels that could affect graduate and professional students, and this is just—this would have the greatest negative impact of anything I’ve seen.”
Historian Nick Kapur pointed to his own experience as a PhD student and described the proposed tax hike as “the height of Republican insanity.”
The $1.5 trillion cut is also back.
On Capitol Hill, Republican lawmakers are moving closer to pass a sweeping $1.5 trillion tax cut that largely benefits the wealthy and the nation’s largest corporations. The House passed its version of the bill on Thursday by a vote of 227 to 205. Thirteen Republicans joined Democrats in opposing the legislation. The massive tax cut was approved without the House holding a single hearing. Hours later, the Senate Finance Committee approved its own version of the bill, but it is unclear if the Republicans have enough votes for it to pass the full Senate. One of the biggest beneficiaries of the tax bill may be President Donald Trump’s own family. An NBCNews analysis based on his 2005 tax return found Trump would personally save $20 million under the House bill, while his heirs could save $1.1 billion. Meanwhile, the Senate plan will actually result in higher taxes for workers who earn less than $75,000 by 2027, according to a new analysis by the Congress Joint Committee on Taxation.