To the Editor:

In thanking his supporters following the Nevada caucuses, candidate Donald Trump announced, “I love the poorly educated.” And now it’s starting to look like increasing the size of that constituency has become one of the goals of tax reform.

Lawmakers assert that the Code’s various tax benefits related to education are too complex and need to be streamlined. But instead of providing the same amount of education incentives, or increasing them, their streamlined version would make major cuts.

The result is an estimated tax revenue increase of about $65 billion over 10 years, representing a big tax hike for many working families. The bill would make it harder for many families to afford college. For example, it would reduce the choice of credits and tax-favored savings options, tax most employer-provided education benefits, end the deduction for student loan interest, and reduce the incentive for employers to provide educational benefits.

Republicans claim that this tax bill is about creating jobs. But today’s good jobs and the jobs of the future are likely to require more education, not less. And by adding an estimated $1.5 trillion of deficits over 10 years, this bill would make future cuts in federal funding for education more likely. Moreover, by disallowing the federal tax deduction for most state and local taxes, it would make it harder for state and local governments to raise taxes to pay for better education.

David J. Roberts

Associate Professor of Accountancy

DePaul University

Chicago

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