Letters: Mental illness + grad students + GOP tax bill

by Ben Pena December 1, 2017, 4:38
Letters: Mental illness + grad students + GOP tax bill

Graduate students rally against the proposed GOP tax reform bill at Union Square in the Manhattan borough of New York City, New York, U.S., November 29, 2017. GSG President Hossein Tavakoli says the proposed federal tax plan includes a huge tax hike on graduate students.

Unfortunately, the tax plan that the House passed would drastically increase the amount that graduate students must pay in taxes.

LSU graduate students are sounding the alarm, saying the tax reform bill passed by the U.S. House before Thanksgiving could lead to a "brain drain" in Louisiana.

Students are not the only ones upset over the House tax bill. What this means is that when tuition is out of the equation, both new tax plans actually decrease the CDTB of all family structures, between $600 for a single, public university student and $8,000 for a married couple at a private university with one child.

Among the many ways that the plan increases taxes for many Americans, it will quadruple the tax that graduate students pay, taking a third of our paltry take home pay.

"It would count graduate tuition waivers as taxable income", said Kristiana Wright, a member of Grads United.

"I'm going to stick it out to see if I can continue to be a graduate student", Song said.

On Tuesday, the Senate Budget Committee pushed through a tax-cut bill on a 12-11 party-line vote.

However, for some graduate students this may be insufficient, and there are people who expect the administration to take a more proactive stance in the form of contingency plans or outlined strategies that people can understand and to which they can relate.

Gary S. May, chancellor of UC Davis, offered his "wholehearted support" for the #GradTaxWalkout action, writing at the Sacramento Bee, "The House bill is an attack on higher education in the name of reform".

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We should nurture those experiences by providing graduate students with a rich and welcoming environment to make sure that our interactions with faculty, researchers and undergraduate students reach their full potential. "Universities, especially state universities, don't do any good if we greatly limit the ability of a wide range of students and citizens in the state to get a higher education".

A crowd largely composed of graduate students gathered on campus today in a rally addressing their collective concerns with the proposed changes. A spokesman for the university says roughly 2,000 of them receive either a stipend or an assistantship, meaning they could be directly impacted by the tax reform bill.

"History shows that unions are the only vehicle, really, that employees have to fight back against the employer's offensive", Cloud said.

As bad as the graduate student stipend would affect Barclay, he realizes there are many other graduate students in more precarious situations.

About 1 p.m., demonstrators moved to California Hall to deliver a letter to Carol Christ, in which they asked her to ensure that students and workers are not harmed by the Republican tax plan.

For example, the Medical Center Graduate Student Organization has a volunteer program that allows us to teach science to young students in D.C. public schools.

The pupils have said that it is not possible for them to continue their studies with such high dues that are being charged by the university. "There's a lot of lobbying going on on behalf of many interests, and higher education is just one of those interests".

Graduate students also conduct research that contributes to Georgetown's status as a Research I global center for scholarly research.

"If we got taxed on our tuition, it would be about half of what we make", Grant said. The movement has also partnered with Save Grad Ed, a consortium of students from six universities who will be forced to withdrawal from their universities as a result of the bill, according to their site.

The Senate proposal would keep tuition waivers tax free, but the proposal to tax the waivers could reappear as Congress tries to reconcile plans from the two chambers.

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