Symbiosis: Democrats Manipulate Tax Code to Support Leftist Universities

David Jones/PA Wire URN:21969286/AP
File Photo: David Jones/PA Wire URN:21969286/AP

Democrats and universities are working hand in glove to make sure that young people attend the bastions of leftist thought and emerge indoctrinated, with the government essentially offering kickbacks to the universities through subsidies and abandonment of responsibility for student loans.

As The Atlantic reports, per-capita government subsidies are much higher than they were 35 years ago, as the federal government now outlays roughly $80 billion per year on subsidies for higher education, comprised of direct subsidies, tax credits, and tax breaks.

Two major programs that were initiated under President Bill Clinton and Barack Obama help the universities collect: The Lifetime Learning Credit (LLC)and the American Opportunity Credit (AOC). The former was initiated by Clinton in 1997, the latter by Obama in 2009. The LLC gives a taxpayer a $2,000 credit, the AOC a $2,500 tax credit for higher education expenses. That money means the taxpayer pays the amount of the tuition, then gains a credit, meaning that the university makes its money, the taxpayer gets a sum of money, but other taxpayers pick up the bill so that students can attend the leftist universities. (A recent study showing liberal commencement speakers outnumbered conservatives at the nation’s top 100 universities 6-to-1 and among the top 50 universities 9 to 1.)

In addition, Obama brought forth the Pay As You Earn program in 2012, which allows students to often borrow an unlimited amount and then cap monthly payments at 10 percent of their discretionary income. If they choose to work for the government after college, Obama wants them to be forgiven their loans, which could amount to as much as $150,000, after 10 years.

In his 2015 budget, Obama acknowledged that his plan to “expand and reform student loan income-based repayment” would cost taxpayers more than $3.5 billion over 10 years. Jason Delisle of the New America Foundation pointed out that Obama said in 2010 when first discussing Pay As You Earn that the cost of letting past borrowers to use the new program would be approximately $1.7 billion; in 2013 the administration changed that to approximately $3.5 billion, then raised the figure in 2014 to roughly $7.6 billion.

Other goodies for universities include direct subsidies, including the Pell grant for low-income students, totaling $35 billion. Tax breaks intended to pay off universities include the exemption for parents of students ages 18 through 23 who attend colleges, the student-loan interest deduction, and the deduction for charitable contributions to educational institutions, all of which add up to $22.7 billion per year of taxpayer money.

The congressional Joint Committee on Taxation estimated that the IRS is currently redistributing approximately $45.7 billion every year to either directly or indirectly support American higher education, a 675 percent increase since 1990.