Rick Jensen, 1/29/2015 [Archive]

Obama's 529 Tax Break Debacle

By Rick Jensen

Since when is canceling a tax-free college savings plan a hand-up to the middle class?

When President Obama says it is.

Parents and Republicans emailed, called, protested, lobbied and raged against Obama's plan to cancel tax free withdrawals from 529 college savings plans.

Seven million families use 529 plans to save for their kids' college education. About a million of them are families bringing home $50,000 a year or less. 70 percent of the households using 529's earn less than $150,000.

Obama didn't see it that way. He only saw the 30 percent who earn over $150,000 a year using 529's as "rich" and undeserving of an education tax break.

The fact is, high income wage earners often reap greater tax break benefits in whole dollars than low wage earners. Yet both benefit.

Just because some rich people benefit doesn't mean everyone else should suffer.

Democrats couldn't ignore the protests. Aboard Air Force One from India to Saudi Arabia, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi lobbied the President to abandon this latest attack on the middle class. Obama relented as even more Democrats reportedly reached out to him, including Chris Van Hollen of Maryland, the ranking member of the Budget Committee.

So, your 529 plan withdrawals will not be taxed... yet.

Will he go after your Roth IRA next?

He could.

The President uses the phrase "middle class" a lot because a lot of us are somewhere in that $30,000 - $100,000 middle.

But has he really worked to help the middle class?

His 830 billion dollar stimulus plan was hyped as being a middle class jobs plan to jump start the economy.

And what's more "middle class" than blue collar jobs rebuilding infrastructure?Bridges!Roads!Railways!

Yet only about 3 percent of that $830 billion went to infrastructure. So much for blue-collar building projects.

Nearly $100 billion went to those green scheme weasel deals like Solyndra and Fisker. Balance sheets were ignored so campaign bundlers could profit from your tax dollars while thousands of workers hit the unemployment lines when the companies went bankrupt.

Those workers would be the middle class, of course. The Obama bundlers wear the bespoke suits with solid gold cufflinks that you paid for.

I have nothing against bespoke suits and solid gold cufflinks. I have a mighty big problem with the government confiscating the money from you for those items.

It reminds me of a conversation among Economics 101 students at the University of Missouri. Led by a teaching assistant at a popular watering hole called The Heidelberg, the student (whose name escapes me) explained that Robin Hood did not steal from the rich and give to the poor. He stole from the politically-connected rich who shared in the enjoyment of upper class living with their benefactor, Prince John.

While the government taxed the middle class into poverty and taxed the poor into abject poverty, the political class flourished.

Obama bailed out the banks and now feigns anger that bankers are wealthy.

In 2008, Obama told The San Francisco Chronicle, "Under my plan of a cap and trade system, electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket . . . Because I'm capping greenhouse gases, coal power plants, natural gas — you name it — whatever the plants were, whatever the industry was, they would have to retrofit their operations. That will cost money. They will pass that money on to consumers."

Liberal billionaires can easily afford to pay 20, 30 or even 50 percent more to heat their mansions. Can the middle class afford that much more to heat their homes?

"Big government" economists believe handing out more money to the unemployed will increase GDP, and thus the economy, because they'll spend more.

"Limited government" economists argue that too much government involvement prevents growth in the private sector. Potential employers recognize the fact that simply giving people money to spend is a temporary event, not an economic trend upon which to base any hiring or business expansion.

President Obama has succeeded in winning elections by articulating an "us versus them" division while his policies fail.

There are Democrats articulating regulation and spending overhauls to boost the economy.

They're just not on Air Force One.

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©Copyright 2015 Rick Jensen, distributed exclusively by Cagle Cartoons newspaper syndicate.

Rick Jensen is Delaware's award-winning conservative talk show host on 1150AM WDEL and 93.7FM HD3, Streaming live on WDEL.com from 1pm — 4pm EST. Contact Rick at rick@wdel.com, or follow him on Twitter @Jensen1150WDEL.

This column has been edited by the author. Representations of fact and opinions are solely those of the author.

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