Bush: Tax cuts would benefit education

Patricia Drey

President George W. Bush said his tax cuts would return more money to parents, who could then use that money to spend on their children’s education, in a speech Thursday at Micro Control Co. in Fridley, Minn.

Bush told of families with children that would benefit from his tax cuts and called for parents to consider their children their first responsibility.

“The hardest job is being a single mom and being able to save for her son or daughter’s education,” Bush said. “The tax cut gives her money that she can allocate according to her needs.”

An increase in the per-child tax credit from $600 to $1,000 would also help families invest in their children’s futures, Bush said.

Biology junior Jonathan Holstad said he did not think his parents would have put money from a tax cut directly toward his education, but he thought benefits of the cuts might have indirectly affected his college fund.

“They would have more money at the time they get the tax credit, and they would have more to pay for my education when the bills come around,” Holstad said.

In addition to providing money for education, Holstad said he believes a tax cut would lead to more jobs by creating an incentive for people to start businesses.

There is a gap between the people who benefit from the tax cuts and the people whose children are receiving a lot of financial aid, leaving the middle class with less tax relief and no compensation, said Kate Cina, an undecided sophomore.

If her parents had received a tax break when she was younger, Cina said some might have gone into her education, but much of it would have gone to other household expenses.

The idea that parents will use money from tax cuts for their children’s education might be too idealistic, said Anne Snow, a University research assistant.

“I think he expects bigger things than most people believe will happen,” Snow said.

This speech came shortly after a change to the Department of Education’s formula for determining how much financial aid students receive. The formula change will lessen the number of students who qualify for financial aid, reducing government contributions to higher education by an estimated hundreds of millions of dollars by fall 2004, The New York Times reported.

The University uses the federal financial need analysis to determine students’ financial aid, so a change to the federal formula will also affect aid at the University level, said Jim Kennedy, senior associate director for the Office of Student Finance.

– Thomas Conlon contributed to this report.

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