Tax Reform Under Trump 2017


I’m not worried about if STEM grad students generate sympathy or not. They are simply not going to be able pay that tax and will be forced to do something else with their lives. I’m worried that Americans in STEM grad schools will become a thing of the past. Will we someday be saying “Remember when the U.S. used to be competitive?” and “Remember when the U.S. used to have big research universities?”

You can argue that we will just “figure out some type way of providing discount tuition that isn’t taxable”, but then the country doesn’t get the tax income and it was just the government imposing a useless administrative burden/cost on the schools (the process of ‘figuring it out’ - I sort of thought conservatives were against costly but pointless government mandates). If the grad student tax is expected to have no effect, then why the hell keep it in?

0.3% sounds like an absurd number in relation to how upset I think we should be, but the income generated will be minuscule and the long-term damage to the country is potentially enormous.


The last thing America needs is more liberal STEM grads who will study global warming and start liberal technology companies. So fuck those guys.


These are not “important Republican beliefs”, where’s the good faith in saying something so blatantly false and provocative as that? Seriously, man, that’s really wrong.

These people are already winners.And as I have no doubt that you know, they pay a substantial share of the tax burden.

Sure, I understand, I want to see the deficit reduced as well. Aside from SS I support cuts in government spending, including (and especially) the military.

From the start of this discussion I would guess we do not agree on the subject of taxation will allow the government to better care for us. I am not trying to change your mind. I hold with the axiom that it requires $10 of tax to get $1 of useful government service. The VA, the USPO, the ACA, Dept of the Interior, HUD, just about any government agency is so bloated and wasteful. I wish I could take the time to share some experiences I have directly had, with FEMA, the US Fish and Wildlife Service, the DOT… there’s a lot of waste.

The future your children have should depend on your children, not the wealthy or high income earners, That’s the problem. We have more and better opportunity than ever. That’s about as nuanced as I care to get with reality, sir.

I’m all for a social safety net, but I’m sure we differ on how wide and how supportive it should be. We have too many people on government assistance now, it’s counterproductive to incentivize welfare. I define “being on government assistance” as receiving benefits that were not earned as well as not being a net tax payer. Somewhere around 44% of Americans don’t pay any federal income tax. And the left wants to increases taxes on the rest – no, wait, on the minority of the rest who are “wealthy”, to continue growing the welfare state. That’s not something I agree with, and I think it’s unfair to take money earned and redistribute it to those who have not earned it.

If you earn it, legally and ethically, you should get to keep it (most of it).

As stated above, 44% of Americans don’t contribute to federal income tax, yet they get to vote and help shape policy,


You wouldn’t happen to be including elderly, retired people in that 44% figure, would you? Because that would be disingenuous.

You wouldn’t also happen to be a well-off white man, would you?


I assume he’s including all the ultra wealthy who hide their income with loopholes and all the companies like GE who get huge amounts of credits and are tax takers.


I hear this a lot from those who identify as financial conservatives. I highly recommend listening to Marketplace’s Uncertain Hour season one to learn a bit more about what’s really happened with welfare in the last twenty years or so.

Season two is out now, too, about regulations. Learn all about peanut butter composition! Spoiler alert: Corporate lobbying causes inefficiency in the regulatory process! Government inefficiency is a distant #2.

I used to think exactly this way, when I was growing up in a conservative, religious, upper-middle-class white bubble. Then I went to college, moved out on my own, met a lot of people from other backgrounds, and realized just how much good fortune went into that “earned” wealth. @wumpus started a thread discussing a similar topic. I’m not saying that it’s entirely one or the other, but good fortune does play a role just as hard work and talent play a role. Therefore I believe it’s reasonable to take a good portion of what high-end earners have to (a) support the system that helped them get it and (b) give those who don’t have that good fortune a more level playing field. (For the record, I consider myself one of those high-end earners. Before I retired I was in the top 5%.)


This is where as a former Republican I get so annoyed by today’s Right: the seemingly apparent inability to discuss things fairly, cogently. Because the wealthy do get to keep “most of it” already. To use that type of rhetoric to defend these tax cuts is as intellectually dishonest as it gets. Before this reform billionaires and corps posting annual profits in the billions could position themselves to pay lower effective rates than a teacher, nurse, cop, etc. Now most will be able to zero out their fed tax burden, but still enjoy the infrastructure and the safe, stable markets of the western hemisphere provided by the US military, none of which they’ll help provide.


Jokes on you, there aren’t remotely that many farm jobs.

Or mining jobs.

We’ll be servants at best, these people aren’t going to wash their own cars.


I think that may have been by design. If there’s no qualified Americans, you can use H1B visa holders who are tied to the company sponsoring the visa.


wonder if you’ll see a brain drain of Americans who will start studying overseas?

Then again that’s one way to drain the liberal vote. I’m seriously considering getting foreign citizenship myself these days just in case.


That will be the only way to afford a PhD in physics, chemistry, math, etc etc - but the number of US students who will go overseas for a PhD is only a tiny fraction of the current US grad student population - and they will be competing for spots with all the non-US students who now come to the US for grad school.


There was once a word called ‘commonwealth.’ Oh well.


Yup. Captive employees who won’t make a fuss or get all uppity, lest their visa be yanked. It’s appalling. God forbid we devote the resources necessary to post-secondary education to have enough of our own STEM experts. And this tax plan does precisely the reverse, all so we can devote most of the tax cuts to the wealthiest.


This article by the head of Yales Grad students points why this is the fault of the universities.

In fact, though, not making graduate students pay tuition reflects the material reality of graduate school: We do valuable research and teaching labor for the university. It would be preposterous to bill us for this — akin to asking medical residents to pay the hospital for the right to train there. The fact that the university doesn’t actually make most of us pay the tuition it ostensibly charges is a tacit admission of this fact.

Science labs on university campuses like where I work are actually sources of income for universities. For most of what goes on in a university science department, the public is footing the bill. Professors apply for research grants to outside foundations and government agencies, most significantly the National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Health. In the grant application, the professor proposes the budget for the laboratory, including equipment, supplies, and salary and benefits for whoever works in the lab — including graduate student researchers like me. Universities then take a huge amount off the top. Yale, for example, charges the public an additional 67.5 percent “overhead” fee on grants that faculty bring in. So if the National Science Foundation approves a proposal for a $100,000 project, the agency writes a check for $167,500, with that extra margin going to the university for “facility and administrative costs.”

So by charging this fictional tuition University get a double win. First they get to charge the taxpayers, for overpriced tuition when they apply for a grant, then they get to tack on an extra 67.5%. So if they have charged $40K tuition, even for people like author who isn’t taking classes, they manage to turn a research project that costs at most $60k in actual expense into something they can bill the taxpayers for $167.500. There are government defense contractors accountants who are green with envy.

One of the reasons our tax code is so complicated is because defining income is hard. There are pages devoted to defining which free travel by airlines employees is considered taxable and what is free.

On one hand, it seems silly to burden employers with tracking every $10 or $25 Starbucks gift card they give out for employees of the week. But on the other hand, we absolutely want to avoid the situation, where Amazon offers $500 Amazon gift cards to corporations for $475 to use as holiday bonuses. Amazon gets more business, the employers save payroll tax, and the employee save on payroll and income tax. Everybody wins except the US Treasury who loses big.

Tuition reimbursement above $5K is taxable to employees, and non-deductible to employers. I see no reason for a special exemption for a university as a matter of principle, I don’t care if the taxpayer cost is $100 or $100 million. Eliminating special cases in the tax code is good thing and I don’t care if it is special treatment of corporate jets or university tuition.

There are many ways that university can remedy this from raising grad student salary by $12K to cover the taxes, to stop charging grad student tuition for class they don’t take. I’ll offer 3 to 1 charity bet that the number of grad students will remain essentially the same in 2 years.


Overhead pays for everything except for salaries and lab supplies. The electricity bill, heat, waste disposal, lab maintenance, and everything else. It is basically rent that the government pays to the university, who would otherwise lose money every time they hired a researcher. You know that researchers aren’t hired for their teaching skills, right?

You can argue about the amounts (most places charge less than Yale) but there’s no question that some amount of overhead is necessary unless we stop doing public research in private institutions.

As for tuition: if the university stops charging grad students tuition, then naturally it will increase undergraduate tuition. Pretty much Econ 101. It isn’t just grad students who will suffer in the end.


A couple things about medical residences… they’re not physicians for most their training which means you can’t bill for them and they cannot practice without guidance from someone who is licensed and billable. What does this mean, it means if the university did hire them, they would not be hired as physician. It would have to be something else. They would also fall under labor laws in some areas, not necessarily students. It’s going to be hard to push those kind of hours graduate students want to push in order to actually finish training and go out on their own. Nd yes, they get access to that universities resources and of course it’s competitive because you want to train with the best… right?

Maybe graduate students programs needed to be looked at, with feedback from students, schools and the lawmakers… not really something you should yank out in the backroom deals in the hopes someone figures it all out later, you know, Trumpism per usual.

It is in the best interest for the USA to encourage individuals capable, willing and committed enough to complete graduate programs, not just STEM but several fields. These programs are not for everyone, but we are better off having those individuals here.


Medical residents are a terrible example in general.

A medical resident is equivalent to a post-doc. They both already have terminal degrees. Neither one is charged tuition. Neither one takes classes. Both generally have federal salary support, either through a research grant (post-doc) or through Medicare (which pays the salaries of most medical residents).

A graduate student is equivalent to a medical student. Both are charged for tuition. Both start out taking classes and transition to learning on the job. Neither has a terminal degree, yet. The difference is that the medical student is far more likely to be responsible for paying tuition.


In how many different ways is this statement wrong? Wow.


Grassley sold his soul to his investors a while ago.

Somehow hording money is better for the economy than spending it now. But he’s just a simple farmer or something.
It doesn’t matter he’ll be reelected for anything short of gay sex with a pig as far as I can tell.


So I guess the only people who are not investors in this guy’s mind are… men. Also when did movies somehow fall into the same realm as alcohol and I assume… prostitutes? Or is he talking about girlfriends and wives?