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Duke grad students protest proposed GOP tax plan

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Graduate students marched from Bruin Plaza to Murphy Hall on Wednesday in protest of the House GOP tax bill

"It's not a surprise that it's not going to be easy to live on $13,000 a year, which is what our stipends would amount to if this tax bill were to pass", said Dennis Hogan GS, a member of Stand Up for Graduate Student Employees advocacy group. With this proposed tax hike, the waived tuition would also be counted as taxable income.

Hundreds of UC Berkeley graduate students gathered at Sproul Plaza on Wednesday to loudly protest a piece of the Congressional Republican tax bill that they say would push many of them into higher tax brackets and jeopardize their education.

Compensation for graduate work in the form of tuition waivers would be taxed-a move also consistent with the broader aim of tax reform. Now the rule of thumb is the recommendation that you give to prospective PhD students: "If they have to pay tuition and they're not being paid a living stipend, they should not enter the PhD program".

While this deduction may not address the underlying issues of making higher education accessible, it is still an important economic relief claimed by more than 12 million Americans, including Jumbos, and the program's effectiveness would be cut by the House bill.

Graduate students overall felt the protest was a success. Both the Senate and House plans propose a 1.4 percent excise tax on university endowments, which would have cost Harvard $43 million previous year, according to an email to students from University Provost Alan M. Garber '76. Tufts University has now begun to lobby Congress on the tax bill with the American Council on Education and National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities.

"Without us, the university would grind to a halt", Kohn said during the protest. In many graduate programs, Ph.D. candidates work for universities.

Graduate students also circled the crowd with clipboards and laptops, aiming to get signatures on appropriate petitions. The same logic is at work behind the reason why we don't tax workers for employer-sponsored health insurance.

Bono urged everyone in attendance to go online and reach out to their state representatives in order to prevent the bill from passing. "The graduate student doesn't get tuition waivers-all of a sudden it becomes income, so that graduate education is completely unaffordable". If not for this waiver, I and many others would not be able to afford graduate school.

I am writing in the vain hope that Congressman Brian Fitzpatrick will reverse his position and oppose the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act when it is reconciled with the Senate version of this bill. For more, we're joined from Hilliard, Ohio, by Jenna Freudenburg, a fourth-year graduate student in astronomy at Ohio State University and an organizer with the Save Graduate Education movement, who is joining Heather McGhee in this discussion.

The plan would also eliminate tax deductions for interest paid on student loans, Eaton added. Rogers also gets a stipend for $9,000, but that is taxed. He believes that the tax plan will severely impact graduate students from low-income backgrounds.

"Graduate students are a benefit to the university".

As the Cato Institute's Neal McCluskey points out, spending on higher education has increased 283 percent in real terms since 1970, while enrollment increased at roughly half that rate (138 percent increase).

The UI athletic program takes in about $16 million a year for ticket rights, and nearly half of that goes to support athletic scholarships, officials said.

"There are some areas where we are taking different approaches that will be worked, and can only be worked out, in a conference", Brady said. "The general thought is that graduate students are young people in their 20s who spend all day in a lab and aren't going to mount a protest or campaign". Navient Corporation was selected to collect all student debts, making it considerably more hard to refinance student loan debt. In between speeches, protesters chanted "We are workers" and "Hey, C. Pax, we need your help to fight this tax". One belonged to a passing jogger dressed as Santa Claus, who stopped to shout his support for the graduate students.

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