Originally posted by: jumpr
I'm a college student. My parents are professionals (my dad is a physician and my mom is a librarian with a masters degree in library science). My parents are making good money, but they are currently paying upwards of 33% in taxes. Add to that the fact that their mutual funds are only beginning to recover from their worst performances in 10 years, and they're quite concerned. They have plenty in savings, and they still have quite a bit in their mutual funds, but my parents would prefer not to work past 65. Also the fact that there's no guarantee they'll be getting Social Security benefits when they retire is making them very concerned about their later years.
Ummm, yeah, the growth of the stock market in the 90's wasnt all based on actual growth of production, people were throwing money at projects that didnt even have prediction of when they would become profitable. Now we are back to thinking about "can this company make a profit", which has caused many stocks to decline. Also, many stocks were overinflated due to highly creative accounting. Most of these trends were started before Bush took office.
Also, my tuition has gone up well over 15% since I started school. U of M is a great bargain for in-state students, but it's nothing to sneeze at. My parents were lucky enough to be able to afford college costs out-of-pocket, but past tuition increases (which are WELL above the inflation rate) have made them wonder if they would have been better off getting a loan to pay for the costs and not have to worry about coming up with the cash.
College tuition (ditto for private HS and grade schools) has been outpacing inflation for a very long time. Keeping up to date equipment at the schools isnt cheap.
I work at the University as a computer consultant. I'm making $0.50 less an hour than I was at this time last year when I had my dream job doing vehicle patrols for the University's Department of Public Safety. That program was axed, not at all due to lack of utilization by the campus community, but because the Department didn't have enough funds to pay us. The University is feeling the effects of an EXTREME budget crisis brought on my Michigan's former Republican governor (John Engler) and our Democratic governor currently is trying to cut the slack to bring the state back into the black. I don't care who's in office, but if my tuition keeps going up, it's gonna keep hurting for my family and me.
If I understand this correctly, your parents are paying for your "college costs", and you presumably are working for discretionary income. That puts you at least in "upper middle class", as most middle class kids do have to help pay for college, if not foot the whole bill themselves. I used to get some help from my folks, but I was still taking out loans. I couldnt afford it, and the chance to move back to the Cleveland area and attend the university my father works for at no tuition cost opened up, and I took it. I however, pay for books, lab fees, etc. Without that, I would have been delaying my college education for 4 years and then taken advantage of the G.I. Bill. College education is not a right, though I have been getting the impression that you think it should be easy, cheap/free, and open to everyone. The economy is down, budgets that were inflated (due to the inflated economy and thus higher tax reciepts) are smaller, non-essential projects get cut. Maybe you should check out CA, where the term "extreme" can be applied to their budget problems.
So, in essence, my family is making great money, is giving 1/3 of it to the government (though tax 'cuts' have been advertised as helping people just like US!), my tuition is going way way up, my wages are going down, and we're having a harder time paying for things that four years ago seemed easy to afford.
IMHO, Bush can take his tax cuts and stuff them. They're not helping my family, so what do I care if they're apparently helping "middle class families?" We are middle class.
OK, well, take a look at what your taxes would be without the cuts. Then ask yourself what you would have to cut out of your life to make up for that. That is what they have done for you. And since I'm assuming your dad the Dr. and your mother has a Master's, they are pulling in at least 100K, gross, between the two of them. More likely, it is closer to 150K/year. Every 1% that was taken off your parents taxes is ~$1500 back in their pockets. Unless they have 12 kids, they are in no cases bleeding for cash. You arent hurting for cash, you just want to continue buying expensive things that you used to buy. Boo hoo. Yet you say you would glady pay for nationalized health care and social services... you might want to check out how much those would cost (and for the costs, take the projected cost, multiply by 1.5, then add 6% every year and you have a more realistic number for what it will, in reality, cost).