Letter to the editor: Alternatives to accruing college debt
I understand that the op-ed “Plan would slash higher-education costs” is all about debt. It is not about paying off debt, merely getting out from under debt at the expense of someone. Me, I’m a taxpayer. If you owe the government at whatever level and you don’t pay, I do.
I see several ways to avoid the debt in the first place that are fair to you and me.
1. Join the military , earn the education benefits and enjoy your education toward a second career.
2. Stay in the military, enjoy it as your first job, get your education benefits. Retire, go to school and do a second career. Retire again.
Now for Mom and Dad and other relatives: The IRS has provided a wonderful way to pay for the education of your offspring: the 529 tax break. You establish a fund (mine is the Iowa 529 plan); check with your broker or financial adviser. Parents, establish the account in your child’s name for his or her benefit. Funds grow tax free, withdrawals to schools are tax-free; failure to use the funds for school brings penalties. Anyone can make deposits to the funds. It’s a fine place for birthday and Christmas gifts.
Edgar A. Shallenberger