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Fact checking Fluffo


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#97 Fireball77

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Posted 12 February 2009 - 09:46 AM

College is still a goal for parents to give their kids. Tech school/military is option #2. Given a preference, and all I have alluded to above, I still want to send my daughter to college.

I am not a parent, but my goal for any kids I would have is to try to help them find the best thing for them to do with their life based on their abilities which may or may not be college. If they wanted to be a doctor, great, be great in school and get a scholarship and loan and perhaps some parental help. I would bet that marginal/average students whose parents pay for college aren't as committed to doing well as students who get loans or GPA based scholarships. Working for something makes you appreciate it more, and take it more seriously IMO.

There are already programs for tax free savings for parents to use to save for their kids' college aren't there? 529s or something? I think those are a nice thing for parents, and see no need for further tax breaks for something that is optional.

#98 cookinwithgas

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Posted 12 February 2009 - 10:07 AM

I understand where you are coming from, I guess the purpose of all this is to make getting people into school as doable as possible for as many people as possible, at this time - the idea of saving money for any purposes has seemed to vanish over the last 30 years.

#99 Fiz

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Posted 12 February 2009 - 10:15 AM

I am not a parent...and see no need for further tax breaks for something that is optional.


there simplified that post for you

#100 Fireball77

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Posted 12 February 2009 - 10:39 AM

Sorry fiz, that's an incorrect assumption about me on your part. I fully recognize that there are things that will never ever benefit me that are good for the country/economy. My premise is that this is not one of them, not that because I don't have kids I don't GAF. Isn't that proven by my stance on the 529s?

#101 Fiz

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Posted 12 February 2009 - 10:59 AM

Sorry fiz, that's an incorrect assumption about me on your part. I fully recognize that there are things that will never ever benefit me that are good for the country/economy. My premise is that this is not one of them, not that because I don't have kids I don't GAF. Isn't that proven by my stance on the 529s?


529s are far from perfect and universally helpful.

basically, a 529 is like a 401k. you're not going to get taxed on it and hopefully the economy isn't going to sh*t the bed. in the instance it does, depending on the state, you can only recover about 20% of your losses in the form of a tax deductible credit. also there are severe penalties from withdrawing money from them not used on educational things. So if an emergency rises up and you need it, you're going to get penalized. this acts as discouragement from investment.

it also doesn't help the poor. if you can only make minimal contributions into the fund, you're not going to make enough money to send them to a full college, certainly not considering the current college inflation rate, and having a 529 at all sometimes precludes students from financial aid.

to me, it seems like the 529 is a good idea in the same way private health care saving accounts are a good idea: they're not. if you're already poor, they're not going to do help you at all.

#102 Fireball77

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Posted 12 February 2009 - 12:19 PM

Sure, you're right that type of savings account thing isn't going to help struggling families, no doubt. I think a bigger issue is how incredibly overpriced colleges are these days actually. My mom came from an economically disadvantaged background and she put herself through school by working and getting small scholarships (which there weren't many of then). Not a dime of loans which didn't exist then for college. I don't think that is as possible for poor kids to do nowadays.

I guess I have seen from too close up for too long the way a lot of these families, kids and parents both, have treated free money given to them for college. My old company was very, very generous with need based scholarships requiring only maybe a C average to maintain, not even good grades. They also offered them sinecure type jobs with little performance demands and these kids made more $$ per hour than I did for the first 5 years I worked at the company full time. They gave this scholarship money only to our public schools in an economically poor city and the kids as a whole were very, very ungrateful and unwilling to work to keep them. They were even surly about the smallest of requirements. It was absolutely shocking to me, actually. I always figured that a huge majority of kids and families would be grateful for that type of program and work hard to justify their being given those things since they were opportunities that those kinds never would have had at all any other way because they were average students and not talented in other areas that might get them free rides through college like sports, some arts, etc. I was wrong. VERY wrong.