In his 2006 bestseller, The Audacity of Hope, then-Senator Barack Obama praised the tax-free college savings accounts he now seeks to scuttle.
On page 165 — within a chapter titled “Opportunity” — Obama writes:
But no matter how well we do in controlling the spiraling cost of education, we will still need to provide many students and parents with more direct help in meeting college expenses, whether through grants, low-interest loans, tax-free educational savings accounts, or full deductibility of tuition and fees.
One year later, in 2007, Obama took advantage of the opportunity afforded by 529 college savings plans. As first reported by the Wall Street Journal, Obama made a jumbo $240,000 contribution to his own family 529 plans. (View the actual tax form here).
Also in 2006, then-Senator Obama voted to make the current tax treatment of 529 plans permanent.
Fast forward to 2015. On Jan. 17, late on a Saturday night, the Obama administration proposed raising taxes on 529 accounts, criticizing the plans as “upside down.”
The Obama 529 tax hike plan, and arrogant comments to the media — often from anonymous administration officials — have since caused a nationwide uproar. And according to the College Savings Foundation:
-“Over a million middle class students are currently enrolled in college and benefiting from 529s.”
-“Almost 95 percent of 529 accounts are in households with income below $250,000.”
The $250,000 statistic is significant in rebutting Obama administration claims: It is the number President Obama has used repeatedly since 2008 to define “middle class.”