Wouldn’t you like to expose your newer readers to some of your earlier posts that they might never have seen? Or remind your long term followers of posts that they might not remember? Each Friday I will publish a post I wrote on this exact date in a previous year.
How about you? Why don’t you reach back into your own archives and highlight a post that you wrote on this very date in a previous year? You can repost your Friday Flashback post on your blog and pingback to this post. Or you can just write a comment below with a link to the post you selected.
If you’ve been blogging for less than a year, go ahead and choose a post that you previously published on this day (the 26th) of any month within the past year and link to that post in a comment.
This was originally posted on February 26, 2006 on my very first blog. Can you believe that this post is 15 years old?
College Tuition, Ice Cream Cones, and Sneakers
In a recent issue of BusinessWeek there was a brief article entitled, “Tuition: it’s not like an ice cream cone.” As a payer of tuitions and a fan of ice cream, that tagline grabbed my attention.
The article opened with a reference to a family with two kids who are attending Middlebury College in Vermont. The father commented that he spends virtually all of his family’s discretionary income on his kids’ college educations. He went on to say, “We look at it as an investment in their lives.”
That’s the issue raised in the BusinessWeek article. It noted that “government number crunchers” don’t see education expenses as an investment. Even though households in this country shelled out $224 billion last year for education, the wizards in the government view that outlay as “consumption, no different than buying an ice cream cone or a pair of sneakers,” rather than as “investment.”
The article goes on to say that, “if the money socked away by households to be spent on education was counted as savings, then the U.S. personal savings rate for 2005 would have been 2.0%, not the -0.5% the official numbers show.”
I can relate to the plight of the couple with the two kids at Middlebury. I just started the onerous process of doing my taxes for 2005 and saw that I shelled out close to $85,000 last year in after tax dollars to pay for my daughter’s graduate school and my son’s law school. Essentially, I’ve been paying college tuitions (and related expenses such as room and board, books, and incidentals) continuously since 1997. Yet, because my adjusted gross income is deemed by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to be “too high” to deduct even a penny of that from my tax liability, I’m shit out of luck.
I am delighted that I can afford to fund my kids’ educations and not burden them with huge student loans they’d otherwise have hanging over their heads as they start out their professional lives. Like the father in the article, I consider that money to be an investment in my kids’ futures (and in my retirement planning).
But my Uncle Sam sees it as ice cream cones and sneakers. Go figure