Obama Asks Lawmakers To Extend Tax Credit Program For Tuition Assistance

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Obama asks lawmakers to extend tax credit program for tuition assistancePresident Barack Obama has called on Congress to extend the tax credit for individuals paying college tuition before it expires at the end of the year.

On Oct. 13, Obama asked legislators to make the American Opportunity Tax Credit (AOTC) program permanent, according to media reports. The tax break is part of the President's education plan, which also includes a cap on monthly student loan payments and a major reform of public schools.

The AOTC program will cost $58 billion over a decade. Obama has also criticized some Republicans for wanting to cut government spending on education by up to 20 percent.

"Nothing would be more short-sighted," Obama said, as quoted by CNN. "Cutting back would amount to unilateral disarmament [in a global education arms race]. We can't afford to do that."

However, a recent editorial published on the website MassLive.com criticizes the President for falling short in his proposal to fund the tax credits. Obama presented Congress with a list of potential new taxes, many of which would affect businesses, in order to pay for AOTC.

"Giving a hand to college students from middle-class families is a great idea. But not if it means closing the door to many opportunities they might have once they’ve got a degree in their hands," the editorial states. 

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