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Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Obama's 529 Fight Fizzles

News summary by MFWire's editors

The great 529 fight of 2015 has barely begun, and it's already over.

Bloomberg, the New York Times, Reuters, the Wall Street Journal, and the Washington Post all report that, according to unnamed White House officials, U.S. President Barack Obama will drop his plan to tax college savings plans' earnings.

"Given it has become such a distraction, we're not going to ask Congress to pass the 529 provision so that they can instead focus on delivering a larger package of education tax relief that has bipartisan support, as well as the president's broader package of tax relief for child care and working families," one of those unnamed officials reportedly told the Times.

An unsigned WSJ opinion piece calls this "Obama's 529 Surrender", and a Post columnist cheered the reversal. The WSJ attacked Obama's proposal last week.

The White House floated the idea less than two weeks ago and drew bipartisan fire for it. How many proposals have the claim to fame of being attacked by both Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-Ohio) and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA)?

Jason Furman, chairman of the president's Council of Economic Advisors, reportedly said last week that "the current 529 is very titled towards the upper end" and unsuccessful at helping people who otherwise couldn't afford it make it to college.

Obama's retreat on the 529 fight comes as he's slated to release his budget in just a few days, on Monday, February 2. 

Edited by: Neil Anderson, Managing Editor

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