86% of my income as a graduate student, goes towards bills. 

This percentage does not include gas expenses, cost of groceries, costs of books, or any other items. [I also have two roommates].

The current tax plan as proposed by the GOP, in the form of tax cuts for wealthy Americans, worries me. It worries me and other graduate students because it would mean that we would have to leave our graduate programs– unable to afford them.

As an FIU graduate student, I am not allowed to work outside of the University, otherwise, I could lose my graduate funding. This makes sense, because ideally, I am supposed to be finishing my PhD in as little time as possible.  However, because the pay grade does not account for Miami inflation, myself and many other graduate students around the country reside in the “working poor” category.

Seeing as this is the case, it is not hard to imagine how tax cuts for the wealthy– which in turn would tax portions of my stipend to subsidize their tax cuts– would be disastrous. Portions of my stipend that I do not physically see or get, as it goes directly towards funding my education.

Current discussions about the GOP tax plan worry me, because the disaster that it reaps for those students in higher education– over worked due to decreasing tenure ships and increased adjuncting– is hardly being discussed.

Who is fighting for us? At this point, it is unclear. As we have witnessed before, there are some Democrats that would be in favor of, or at least okay with, using the working class to subsidize the super wealthy.

Further Reading:

House GOP tax plan could increase taxes for grad students by 400%

The HOP Tax Plan Would Make It Even Harder to Be a Grad Student

How the House GOP Tax Plan Would Affect Grad Students 

GOP Plan Could Cause Grad Student Tax Hike

How the GOP Tax Plan Could Hurt Graduate Students– and American Research