It was “the first political debacle of 2015” for President Obama, wrote Charles Lane of the Washington Post:
“Under fire from Republicans and even House Democratic leaders, the White House withdrew this week its plan to end the tax-free status of the college savings accounts known as 529 plans.”
Surely no North Carolina Republicans fussed about the misguided Obama proposal, since our GOP legislature last year eliminated the state tax deduction for contributions to the very same 529 college savings plans.
Hardly anyone fussed about that.
Everything’s a bigger issue in Washington than in state capitals. But the North Carolina experience shows that, if you make enough tax changes at once, individual pieces can be overlooked.
Obama made a mistake of thinking this one might slip through, but it stood out instead.
Lane draws a valid conclusion, however: Changing the tax code will be very difficult, because all its deductions, write-offs and benefits have armies of lobbyists who will scream bloody murder and get their pet politicians to join in — in Washington, if not in Raleigh.