Old Time Radio at OTRCat!

Monday, March 09, 2009

Alabama is headed toward the poor paying Their Fair Share with a move to tax legal bingo games (to fund education and health care). Next we will have a state lottery as another savior of education. The next stage will be legalised hemp, well-taxed (though a good way down the pike). I no longer have a problem with any of these moves. The state is not a church, and if people are going to do things, and the state needs money, well....

The lottery would be a true move toward True Equality, and the beauty is, it is a truly voluntary tax. I used to brandish a broken Welch's bottle with Baptist friends over issues like that, but no more.

Truth is, the state needs money. Here is a sentence from the State Treasury website:

The Alabama Prepaid Affordable College Tuition (PACT) program and the Alabama Higher Education 529 Fund offer savings and investment opportunities for families planning for future college expenses.

The latest news on the "investment" program:

Economy Crisis Impacts Alabama's PACT Program

Letter to purchasers talks of stock market's impact on program

HUNTSVILLE - The Alabama PACT Program is offered to parents to help them pay college costs for their children. This week, parents received letters saying the program was in trouble.

After receiving a letter about the PACT program not escaping the economic crisis, Don Phelps sat down with his son.

He explained to him what the future holds for his dream of going to college.

"After we got this thing we sat down and I just said you know, your grades have always been important, now they've become even more important," said Phelps. "I said we'll get you to college one way or the other. It may not be the way you imagined or I imagined. Maybe you might have to go to junior college or maybe a community college a year or two. What really counts is where you finish up."

The letter informed parents the PACT program has been affected like other investments because of the stock market dropping roughly 50%.

"They also said because of that their viability is a little bit in question but they're going to start talking with the different universities and the leaders of those universities to see if they can work out a plan," said Phelps.

When Phelps enrolled his son in the PACT program, he expected four years of college.

"When we got into the program, yes, that was our anticipation. Yes, at least the tuition and fees would be paid for, but we also knew there was a risk with it, too. They were very up front about that because it is based on investments. Like anything else you do. That's always been one of those things we've had back that we paid for a very long time ago, and it was like we've got this covered."

Now, Phelps will wait to hear from the state treasurer what the next step will be.

The PACT Program has not advised people to cancel contracts.

State Treasurer Kay Ivey will hold a news conference Friday at 10:00 at the state capitol to discuss the future of the PACT program.

PACT is also urging people on their web site, 800alapact.com, to give the board time to work through this situation. PACT promises an update on the web site every Friday at 2:00pm.

In addition, PACT has added this email address, alapact@treasury.alabama.gov, for individuals to use to send in questions or comments.

State Treasurer Kay Ivey will hold a news conference Friday at 10:00 at the state capitol to discuss the future of the PACT program. These will be shared with PACT board members.

Expect a scramble for new and interesting ways to make up the various state shortfalls looming. I'll keep you posted.

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