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Letter: Discrepancies in Schumer Speech at MacArthur Graduation

On June 19, 2010 Senator Schumer spoke at the MacArthur High School graduation ceremony and during his commencement speech, stated that anyone with an income of less than $200,000 will receive a federal tuition tax credit of $2,500. This is totally incorrect. The information can be verified online by looking up American Opportunity Education Credit. One will find that the correct information states that married couples filing jointly and making less than $160,000 will receive the $2,500 tuition credit but it phases out between $160,000 and $180,000. For a single filer, the income must be below $80,000 and phases out at $90,000. Most importantly this credit expires after 2010.

When I contacted the Levittown school district about correcting the false information I was told that they would post the facts on their “question and answer” portion of their website. Unfortunately, very few Levittown residents refer to the district website. I suggested they put the correct information in the Levittown Tribune. Dr. Sirois mentioned he’d only review my letter and not write one himself because he felt that a government institution shouldn’t get involved in another government institution. This upset me even more. We are a learning institution. Therefore, the district should be held accountable for the correct facts.

Furthermore, Dr. Sirois did send Senator Schumer a letter alerting him to the discrepancy and asking him to explain the eligibility for the tax credit. I am not sure why because all you need to do is Google search the tax credit. I also sent Senator Schumer an e-mail to give him the opportunity to correct his mistakes and have received no response.

It’s a shame that in today’s society politics has to come into play with no regard to the taxpayers. Graduation is a day to celebrate the accomplishments of our students. This is not a time for political speeches, which aim at enticing votes and misleading the American people. I do not care what political affiliation they represent. Politicians, just like everyone else, should speak the truth or better yet not speak at all. In the future it would be beneficial for our community if politicians were not present, or at least, not allowed to speak.

Susan Handel