As an accountant, I suggest that the federal government limit the tax deduction for donations to colleges to $5,000 a year or less, just as it limits many other deductions, especially those that are frequently abused [“Reflections on college bribery scandal,” Letters, March 18].
This kind of legal bribe would probably not be enough to make a crooked college admit an academically unqualified student, and would further help the bleeding U.S. Treasury, which is conservatively estimated to be more than $22 trillion in debt. I believe many colleges are swimming in money from sky-high tuition and government grants and subsidies. Enough already!
Given the deplorable allegations about families of wealth scamming to obtain for their children acceptance into highly selective universities, I can only think back to another time when privilege and wealth also mattered. During the Vietnam War, some elected officials and wealthy families also used their privileged positions to enable their sons to avoid the military draft. How sad, since in both these instances, the belief in democratic equality and fairness has failed our nation miserably.
During Vietnam, many privileged sons found ways to dodge the draft through questionable medical deferments or connections to the local draft board. The best reminder of that time is to listen to the words from Creedence Clearwater Revival’s song “Fortunate Son”: “It ain’t me, it ain’t me, I ain’t no senator’s son . . . I ain’t no fortunate one.” Unfortunately, nothing has changed when wealth and privilege come into play.
Charles F. Howlett,
Editor’s note: The writer, a military veteran, is a professor emeritus at Molloy College.