If we could all tear ourselves away from the news that pop princess Britney Spears filed for divorce from husband Kevin Federline for just one moment, there is some other news: Democrats took control of the House in Tuesday's election.
In the interest of saving Fools everywhere from having to read Democratic position papers, I've listed a few things on their agenda that might have an impact on your personal finances. (If you want to get the scoop straight from the horse's mouth, so to speak, you can read their talking points here.)
Among other things, House Democrats want to:
- Make college tuition tax-deductible for students studying math, science, technology, and engineering.
- Create a 50-percent health insurance tax credit and multi-insurer pools for small businesses that provide coverage for employees.
- Cut interest rates in half for college loans.
- Replace the current bunch of college tuition tax breaks with a $3,000 credit.
- Create a dollar-for-dollar government match for "middle- and working-class families" when they save their first $1,000 in a retirement account, like a 401(k) or IRA.
- Speed up 401(k) vesting so workers get their employer's matching deposit sooner.
Will any of this come to pass? Will Republican prognostications of higher taxes come true instead? Will Britney and K-Fed end up in a protracted custody battle over Sean and Jayden? We'll just have to wait and see. My crystal ball is busted right now.
It does serve as a good reminder, however, that politicians and presidents will come and go. Congress will create tax breaks and taketh them away. Celebrities will promise true love and split up before you can say "prenuptial agreement." Uncle Fred will be pushing some hot stock tip at the family reunion mid-summer, only to declare the company a total loser by Thanksgiving. There's nothing constant in life but change.
That means it's up to Fools to keep one eye trained on the new laws and financial rules and take advantage of each and every one that will save you money and help you reach your financial goals. But (you knew there was another side to this) don't wait for an election, a new tax break, a financial commentator, or a hot stock tip to save you from financial peril. Take hold of the reins of your own financial health.
You could even build up a nice little portfolio of stocks. Impress your friends by being able to tell them you don't just shop at Whole Foods
For a related article, check out "Is Estate Tax Repeal Dead Now?".
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Fool contributor Mary Dalrymple does not own shares of any stock mentioned in this article. She welcomes your feedback.