Quoting the whole original post I'm responding too since it was under a different topic before that wasmoved:
tazdollars wrote:Neither of the programs you mention are means-tested. You're basically artificially deflating your income so your child can qualify for financial aid programs designed for kids with parents that don't make much money.
I came from a family where we didn't have to lie to look poor, so you'll forgive me if I'm think your plan is disgusting. When I was a kid, I would go with my mom to pick up government cheese when it was available (they just handed it out to whoever showed up without making folks fill out an application or confirm their income). What you're doing is no different than the skin flints who made plenty of money, but who just liked to get their free government cheese.
While I can understand the why you are offended Taz, I think your indignation is a little misplaced. The government cheese program was itself more of a handout for political purposes to support the milk lobby. If you want to talk about gaming the system, that entire program would make a good example of how not to do things!
I'll take your word for it that you grew up poor. But you have succeeded - you are a lawyer as I recall. You got through college and law school somehow. And based on what you have said previously your finances are in great shape.
I grew up soundly middle-class. My dad had a good government job and my mother mostly stayed home. We went on vacation most years (usually camping but sometimes flying to Disneyworld or the beach) and there was always food on the table. We got government cheese a few times but only because someone gave it to us when they got more than they needed.
When it came to going to college my family could only afford minimal support. This was pre-FAFSA but there was an expectation that they contribute far more than they could afford. So I was caught in the middle. My father made too much for me to get any kind of grants or other aid. I had a couple of scholarships based on merit though they were small. But I could not qualify for anything based on need.
The system is flawed. Yet the rules are clearly laid out. I might agree that it is wrong for people to exploit the system if it takes away from those truly needing help. But it doesn't. If Stannius implemented his plan we(all taxpayers) might be subsidizing him but no individual student with needs actually suffers. The entire program just costs a little more. I fail to see this as being any more unethical than taking advantage of a legal tax loophole.
If Stannius's kid is in competition with a more needy student then I would say he should bow out and pay up. But it doesn't work that way.