Tom Cotton wants to tax 'liberal' universities for teaching history accurately

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Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) once referred to slavery as 'the necessary evil upon which the union was built.'

Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) appeared on Fox News on Monday night to give the right-wing network an exclusive on his proposal to tax the endowments of "liberal" colleges and universities.

On "Fox News Primetime," Cotton told host Brian Kilmeade, "I'm going to introduce legislation tomorrow, that I'm introducing to the American people tonight on your show, that's going to tax endowments of the biggest, richest, and frankly most liberal universities in America."

Cotton said that money in university endowments, charitable donations to the institutions held in funds that generate income used for capital investment, research, scholarships, teachers' salaries, and other purposes, amounts to "tens of billions of dollars sitting in their endowment. They pay almost nothing in federal taxes, and they charge full freight to kids to take Zoom classes, and Brian, this is at a time when they are also actively indoctrinating students to hate America, to believe it's an oppressive, racist nation.

"If Joe Biden wants the rich to pay their fair share, I think we should focus on these liberal, out-of-touch universities paying their fair share," Cotton noted.

Cotton has previously lashed out at educational curriculums that provide students with accurate information about American history, including the role of systemic racial oppression.

In July 2020, Cotton called for federal funding to be withheld from school systems that included curriculum materials from the New York Times' widely praised 1619 Project, which examines the role slavery played and plays in America's formation and history.

The project, which featured the work of multiple Black writers, has been a lightning rod for conservative critics, including Donald Trump, who said in September 2020, "Critical race theory, the 1619 Project, and the crusade against American history is toxic propaganda, ideological poison that, if not removed, will dissolve the civic bonds that bind us together. It will destroy our country."

That same summer, Cotton also referred to the institution of slavery as "the necessary evil upon which the union was built."

Cotton's advocacy of a tax aimed at institutions of higher education is in stark contrast to his recent support for tax cuts for the uber-wealthy.

The Trump administration's Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 cut taxes for the top 1% of earners and failed to stimulate economic growth.

At the time the act was being considered, Cotton made media appearances to support its passage, telling "Face the Nation" in November 2017, "Every income group under the Senate bill will see a tax cut."

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.