This being the season of charity and goodwill, it should come as no surprise that leaders of both parties are promising to reduce taxes for as many Americans as possible. Middle-class tax cuts do have merit, but let's not let the game of one-upmanship get out of hand.

One proposal in the Clinton tax plan that needs a more critical look would grant families a tax deduction of up to $10,000 for college tuition. No one denies that sending children to college can be a heavy financial burden, but a tax deduction for tuition could have unwelcome consequences.What, for example, is to stop state legislatures from simply raising tuition at state colleges to recapture part of the tax break?

Some colleges have made valiant efforts to control costs in recent years, but tuition nationally has risen at twice the overall rate of inflation since the early 1980s. How much more would tuition rise if the cost of college were tax-deductible?