The Stuff Mentality
Where Do We Draw The Line?
I read a commentary the other day that stuck in my mind and made me do some thinking before putting pen to paper. As the story went, there was a young high school senior who was selling some sort of discount coupons as a fund raiser. Pretty common occurrence if my memory serves me well. He approached some parents whose children attended a private school and they turned him down stating that they were paying for their children's schooling and were still required to pay taxes to support the public school system or words to that effect. The youngster was a bit shocked by their reply because he just couldn't wrap his head around the facts. Later he wrote a letter to the editor where he said that "paying taxes is a civic duty, and that those people were arrogant enough to view taxes as a contribution, not a responsibility."
Boy does that youngster have a lot to learn. While paying taxes may be a "civic duty," which may or may not be the case, what they are collected to fund is a horse of a different color. Besides the fact that we are required to pay taxes whether we want to or not. Let me add that if it is a civic duty to pay taxes then why are the 50% of the workers in this nation paying not one skinny penny into the federal income tax scheme? Isn't it their "civic duty" to do so using that rationale?
I didn't mind paying property taxes when my son was being educated in the public school system. But that was a long time ago and I'm still paying a rather large portion of my property taxes to fund government run schools even though I don't have child one in the system. I don't see that as a civic duty. I see it for what it is - a tax. If I don't pay it my property gets a tax lien slapped on it and I am in danger of losing my property if I don't pay up. I'm once again a hostage. Why are renters also not taxed to do the same? Then there is the fact that most public schools are in the busines now of teaching a test rather than educating our children.
Not Well At All IMHO
You may not see where this is going but hang in there. Lets play pretend. Supposing that all of the sudden the majority of the people, in a lot of cases the government, decided that our housing, food, clothing, and even our cars are a necessity of life and just had to be funded by taxation. Boy would that make the 50% who pay no income tax scream bloody murder. What "necessities" are more important then becomes a question. Is the food that you eat and the clothes that you wear more of a necessity than your education? Think about that one for a minute. So lets throw a phone in on the deal because one must have that in order to secure employment. Then you have to have a car to get to work. Right? Now the FCC is proposing to provide free internet service to some folks because that is now a necessity. Really? I pay for mine so I'm supposed to help pay for someone else to have it too?
All of the sudden in this nation what is a "privilege" is crossing the line and becoming a "right?" The really sad state of affairs are there are those who walk among us who think that our taxes should pay for those horses too. In fact, they are being provided "luxuries" that are being labeled as "necessities." Since when? Check out the welfare rolls then check out how long some strap hangers have been on the government dole and why.
The incident that I am speaking of occurred in Georgia. Lets take a look at something that is going on there in the public school system. The public school system in Cobb County is paying out $63 million dollars so that every student and every teacher has a lap top computer. So it's the tax payer's "civic" responsibility to make that happen? If so, why? As a parent, if I want my child to have a lap top shouldn't I be required to run down to Best Buy in a jiffy and get them one? If not, why not? I'm not too fond of having a guilt trip laid on me, or other tax payers, because someone is confusing "wants" and "needs." That's another line that seems to be crossed more and more in our society.
One response to the student in question here had a writer accusing students who attend private schools as “BMW-driving, uniform-wearing, spoiled elitists.” Now I wonder if that letter writer has ever sat outside of a public school and seen the types of cars those students wheel out of the parking lot. When is an elitist not an elitist? I attended private school myself back when and my folks did without many things in order to ensure that I got a quality education and they weren't driving the latest model cars either. It's called sacrifice and I thank them for that now.
I'm fond of saying the following and I say it often, "It's always easier to spend other people's money than it is to spend your own." The federal government right now is a prime case in point. They are spending our money, which we don't really have either, wastefully, wantonly and evidently shamelessly from the appearance of it. So now we're going to label it our "civic duty" to continue to let them squander our tax dollars? It's a civic duty to require property owners to educate other people's children? No, that is socialism and we see it in action concerning the education of our youth.
I suggest to you that we get the federal government out of the business of dictating how our children are educated and return that responsibility to the state's and citizens where it belongs. Of course, I'm a 10th Amendment guy and realize that without the inclusion of that amendment the US Constitution wasn't going to be ratified. That's history and we need to start paying more attention to how and why this country was founded and stop confusing what is a "want" and what is a "need."
If Obama wants to streamline the US government lets see him step up to the plate and abolish the Department of Education. Now that would be a meaningful budget cut.
Seems That Way These Days Doesn't It?
Okay now, I'm done. It's your turn...
The Frog Prince