Priorities — D.C. Style

Regarding the budget crisis, some liberal was said to ask, “What kind of priorities do Republicans have — using a weed whacker to the education budget, while allowing well-off people to still have tax deductions on their second homes?”

The question is intended to answer itself, and also to instill guilt in Republicans or any other fiscal hawks listening. It will probably work; it certainly always has, in the past.

Here are my questions in reply to this question:

Who says that the federal government actually educates children? Test scores show that parents — most of them educational amateurs who simply love their children — are doing a far better job educating their kids in home schooling than billions upon billions spent on a federal education bureaucracy ever will. If you love education so much, then why don’t you get the federal government out of education altogether? Education need not be expensive. It just takes dedication, persistence and focus. Government bureaucracies and government-supported labor unions are the LEAST able to provide this.

Whose priorities count here — everyone’s or just those of certain people? People who home school or send their children to private schools don’t need public schools; why should they be paying more in taxes for the schooling of other kids? And what about people who don’t have children? And what about people whose children are already grown? Why do these parents have to give up buying products or services they otherwise would have bought in order to pay higher property taxes (or whatever the specific penalty) to finance other people’s education?

What about the businesses from whom these people would have bought goods/services? What profits will they not make, what employees will they not hire, so that Joe (who has no kids) may pay for the public schooling of Jack’s or Mary’s kids?

And even if some people pay little or no taxes, what about the corporations and businesses that pay millions in taxes? These costs are passed on to consumers. In the bigger scheme of things, it might not matter so much to a big corporation if it pays 2-4 percent more in taxes per year to contribute to public education; but what about the increased costs of gas, groceries, medical care or other products these corporations sell, prices increased by those ever-increasing taxes? Yes, “the rich” do pay most of society’s taxes; but they pass the cost of these taxes on to the middle class and the poor. Why doesn’t Obama ever mention this fact in all his soak-the-rich schemes?

You mention “priorities.” What about the priorities of everyone involved here — not just the priorities of liberal socialists and their powerful special interest groups? Isn’t it a priority for every individual to be left free, and doesn’t that trump the needs or wants of one group as opposed to another?

Most of the people who can afford second homes are reasonably successful. They’re pleasing customers somewhere, customers who they charge for their goods or services. Don’t you think the need to keep raising property taxes on their multiple homes to meet the constant demands for more benefits, more salary, more of everything on the teachers’ unions wish lists causes these well-off owners to raise prices for their goods and services? And again, what about the goods and services these well-off people with two homes won’t purchase because they’re paying so much in taxes for a bloated federal education bureaucracy?

In short: What about all the unintended or unacknowledged consequences of high taxes and government billions spent on education that, by the way, doesn’t even successfully educate?

The self-important liberal who made these comments doesn’t really care about education, or the little guy, or really much of anything at all — except her constituents and campaign supporters in the teachers’ unions and teachers’ lobbies who keep her in power. Liberal Congresswoman “X”, liberal Senator “Y” … they’re all the same. Even many who call themselves “conservatives” subscribe to the same faulty premises. I wish that the people she’s trying to “guilt” into siding with her believed what I was saying. If they did, we’d have an opposition political movement in this country that could possibly take down, or at least put a major dent in, the massive government borrowing and spending machine that has escalated in recent years.

More than balancing the budget, America would be the free and self-responsible place that it started out as, and from which its later industrial, technological and cultural greatness grew. Right now, America is drifting on the honor of its pro-reason, pro-liberty roots and the success that sprang from those roots.

The America of 2011 is morally and fiscally bankrupt while demanding that the benefits of those earlier, now abandoned, values keep us going ever higher into the future. It can’t work, it shouldn’t work — and it’s not working.