Smarter Than the Average Governor?

Last week I discussed Governor Kim Reynolds’ bold proposal for a flat tax. That would be a 4% tax on income, not a progressive tax where the percentage increases as incomes increase. Objectively, this idea shouldn’t seem bold at all. But work has taken a back seat to entitlement as a way to get money. A broad swath of the citizenry believe the government and the people it represents are exempt from respectfulness.

I didn’t have space to go on to the other of Reynolds’ proposals last week. Another bold one: Giving parents back the money they didn’t use sending their kids to public schools so they can afford to send their kids where they choose. Teachers unions have declared this is stealing from the school system to benefit a religion because most private schools are religious.

We sent our kids to Hampton-Dumont public schools because we couldn’t afford a private school or homeschooling, and we could be involved in review of their work regularly when they got home. Besides, the big world they were supposedly being prepped for had similarities to the school, kind of a mini-society.

(Actually, this column originated 13 years ago because of letters to the editor I wrote about the paper printing cartoons every year depicting such things as a housewife ecstatic over school starting in the fall so she would be rid of the kids. That day was always the saddest day of the year around our place.)

This issue is about rights, not details. When parents work to provide for and nurture their kids they are entitled to school them any way they see fit. To punish them by charging them twice for school is wrong. Low income families are hurt most by limited school choices. I repeat, low income families are hurt most by limited school choices. Rich families can afford the taxes and tuition.

The teachers unions’ stance is similar to affirmative action on this. Affirmative action says minorities are inferior so they need an artificial advantage. Supporting a public school monopoly says public school is inferior so it needs forced funding and what amounts to forced attendance through discrimination against people who can’t afford to avoid the monopoly.

I’m steering clear of listing the reasons parents may choose one school over the other because they cloud the discussion of rights with emotion-packed trivia.

On another note: Consistency is such a foreign concept I’m not surprised at the news this week of our governor “trying again” to ram bio-fuels further down our throats.

I was encouraged by her views on taxes and schools showing that she trusts and respects people to make decisions for themselves.

Then she goes and pushes HSB 594 through a House sub-committee. The bill will require infrastructure for new fuel suppliers to accommodate biofuels. It will also give $10 million in state funding to private (remember the state funding of private schools complaint by the unions?) businesses for the “ Renewable Fuels Infrastructure Program.” This is on top of the $50 million we have already spent to facilitate these inferior products.

You can come after me for claiming biofuels are inferior but if they had a rightful place in the market, why the $50 million? And this question so seldom asked, “If bio-fuels are so efficient why are they produced with natural gas instead of ethanol or soy oil?” It’s because entitlement has replaced work all over the place.

The governor has a choice to be influenced by corn, soybean farmers, and teachers unions or by the principle of individual freedom of choice that, as I’ve said a billion times, properly directs markets so these groups have the wealth available to try to take that freedom away.

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