Republicans should begin with school choice. Every poor person in every city should be able to withdraw his or her children from failing public schools and place them either in charter or private schools with taxpayer money. More than any welfare program, school choice will free a generation of youngsters from repeating the cycle of poverty. Republicans should re-authorize the D.C. Scholarship Fund, which Democrats allowed to die, despite its popularity and success.Cal should know better than this. The tea parties have been railing for more than a year now to stop the federal spending. However, it is apparently very easy for even conservatives to be seduced by the power of the federal government. I agree that it would be wonderful to help the poor in the inner city to have a good education, but the ends do not justify the means. We are putting our children’s children in debt for benefits to select groups of people chosen by our federal government. Cal in his proposal is doing exactly the same thing, just with a different chosen benefactor. Injustice in the form of socialism is injustice whether you are confiscating money from taxpayers for the benefit of Wall Street tycoons or any other group. While I may prefer this form of socialism, it is still socialism and unjust.
In addition, it is the power of the federal government that has made our citizens dependent on the power of the federal government. Making our children’s education dependent upon the federal dole continues that spiral into dependency. It is time for the Republicans to break that spiral of dependency.
Finally, Cal’s proposal is unconstitutional. The tea parties have been vocal on this point as well. The U.S. Constitution is silent on the federal government’s role in education. The federal government may only exercise such powers as are specifically listed in the Constitution. Therefore, Congress has no authority to tax its citizens in order to engineer a social outcome through education.
Cal should recognize that the primary source of education is the family and the church of Jesus Christ. If the Republicans are to be consistent with their own rhetoric, they should seek to encourage those two parts of society to reengage in the field of education. If they must act, at least do it in a manner which encourages private giving. If they must do it through a tax or incentive, a tax credit for any voluntary contribution to a private institution for educational purposes would be a far superior tactic.