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Friday, September 30, 2011

 

Proposition 103: Temporary Tax Increase for Public Education

This morning I found a blue book for Proposition 103 on my dining room table. I don't know how it got there, but I'm glad it did. Proposition 103 asks Colorado voters to take on a small increase in both state income and sales taxes for a five year period. For a single person with an annual income of $35,000 dollars a year, in other words, me after I graduate (hopefully) this comes to about $110 extra state revenue each year.

It is important to bear in mind that Prop. 103 is specifically designed to fund public education (k-12 & higher), in addition to the 4.3 billion annually spent by the state already. Prop. 3 does not specify how the additional funds will be split among the different educational levels.

There is one primary issue that I take with Proposition 103, and I will note that this issue applies to most tax initiatives in Colorado under Tabor (the Taxpayer's Bill of Rights). My issue is that the proponents of this tax increase want to use the force of the government to maintain it's monopoly control of education by making me pay for it. I feel like the only thing stopping them is Tabor, and even then I am reduced to what Rothbard described as "one man using his vote for tyranny in avoidance of being himself enslaved (paraphrase)."

$550 is a lot of money to me ($110 times 5 years). That's enough for me to go on this awesome cruise coming up in March with most of my friends. That's more than my current rent, utilities, and gas consumption right now for one month. These people, not the State, not the Government, people! are telling me that I should give them my home for a month, and it's impolite for me to express myself fully about it in this forum.

I understand the good that can be gained from public funding for education. I also understand its inadequacy. I have been both home schooled and charter schooled during my education, so I feel I have a good understanding of the effectiveness of these alternatives to public education. Mainly, they're competitive, they're flexible, they met me where I was as a student because they were able to respond to my intellectual needs and wants. Organizations that must ask for my money will listen to my questions. Organizations that can take my money will tell me what to think.

And yet I will be reviled by many of my peers because I refuse to be swayed by emotional appeals to my humanity and my deafness to cries that both beg and demand me to "think about the children!"

My response is "I am." I will not willingly support a system of education that is the result of a government instituted monopoly. Are they thinking about what is best for the children, or about what is easiest for the government?

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