Open letter to President Obama (Part 581) Vouchers help poor kids (Great video by Milton Friedman)

Open letter to President Obama (Part 581)

(Emailed to White House on 6-25-13.)

President Obama c/o The White House 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW Washington, DC 20500

Dear Mr. President,

I know that you receive 20,000 letters a day and that you actually read 10 of them every day. I really do respect you for trying to get a pulse on what is going on out here.

The federal government debt is growing so much that it is endangering us because if things keep going like they are now we will not have any money left for the national defense because we are so far in debt as a nation. We have been spending so much on our welfare state through food stamps and other programs that I am worrying that many of our citizens are becoming more dependent on government and in many cases they are losing their incentive to work hard because of the welfare trap the government has put in place. Other nations in Europe have gone down this road and we see what mess this has gotten them in. People really are losing their faith in big government and they want more liberty back. It seems to me we have to get back to the founding  principles that made our country great.  We also need to realize that a big government will encourage waste and corruptionThe recent scandals in our government have proved my point. In fact, the jokes you made at Ohio State about possibly auditing them are not so funny now that reality shows how the IRS was acting more like a monster out of control. Also raising taxes on the job creators is a very bad idea too. The Laffer Curve clearly demonstrates that when the tax rates are raised many individuals will move their investments to places where they will not get taxed as much.

I have written about 66 heroes of mine in the House of Representatives that voted “no” on your debt ceiling increase request in 2011. I AM VERY PROUD OF THE FREE TRADE HEROES MENTIONED IN THE ARTICLE BELOW. Many of these same heroes voted against the proposal to raise the debt ceiling too. Lord knows I have written a lot about that in the past. . I have praised over and over and over the 66 House Republicans that voted no on that before. If they did not raise the debt ceiling then we would have a balanced budget instantly.  I agree that the Tea Party has made a difference and I have personally posted 49 posts on my blog on different Tea Party heroes of mine.

I have written and emailed Senator Pryor over, and over again with spending cut suggestions but he has ignored all of these good ideas in favor of keeping the printing presses going as we plunge our future generations further in debt. I am convinced if he does not change his liberal voting record that he will no longer be our senator in 2014.

I have written hundreds of letters and emails to you and I must say that I have been impressed that you have had the White House staff answer so many of my letters. The White House answered concerning Social Security (two times), Green Technologieswelfaresmall businessesObamacare (twice),  federal overspendingexpanding unemployment benefits to 99 weeks,  gun controlnational debtabortionjumpstarting the economy, and various other  issues.   However, your policies have not changed, and by the way the White House after answering over 50 of my letters before November of 2012 has not answered one since.    You are committed to cutting nothing from the budget that I can tell.

 I have praised over and over and over the 66 House Republicans that voted no on that before. If they did not raise the debt ceiling then we would have a balanced budget instantly.  I agree that the Tea Party has made a difference and I have personally posted 49 posts on my blog on different Tea Party heroes of mine.

THIS BRINGS ME TO ONE OF MY BIGGEST ECONOMIC HEROES AND IT IS THE LATE MILTON FRIEDMAN. Friedman had such revolutionary policies such as eliminating welfare and instituting the negative income tax and putting in school vouchers.

The problem in Washington is not lack of revenue but our lack of spending restraint. This video below makes that point.

Milton Friedman on School Vouchers

Milton Friedman was right after all.

March 1, 2013 9:00AM

Yes, School Choice Does Help Poor Kids

Yesterday, WaPo’s Valerie Strauss accused scholarship tax credit (STC) programs of operating as Reverse Robin Hoods, robbing from the poor to give to the rich.

Call it welfare for the rich. Why? Wealthy businesses and individuals are the folks who get the tax credits for putting up the cash to pay the tuition. Furthermore, the amount of money for tuition made available for tuition by private scholarship organizations often does not actually cover the full cost of attending a private school. Poor families can’t make up the difference. Guess who can.

The reality is almost exactly the opposite. Donors are not benefitting financially at the expense of the poor or anyone. And while it is true that tax-credit scholarships do not always cover the full cost of tuition at private schools, thanks to low-cost options and needs-based tuition breaks, low-income families are the primary beneficiaries of STC programs.

STC Donors Do Not Benefit Financially

It is odd to claim that “wealthy businesses” are financially benefitting by receiving a tax credit for their donations. Even a 100% tax credit means that they are simply no worse off than before. A corporation with a $10,000 tax liability that made a $10,000 donation to a scholarship organization would then owe no state taxes but it would still have $10,000 less than it did before. Whether the $10,000 went to the government or a nonprofit is irrelevant to its bottom line.

Moreover, Strauss fails to mention that most state STC programs do not grant 100% credits. In fact, only four of the fourteen STC programs do. The other credits range from 50% to 90%. In these states, corporations would be better off financially if they merely paid their taxes.

STC Programs Benefit Low-Income Students

It is telling that Strauss provides only one example to support her claim that rich people benefit from the scholarships instead of the poor: “[Pennsylvania families] eligible to receive money to pay private tuition can earn more than $72,000…”

The key words in that sentence are “can earn.” The relevant question is how much do the families of scholarship recipients actually earn.  The nonpartisan Pennsylvania Legislative Budget and Finance Committee reported in 2010 that the average scholarship recipient’s family earned only $29,000 annually, less than half of what the program allowed at the time.

The available evidence shows that Pennsylvania is not unique. Scholarship recipients in Florida must earn less than 185% of the federal poverty line, which is the income threshold for the federal government’s free and reduced lunch program. Nevertheless, the average annual household income of Floridian scholarship recipients is only $24,250, just 12.3% above the federal poverty line. And though Arizona’s corporate STC program has no means-testing requirement, a 2011 study found that more than two-thirds of scholarship recipients earned less than 185% of the federal poverty line.

There is clear evidence that students benefit by participating in educational choice programs. Numerous randomized-controlled studies have demonstrated that students in choice programs exhibit higher academic performance while additional studies have found higher graduation rates, increased college enrollment, and increased civic-mindedness.

Conclusion

It should be noted that in addition to Strauss’ central arguments, her broadside contained numerous significant inaccuracies. Contrary to Strauss’ assertions, scholarship tax credit programs are not the same as vouchers. They differ greatly in terms of their funding mechanisms and administration. Moreover, the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that STC programs use private money not public money. Every state supreme court to address the matter has agreed. Finally, well-designed STC programs such as those in Arizona, Florida, and Pennsylvania actually save states money by decreasing state expenditures more than they decrease state tax revenue.

Under the status quo, wealthy families already have school choice while low-income families do not. Wealthy families can afford to live in districts with high-performing government schools or send their children to private schools. By contrast, low-income families generally only have one choice: the local assigned government school.

The good news is that scholarship tax credit programs work as intended. As the Washington Post editorial board understands, STC programs expand educational opportunities for low-income families, empowering them to meet the individual needs of their children.

Thank you so much for your time. I know how valuable it is. I also appreciate the fine family that you have and your commitment as a father and a husband.

Sincerely,

Everette Hatcher III, 13900 Cottontail Lane, Alexander, AR 72002, ph 501-920-5733, lowcostsqueegees@yahoo.com

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By Everette Hatcher III | Posted in spending out of control | Edit | Comments (0)

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