Author Archives: Everette Hatcher III

My name is Everette Hatcher III. I am a businessman in Little Rock and have been living in Bryant since 1993. My wife Jill and I have four kids (Rett 24, Hunter 22, Murphey 16, and Wilson 14).

Op-Ed: Milton Friedman’s role of government in education

Milton Friedman – Public Schools / Voucher System

Published on May 9, 2012 by

JANUARY 24, 2023 3:48PM
File:President Ronald Reagan and Nancy Reagan in The East Room Congratulating Milton Friedman Receiving The Presidential Medal of Freedom.jpg

Op-Ed: Milton Friedman’s role of government in education

By William Haupt III | The Center Square contributor

“It’s a disgrace that there is more illiteracy today than there was 100 years ago.” – Milton Friedman

For decades after the American Revolution, our parents were the drivers of how and where their children were educated. Parents chose from home schools and private schools to educate their children. The first state public-funded schools appeared in the 1840s. But it was not until the 1900s during the Progressive Era that government gained control of funding and regulating education.

As government took more control of education, parents became subordinate to central education manipulation. Government dictated everything in every classroom. When Jimmy Carter married the National Teachers Union with the Department of Education in 1979, government and unions took ownership of education. If parents did not like local education, they had to pay for private schools.

Milton Friedman was an economist that rejected Keynesianism, the theory that government could control the economy better than free markets. Friedman’s view was based on the concept of free markets and “rational expectations.” Friedman theorized that free market competition is the most powerful tool in our nation to surpass any and all expectations we can expect from government.

Following the second Great War in the 1950s, Communists in Eastern Europe proved what a dangerous tool education was in the hands of government. A young economist, Milton Friedman did not want to see that in America and penned his thesis, defining “The Role of Government in Education.”

“A student’s education should not be determined by government but their parents.” – Milton Friedman

Friedman felt it was necessary for government to fund education, but it had no right to administer it. He believed monopolized government control of public education empowered the government to indoctrinate young minds into thinking the way politicians want students to think, not their parents. He blamed federal and union control of education for stagnant and declining student test scores.

Pointing to the economic success of market consumer choice and competition, Friedman blamed the lack of consumer choice on our inferior education system.

“It is unjustified for any government to have absolute monopolistic control over any commodity in the free markets.” – Milton Friedman

Milton Friedman said lack of competition in a nation built and dependent on free market principles produces inferior products. If we apply these economic principles to a non-responsive government-administered education program, competition for education dollars would vastly improve education.

According to Friedman, to improve education we must find better methods to administer it and to finance it. He insisted, instead of government making the decisions how and where children are educated, they should provide education vouchers to parents to use for schools of their choice.

Friedman believed giving parents education vouchers would empower them to “improve education” though free market competition, which in turn would force the government’s inferior public school system to improve. As more and more parents choose private and chartered schools over failing public schools, the public-school systems would be responsive to parental concerns and improve.

“Most arguments against the free market is a lack of belief in freedom itself.” – Milton Friedman

Six decades later, we have living proof that Friedman’s “The Role of Government in Education” is the logical foundation of the modern American school-choice movement. People isolated from the academic world are seldom exposed to innovative ideas and concepts. So Friedman’s article went largely unnoticed in the public. But once those seeds were planted, over time they have blossomed.

In 1989, Wisconsin put Friedman’s ideas into practice when it approved the first voucher program allowing students to use vouchers to pay tuition at private schools. Shortly after, 18 states passed similar voucher programs. Vouchers remain the most attractive private school choice programs.

“Do-it-yourself education beats factory production education anytime anyplace.”  – Milton Friedman

In 2003 during an education symposium, Friedman suggested there are many alternatives to public education. He cited education savings accounts would allow parents to use taxpayer funds to pay for tuition and other education expenses. In 2011, Arizona implemented the nation’s first education savings account option. Florida, Tennessee, Mississippi and North Carolina soon followed them.

A charter school is a tuition-free contract school, publicly funded, but independent from the public system. Friedman believed parents would support such a system. And this has come to fruition in over 40 states. According to the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools, many of the best-known charter school networks are run by nonprofit charter management organizations, or CMOs.

Private religious school choice was ruled constitutional when the Supreme Court ruled it was legal for Ohio’s Pilot Project Scholarship Program to provide vouchers for students to attend nonreligious and religious schools. The court held that the program neither advances nor inhibits religion at any school and that publicly funded school vouchers go to the parents rather than the private schools.

Milton Friedman and wife Rose founded the Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice in 1996 to promote freedom of choice in education. Today, it is simply called EdChoice. Although the name has changed, the mission lives on. There were only five education choice programs when it opened. Twenty years later, more than 400,000 students participate in 61 programs in 30 states.

Milton Friedman said, “Our mistake is to judge programs by their intentions not their results.” Our founders promised a quality education for every youth in the nation. But by the time this system was in place it was run by politicians not parents. A century later the system was in such disrepair Milton Friedman realized that the only way to repair it was to make it competitive in the free market.

The discussion of school choice stimulated by Friedman’s “The Role of Government in Education” has grown and has penetrated the broad public. Most parents and citizens now believe that more choice is needed and less government and union control. Giving parents the information about the deficiencies in public education and other education choices will result in better educated students.

The greatest flaw in public education is union run government schools. Proposed federal education reforms are the same as those that failed. They propose doing more of what we’ve already done: More money, smaller classes, increased teacher pay and benefits, more schools and expanded central control. “To the public union school system, school choice is a threat, not an improvement.”

“If we are really concerned that our children receive a quality education, we must empower parents and their children to have equal access to appropriate educational opportunities.” – Milton Friedman

Milton Friedman, School Choice Pioneer


As our new School Choice Timeline shows, calls for public funding to follow students to a variety of educational options date back centuries. However, Nobel Prize‐​winning economist Milton Friedman is often considered the father of the modern school choice movement.

In a 1955 essay, The Role of Government in Education, Friedman acknowledged some justifications for government mandates and funding when it comes to education. However, he said it’s difficult to justify government administration of education. He suggested governments could provide parents with vouchers worth a specified maximum sum per child per year to be spent on “approved” educational services.

Friedman would return to this idea repeatedly over the years in his writings and his popular Free to Choose television series. But he did more than just write and talk about his idea. In 1996, he and his wife Rose, who was also a noted economist, started the Milton and Rose D. Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice. Their original plan included the eventual removal of their name from the foundation, which happened in 2016; the organization is now known as EdChoice and is the go‐​to source for up‐​to‐​date information on school choice in America.

Milton Friedman had a remarkable life. He was born in Brooklyn in 1912 to parents who emigrated to the U.S. from eastern Europe. His father died during his senior year in high school, leaving his mother and older sisters to support the family. He managed to attend Rutgers University through a combination of scholarships and various jobs. After earning a degree in economics, he was awarded a scholarship to pursue a graduate degree at the University of Chicago, where he met his future wife, Rose. The Friedmans had two children, a son and a daughter.

Friedman’s list of accomplishments is astonishingly long. In addition to his 1976 Nobel Prize for Economic Science, he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the National Medal of Science in 1988. He was a Senior Research Fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution from 1977 to 2006, a distinguished economics professor at the University of Chicago from 1946 to 1976, and a researcher at the National Bureau of Economic Research from 1937 to 1981. He was a prolific writer of newspaper and magazine columns, essays, and books.

Milton Friedman’s focus on education choice made perfect sense in light of his other work. He had a consistent focus on preserving and expanding individual freedom. He saw parental control and the ability to choose the environment that worked best for individual children as essential to a quality education. His 1962 book Capitalism and Freedom included chapters on economic and political freedom, trade, fiscal policy, occupational licenses, and poverty, along with his earlier essay on the role of government in education.

In 1980, Milton and Rose released Free to Choose, a discussion of economics and freedom, as a book and a television series. One segment/​chapter asked, “What’s Wrong with Our Schools?” and then explained the importance of parents being able to choose what works for their individual children.

When the Friedman Foundation was launched, there were five education choice programs in the U.S. with fewer than 10,000 students participating. Today, according to EdChoice, there are 74 programs in 32 states, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico, with 670,000 students participating.

While there is a long and deep history of individuals and organizations calling for various forms of school choice, it is clear that Milton Friedman played an enormous role in its advance in the U.S. He helped lay the intellectual groundwork for the programs in place today, and his relatable writings and videos helped explain his ideas to parents, policymakers, and thought leaders. As we celebrate National School Choice Week—and Cato’s new School Choice Timeline—it’s a great time to commemorate Milton Friedman’s important contributions to the movement.

The School Choice Revolution

It’s time to celebrate another victory for school choice.

  • In 2021, West Virginia adopted statewide school choice.
  • In 2022, Arizona adopted statewide school choice.
  • In 2023, Iowa adopted statewide school choice.

Now Utah has joined the club, with Governor Spencer Cox approving a new law that will give families greater freedom to choose the best educational options for their children.

Here are some details from Marjorie Cortez, reporting for the Deseret News.

The Utah Senate gave final passage to legislation that will provide $8,000 scholarships to qualifying families for private schools and other private education options…The bill passed by a two-thirds margin in each legislative house, which means it cannot be challenged by referendum. …The bill creates the Utah Fits All Scholarship, which can then be used for education expenses like curriculum, textbooks, education, software, tutoring services, micro-school teacher salaries and private school tuition.

As you might expect, teacher unions and their allies are very disappointed – which is a very positive sign.

…the Utah Education Association…opposed HB215… The bill was also opposed by the Utah State Board of Education, Utah PTA, school superintendents, business administrators and school boards. The Alliance for a Better Utah was pointed in its reaction… “Conservative lawmakers just robbed our neighborhood schools of $42 million. Private school vouchers have been and continue to be opposed by Utahns but these lawmakers are instead pursuing a national agenda to ‘destroy public education.’

The Wall Street Journal opined on this great development.

School choice is gaining momentum across the country, and this week Utah joined Iowa in advancing the education reform cause. …Utah’s bill, which the Senate passed Thursday, 20-8, makes ESAs of $8,000 available to every student. There’s no income cap on families who can apply, though lower-income families receive preference and the program is capped at $42 million. The funds can be used for private school tuition, home-schooling expenses, tutoring, and more.

But the best part of the editorial is the look at other states that may be poised to expand educational freedom.

About a dozen other state legislatures have introduced bills to create new ESA programs, and several want to expand the ones they have. In Florida a Republican proposal would extend the state’s already robust scholarship programs to any student in the state. The bill would remove income limits that are currently in place for families who want to apply, though lower-income applicants would receive priority. …South Carolina legislators are mulling a new ESA program for lower-income students. In Indiana, a Senate bill would make state ESAs available to more students. An Ohio bill would remove an income cap and other eligibility rules for the state’s school vouchers. Two Oklahoma Senate bills propose new ESA programs… ESA bills are in some stage of moving in Nebraska, New Hampshire, Texas and Virginia.

Let’s hope there is more progress.

School choice is a win-win for both students and taxpayers.

P.S. Here’s a must-see chart showing how more and more money for the government school monopoly has produced zero benefit.

P.P.S. There are very successful school choice systems in CanadaSwedenChile, and the Netherlands.

P.P.P.S. Getting rid of the Department of Education would be a good idea, but the battle for school choice is largely going to be won and lost on the state and local level.

The Machine: The Truth Behind Teachers Unions

Published on Sep 4, 2012 by

America’s public education system is failing. We’re spending more money on education but not getting better results for our children.

That’s because the machine that runs the K-12 education system isn’t designed to produce better schools. It’s designed to produce more money for unions and more donations for politicians.

For decades, teachers’ unions have been among our nation’s largest political donors. As Reason Foundation’s Lisa Snell has noted, the National Education Association (NEA) alone spent $40 million on the 2010 election cycle (source: http://reason.org/news/printer/big-education-and-big-labor-electio). As the country’s largest teachers union, the NEA is only one cog in the infernal machine that robs parents of their tax dollars and students of their futures.

Students, teachers, parents, and hardworking Americans are all victims of this political machine–a system that takes money out of taxpayers’ wallets and gives it to union bosses, who put it in the pockets of politicians.

Our kids deserve better.

“The Machine” is 4:17 minutes.

Written and narrated by Evan Coyne Maloney. Produced by the Moving Picture Institute in partnership with Reason TV.

Visit http://www.MovingPictureInstitute.org to learn more.

No one did more to advance the cause of school vouchers than Milton and Rose Friedman. Friedman made it clear in his film series “Free to Choose” how sad he was that young people who live in the inner cities did not have good education opportunities available to them.

I have posted often about the voucher system and how it would solve our education problems. What we are doing now is not working. Milton Friedman’s idea of implementing school vouchers was hatched about 50 years ago.

Poor families are most affected by this lack of choice. As Friedman noted, “There is no respect in which inhabitants of a low-income neighborhood are so disadvantaged as in the kind of schooling they can get for their children.” It is a sad statement quantified by data on low levels of academic achievement and attainment. Take a look at this article below.

Lindsey Burke

September 25, 2012 at 5:46 pm

SAT scores among the nation’s test-takers are at a 40-year low.

As The Washington Post reports:

Reading scores on the SAT for the high school class of 2012 reached a four-decade low, putting a punctuation mark on a gradual decline in the ability of college-bound teens to read passages and answer questions about sentence structure, vocabulary and meaning on the college entrance exam.

The decline over the decades has been significant. The average reading (verbal) score is down 34 points since 1972. Sadly, the historically low SAT scores are only the latest marker of decline. Graduation rates have been stagnant since the 1970s, reading and math achievement has been virtually flat over the same time period, and American students still rank in the middle of the pack compared to their international peers.

On the heels of the news about the SAT score decline, President Obama filmed a segment with NBC’s Education Nation earlier today. The President notably praised the concept of charter schools and pay for performance for teachers.

But those grains of reform were dwarfed by his support of the status quo. During the course of the interview, President Obama suggested hiring 100,000 new math and science teachers and spending more money on preschool. He also stated that No Child Left Behind had good intentions but was “under-resourced.”

Efforts by the federal government to intervene in preschool, most notably through Head Start, have failed—despite a $160 billion in spending on the program since 1965. And No Child Left Behind is far from “under-resourced.” The $25 billion, 600-page law has been on the receiving end of significant new spending every decade since the original law was first passed nearly half a century ago.

President Obama was also pressed on the issue of education unions by host Savannah Guthrie:

Some people think, President Obama gets so much support from the teachers’ unions, he can’t possibly have an honest conversation about what they’re doing right or wrong. Can you really say that teachers’ unions aren’t slowing the pace of reform?

President Obama responded: “You know, I just really get frustrated when I hear teacher-bashing as evidence of reform.”

Criticizing education unions for standing in the way of reform should not be conflated with criticizing teachers, as the President does in the interview. The unions have blocked reforms such as performance pay and charter schools (which the President supports), have opposed alternative teacher certification that would help mid-career professionals enter the classroom, and have consistently fought the implementation of school choice options for children.

If we ever hope to move the needle on student achievement—or see SAT scores turn in the right direction again—we’ll need to implement many of those exact reforms, particularly school choice.

And as he has in the past, President Obama stated that his Administration wants to “use evidenced-based approaches and find out what works.” We know what works: giving families choices when it comes to finding schools that best meet their children’s needs. Instead of continuing to call for more spending and more Washington intervention in education, let’s try something new: choice and freedom.

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Celebrating School Choice? Thank Milton Friedman, too

Milton Friedman – Public Schools / Voucher System

Published on May 9, 2012 by

JANUARY 24, 2023 3:48PM
File:President Ronald Reagan and Nancy Reagan in The East Room Congratulating Milton Friedman Receiving The Presidential Medal of Freedom.jpg

Celebrating School Choice? Thank Milton Friedman, too

by Dr. Robert Luebke

Director of the Center for Effective Education, John Locke Foundation

January 25, 2021
  • In the 1950s, a young Milton Friedman argued that free market principles of consumer choice and competition were needed to remedy the nonresponsive and monopolistic system that controlled and delivered public education
  • Friedman’s work provided the intellectual foundations of the modern school-choice movement
  • If Friedman were alive today and came to North Carolina, he’d see school choice flourishing

In the decades after the American Revolution, parents were the drivers of how and where their children were educated. Parents could choose from private schools, tutors, and home schools as ways to educate children. In the mid-1840s, Massachusetts became the first state to lead a push for state-controlled and -funded public education. A century later, the rise of the Progressive Era saw government gain control over how schools were financed, administered, and regulated.

Along with these changes came a weakening in the ability of parents to control their child’s education. Of course, if parents didn’t like their child’s school or didn’t think it was a good fit, they could choose a private school — if they could afford it. If not, children were forced to attend the local public school, whether parents liked it or not.

In the mid-1950s, a young economist at the University of Chicago laid out a case for the role of government in education for its citizens in an article given the unassuming title of The Role of Government in Education. In it Milton Friedman acknowledged there is a case for government subsidizing public education, but not for government administering the schools. Friedman believed increased centralization and government control of public schools had led to less freedom and efficiency in education and a decline in quality. For government not only to finance education, but also largely to deliver education services was an arrangement Friedman considered unnatural as well as unjustified.

In his article Friedman argued that free market principles of consumer choice and competition were needed to remedy the nonresponsive and monopolistic system that controlled and delivered public education.

Friedman sought nothing less than to upend how American education was financed and administered. Instead of government deciding how and where children are educated, government would provide vouchers to parents for education or educational services at approved schools.

Friedman believed giving parents the power to “vote with their feet” would force monopolistic public-school systems to be responsive to parental concerns. He also was convinced that the use of vouchers would infuse competition among schools and encourage them to innovate and be more effective, qualities conspicuously absent from most public-school systems. Moreover, Friedman also thought it critical to separate the funding of education from the delivery of education services.

Six and a half decades later, it’s not difficult to see how “The Role of Government in Education” provided the intellectual foundations of the modern school-choice movement. People don’t always hear what they need to hear, so Friedman’s article went largely unnoticed outside the policy world. Those seeds took time to grow.

In 1989, Wisconsin become the first state to put Friedman’s ideas into practice when it approved a statewide voucher program that allowed low-income students to use vouchers to pay tuition at a private school. In 2013, North Carolina approved the Opportunity Scholarship Program, a similar program that today provides over 14,000 students with scholarships of up to $4,200 to help pay tuition at a local private school.

School choice today

If Milton Friedman were alive today and came to North Carolina, he’d see school choice flourishing. Today parents can choose from a variety of public and private school-choice programs. They include public options such as charter or magnet schools as well as private options such as the Opportunity Scholarship Program or the Special Education Scholarship Grants for Children with Disabilities.

Regarding charter schools, the table below shows that the number of students enrolled in charter schools has increased dramatically from over 38,000 in 2010 to over 117,000 today. Enrollment in private schools in the Tar Heel state saw modest growth over the last 10 years, while the number of home schoolers increased by 83 percent.

Over the past decade, while the average daily membership (ADM) enrollment in traditional public schools increased by just one half of one percent, the school-choice population in North Carolina expanded by 71 percent. Today over 370,000 students attend charter, private, and home schools and have access to a better education. Ten years ago, only 13 percent of students were enrolled in choice schools. Today nearly 80 percent of students still attend traditional public schools, but the number of students enrolled in choice schools has increased to almost 21 percent, up significantly from ten years ago.

K-12 Enrollment in North Carolina, by Type of School, 2010 and 2020

Schools 2010 Enrollment 2020 Enrollment Change, 2010–20
Traditional Public Schools (ADM) 1,402,269 1,409,391 0.5%
Charter Schools 38,449 117,264 204.9%
Home Schools 81,509 149,173 83.0%
Private Schools 96,421 103,959 7.8%
Total, Choice Schools 216,379 370,396 71.2%
Schools 2010 Enrollment 2020 Enrollment Percentage Point Change
Percentage of Students in Traditional Public Schools 86.7% 79.2% –7.5
Percentage of Students in
Choice Schools
13.3% 20.8% +7.5

Source: Highlights of the North Carolina Public School Budget, Statistical Profile of North Carolina Public Schools, and North Carolina Office of Non-Public Education (for specific years).

Friedman’s legacy

Friedman’s ideas have helped to fuel an education revolution in North Carolina and across the country. Choice empowers parents to make educational decisions, challenges monopolies, and calls out bureaucracies. Choice expands personal freedom but also highlights that accountability comes in different forms. In so doing, choice has helped to shift the public discussion of education from a focus on how much money is spent to how well money is spent.

Let’s be clear: Milton Friedman got it right. Choice benefits students, families, schools, and our communities. Today school choice continues to thrive because it empowers parents and students and enriches our communities. That’s not to say there haven’t been mistakes and growing pains. Nevertheless, having choices in education is far preferable. Choice recognizes what too many of our public schools ignore: children are different and learn differently.

If we are really concerned that our children receive a quality education, we must allow parents and children to access appropriate educational opportunities. As more and more families are empowered to make these choices, we should thank Milton Friedman for laying the intellectual groundwork for many of the school choice programs we enjoy today.

Milton Friedman, School Choice Pioneer


As our new School Choice Timeline shows, calls for public funding to follow students to a variety of educational options date back centuries. However, Nobel Prize‐​winning economist Milton Friedman is often considered the father of the modern school choice movement.

In a 1955 essay, The Role of Government in Education, Friedman acknowledged some justifications for government mandates and funding when it comes to education. However, he said it’s difficult to justify government administration of education. He suggested governments could provide parents with vouchers worth a specified maximum sum per child per year to be spent on “approved” educational services.

Friedman would return to this idea repeatedly over the years in his writings and his popular Free to Choose television series. But he did more than just write and talk about his idea. In 1996, he and his wife Rose, who was also a noted economist, started the Milton and Rose D. Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice. Their original plan included the eventual removal of their name from the foundation, which happened in 2016; the organization is now known as EdChoice and is the go‐​to source for up‐​to‐​date information on school choice in America.

Milton Friedman had a remarkable life. He was born in Brooklyn in 1912 to parents who emigrated to the U.S. from eastern Europe. His father died during his senior year in high school, leaving his mother and older sisters to support the family. He managed to attend Rutgers University through a combination of scholarships and various jobs. After earning a degree in economics, he was awarded a scholarship to pursue a graduate degree at the University of Chicago, where he met his future wife, Rose. The Friedmans had two children, a son and a daughter.

Friedman’s list of accomplishments is astonishingly long. In addition to his 1976 Nobel Prize for Economic Science, he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the National Medal of Science in 1988. He was a Senior Research Fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution from 1977 to 2006, a distinguished economics professor at the University of Chicago from 1946 to 1976, and a researcher at the National Bureau of Economic Research from 1937 to 1981. He was a prolific writer of newspaper and magazine columns, essays, and books.

Milton Friedman’s focus on education choice made perfect sense in light of his other work. He had a consistent focus on preserving and expanding individual freedom. He saw parental control and the ability to choose the environment that worked best for individual children as essential to a quality education. His 1962 book Capitalism and Freedom included chapters on economic and political freedom, trade, fiscal policy, occupational licenses, and poverty, along with his earlier essay on the role of government in education.

In 1980, Milton and Rose released Free to Choose, a discussion of economics and freedom, as a book and a television series. One segment/​chapter asked, “What’s Wrong with Our Schools?” and then explained the importance of parents being able to choose what works for their individual children.

When the Friedman Foundation was launched, there were five education choice programs in the U.S. with fewer than 10,000 students participating. Today, according to EdChoice, there are 74 programs in 32 states, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico, with 670,000 students participating.

While there is a long and deep history of individuals and organizations calling for various forms of school choice, it is clear that Milton Friedman played an enormous role in its advance in the U.S. He helped lay the intellectual groundwork for the programs in place today, and his relatable writings and videos helped explain his ideas to parents, policymakers, and thought leaders. As we celebrate National School Choice Week—and Cato’s new School Choice Timeline—it’s a great time to commemorate Milton Friedman’s important contributions to the movement.

The School Choice Revolution

It’s time to celebrate another victory for school choice.

  • In 2021, West Virginia adopted statewide school choice.
  • In 2022, Arizona adopted statewide school choice.
  • In 2023, Iowa adopted statewide school choice.

Now Utah has joined the club, with Governor Spencer Cox approving a new law that will give families greater freedom to choose the best educational options for their children.

Here are some details from Marjorie Cortez, reporting for the Deseret News.

The Utah Senate gave final passage to legislation that will provide $8,000 scholarships to qualifying families for private schools and other private education options…The bill passed by a two-thirds margin in each legislative house, which means it cannot be challenged by referendum. …The bill creates the Utah Fits All Scholarship, which can then be used for education expenses like curriculum, textbooks, education, software, tutoring services, micro-school teacher salaries and private school tuition.

As you might expect, teacher unions and their allies are very disappointed – which is a very positive sign.

…the Utah Education Association…opposed HB215… The bill was also opposed by the Utah State Board of Education, Utah PTA, school superintendents, business administrators and school boards. The Alliance for a Better Utah was pointed in its reaction… “Conservative lawmakers just robbed our neighborhood schools of $42 million. Private school vouchers have been and continue to be opposed by Utahns but these lawmakers are instead pursuing a national agenda to ‘destroy public education.’

The Wall Street Journal opined on this great development.

School choice is gaining momentum across the country, and this week Utah joined Iowa in advancing the education reform cause. …Utah’s bill, which the Senate passed Thursday, 20-8, makes ESAs of $8,000 available to every student. There’s no income cap on families who can apply, though lower-income families receive preference and the program is capped at $42 million. The funds can be used for private school tuition, home-schooling expenses, tutoring, and more.

But the best part of the editorial is the look at other states that may be poised to expand educational freedom.

About a dozen other state legislatures have introduced bills to create new ESA programs, and several want to expand the ones they have. In Florida a Republican proposal would extend the state’s already robust scholarship programs to any student in the state. The bill would remove income limits that are currently in place for families who want to apply, though lower-income applicants would receive priority. …South Carolina legislators are mulling a new ESA program for lower-income students. In Indiana, a Senate bill would make state ESAs available to more students. An Ohio bill would remove an income cap and other eligibility rules for the state’s school vouchers. Two Oklahoma Senate bills propose new ESA programs… ESA bills are in some stage of moving in Nebraska, New Hampshire, Texas and Virginia.

Let’s hope there is more progress.

School choice is a win-win for both students and taxpayers.

P.S. Here’s a must-see chart showing how more and more money for the government school monopoly has produced zero benefit.

P.P.S. There are very successful school choice systems in CanadaSwedenChile, and the Netherlands.

P.P.P.S. Getting rid of the Department of Education would be a good idea, but the battle for school choice is largely going to be won and lost on the state and local level.

The Machine: The Truth Behind Teachers Unions

Published on Sep 4, 2012 by

America’s public education system is failing. We’re spending more money on education but not getting better results for our children.

That’s because the machine that runs the K-12 education system isn’t designed to produce better schools. It’s designed to produce more money for unions and more donations for politicians.

For decades, teachers’ unions have been among our nation’s largest political donors. As Reason Foundation’s Lisa Snell has noted, the National Education Association (NEA) alone spent $40 million on the 2010 election cycle (source: http://reason.org/news/printer/big-education-and-big-labor-electio). As the country’s largest teachers union, the NEA is only one cog in the infernal machine that robs parents of their tax dollars and students of their futures.

Students, teachers, parents, and hardworking Americans are all victims of this political machine–a system that takes money out of taxpayers’ wallets and gives it to union bosses, who put it in the pockets of politicians.

Our kids deserve better.

“The Machine” is 4:17 minutes.

Written and narrated by Evan Coyne Maloney. Produced by the Moving Picture Institute in partnership with Reason TV.

Visit http://www.MovingPictureInstitute.org to learn more.

No one did more to advance the cause of school vouchers than Milton and Rose Friedman. Friedman made it clear in his film series “Free to Choose” how sad he was that young people who live in the inner cities did not have good education opportunities available to them.

I have posted often about the voucher system and how it would solve our education problems. What we are doing now is not working. Milton Friedman’s idea of implementing school vouchers was hatched about 50 years ago.

Poor families are most affected by this lack of choice. As Friedman noted, “There is no respect in which inhabitants of a low-income neighborhood are so disadvantaged as in the kind of schooling they can get for their children.” It is a sad statement quantified by data on low levels of academic achievement and attainment. Take a look at this article below.

Lindsey Burke

September 25, 2012 at 5:46 pm

SAT scores among the nation’s test-takers are at a 40-year low.

As The Washington Post reports:

Reading scores on the SAT for the high school class of 2012 reached a four-decade low, putting a punctuation mark on a gradual decline in the ability of college-bound teens to read passages and answer questions about sentence structure, vocabulary and meaning on the college entrance exam.

The decline over the decades has been significant. The average reading (verbal) score is down 34 points since 1972. Sadly, the historically low SAT scores are only the latest marker of decline. Graduation rates have been stagnant since the 1970s, reading and math achievement has been virtually flat over the same time period, and American students still rank in the middle of the pack compared to their international peers.

On the heels of the news about the SAT score decline, President Obama filmed a segment with NBC’s Education Nation earlier today. The President notably praised the concept of charter schools and pay for performance for teachers.

But those grains of reform were dwarfed by his support of the status quo. During the course of the interview, President Obama suggested hiring 100,000 new math and science teachers and spending more money on preschool. He also stated that No Child Left Behind had good intentions but was “under-resourced.”

Efforts by the federal government to intervene in preschool, most notably through Head Start, have failed—despite a $160 billion in spending on the program since 1965. And No Child Left Behind is far from “under-resourced.” The $25 billion, 600-page law has been on the receiving end of significant new spending every decade since the original law was first passed nearly half a century ago.

President Obama was also pressed on the issue of education unions by host Savannah Guthrie:

Some people think, President Obama gets so much support from the teachers’ unions, he can’t possibly have an honest conversation about what they’re doing right or wrong. Can you really say that teachers’ unions aren’t slowing the pace of reform?

President Obama responded: “You know, I just really get frustrated when I hear teacher-bashing as evidence of reform.”

Criticizing education unions for standing in the way of reform should not be conflated with criticizing teachers, as the President does in the interview. The unions have blocked reforms such as performance pay and charter schools (which the President supports), have opposed alternative teacher certification that would help mid-career professionals enter the classroom, and have consistently fought the implementation of school choice options for children.

If we ever hope to move the needle on student achievement—or see SAT scores turn in the right direction again—we’ll need to implement many of those exact reforms, particularly school choice.

And as he has in the past, President Obama stated that his Administration wants to “use evidenced-based approaches and find out what works.” We know what works: giving families choices when it comes to finding schools that best meet their children’s needs. Instead of continuing to call for more spending and more Washington intervention in education, let’s try something new: choice and freedom.

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Why Blue States Are Working Together to Raise Taxes on the Wealthy

——-

Why Blue States Are Working Together to Raise Taxes on the Wealthy

Blue States Taxes Wealthy

Nine blue states announced a coordinated effort to hike taxes on the wealthy. They are coordinating to try to keep taxpayers in their respective states by making it seem like crushing taxes are inevitable wherever they move. Pictured: California Gov. Gavin Newsom at a press conference May 10, 2021, in Oakland. (Photo: Aric Crabb, MediaNews Group, Mercury News/Getty Images)

Cartels are groups of organizations that collude with each other to drive up prices, crush competition, and ultimately extort huge amounts of money to redistribute to the cartel members. While the word is often associated with drugs, oil-producing countries, or anti-competitive business practices, politicians from nine blue states are attempting something new in the U.S.—a tax cartel.

State legislators from California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Minnesota, New York, Oregon, and Washington announced a coordinated set of bills to hike taxes on wealthy individuals, families, and businesses. The purpose of coordinating is to try to keep these taxpayers in their respective states by making it seem like crushing taxes are inevitable wherever they move.

But this desperate attempt to defy the laws of economics—whereby if you tax something, you get less of it—is doomed to fail.

Blue state politicians have an insatiable appetite for more tax revenues so that they can create big-government programs that serve as selling points in their election campaigns. But while politicians want to dole out programs and money to everyone and their brother, they want the average voter to believe that somebody else can pay for all these programs. So, they go after the big dogs—the millionaires and billionaires.

California Assembly Bill 259, for example, would impose a 1% tax on those with a net worth of $50 million or more and a 1.5% tax on residents with a net worth of $1 billion or more. Unlike income taxes—which in theory only apply to new income earned in the past year—wealth taxes like this would tax the same dollars year after year.

When combined with federal income taxes, net investment income taxes, state income taxes that are the highest in the nation, property taxes, and the like, some California taxpayers would face an effective income tax rate of more than 100%.

New York Senate Bill 1570 would apply an 8.2% billionaires’ tax to unrealized capital gains on the value of stocks, closely held businesses, and other investments—often based on subjective assessments of year-to-year increases in asset values.

The other seven states’ bills differ on the details but are aligned in trying to stick more of the tax burden on the rich.

Rolling out these taxes as a coordinated effort instead of in isolation is an attempt to avoid an exodus of wealthy individuals from high-tax states. The highly publicized moves of billionaires leaving for lower-tax states—like hedge fund CEO Ken Griffin moving his Citadel headquarters from Illinois to Florida, Elon Musk moving Tesla’s headquarters from California to Texas, and investor Carl Icahn moving from New York to Florida—are just a few examples of what blue state lawmakers want to avoid.

Becoming a cartel requires having control over enough of a market to take down the competition, at which point cartels can restrict output, control prices, and reap huge profits.

That’s what this group of blue state politicians erroneously seems to think it can achieve, as Illinois state Rep. Will Guzzardi, a Democrat, explained: “That’s part of why we are working as a multistate coalition. We want to send a message that there is nowhere to hide.”

But taxpayers can still legally “hide” their wealth in certain assets like out-of-state real estate and tangible property.

And if they don’t want to hide their assets by purchasing things that are harder for politicians to tax, there are still plenty of places for them to run, much to the chagrin of these blue-state lawmakers. Wealthy individuals can escape high-tax regimes by moving to low-tax states that will welcome them with open arms. Indeed, high-income tax states are already hemorrhaging their populations.

Twenty-two states and the District of Columbia have top personal and corporate income tax rates that average above 6%.

Census data shows that last year there was a net outflow of more than 1 million residents from these high-income tax states and Washington to the other 28 states. This dramatic trend of migration into low-tax states isn’t new, though it’s accelerated in recent years.

The fact that middle-income Americans are also fleeing from high-income tax states demonstrates that when state lawmakers try to soak the rich with high taxes, everybody ultimately gets drenched.

These new taxes aimed directly at the rich would put more of the wealthiest taxpayers in the front of the exodus. And when the people who pay the most in taxes leave, that means big tax hikes on everyone who’s left.

Wealth taxes, especially, are incredibly ineffective at raising revenues. A dozen countries in Europe had wealth taxes in 1990, and all but three abandoned them either because the administrative costs were prohibitive or because the taxes were driving wealth and jobs out of their countries.

Of the three countries that kept their wealth tax, Spain’s and Norway’s are largely ineffective, accounting for only 0.5% and 1.2% of the countries’ respective total tax revenues. And those wealth taxes apply to households that accumulate only a modest amount of wealth over their lifetimes. Norway’s tax begins at only $170,000 of net taxable wealth.

Switzerland’s wealth tax generates more revenue—about 4.9% of its tax revenues—but that’s because it applies to almost all housing, working effectively like a property tax so nearly everyone—certainly not just the rich—pays the tax directly or indirectly through higher rents and mortgage payments.

This all goes to show an uncomfortable reality for blue-state lawmakers: Massive government spending schemes funded by piling the tax burden onto a tiny number of wealthy taxpayers will ultimately collapse under their own weight.

The states that attract new residents take a very different approach of using broad-based sales taxes to pay for necessary—but more limited—government spending.

And because workers and employers prefer to keep more of what they earn and like having the economic freedom to decide for themselves how to spend their own money instead of having to jump through bureaucratic hoops to see what government programs can provide for them, Americans keep moving to these states in droves.

Have an opinion about this article? To sound off, please email letters@DailySignal.com, and we’ll consider publishing your edited remarks in our regular “We Hear You” feature. Remember to include the URL or headline of the article plus your name and town and/or state.

Fiscal Follies: Texas vs. California, Part VIII

I have a seven-part series (here, here, here, here, here, here and here) comparing Texas and California, mostly to demonstrate that the not-so-Golden State has hurt itself with excessive taxation and a bloated government.

Today, we’re going to augment our comparisons by looking at a very practical example of how California’s approach is much worse.

The National Association of State Budget Officers publishes an interesting document (at least if you’re a budget wonk) entitled State Expenditure Report.

And if you to to Table 2 of that report, you’ll find the most important measure of state fiscal policy, which shows how fast the burden of government spending increased over the past two years.

Lo and behold (but to no one’s surprise), California politicians increased the spending burden much faster than their Texas counterparts.

As you can see, both states were irresponsible the first year, thanks in large part to the all the pandemic-related handouts approved by Trump and Biden.

But California was twice as bad. Politicians in Sacramento used federal handouts to finance a grotesque spending binge (whereas the spending binge in Texas deserves a more mild adjective, such as massive).

Both states were better the second year, with California’s spending burden climbing by 2.2 percent in 2022 and Texas actually delivering a spending cut.

Remember, though, that the spending burden exploded between 2020 and 2021, so the 2022 numbers only look reasonable compared to the bloated trendline.

Now let’s consider whether California’s grotesque spending binge had negative consequences.

The answer is yes, according to a Wall Street Journaleditorial.

Gov. Gavin Newsom last year touted a $100 billion budget surplus as evidence of California’s progressive superiority. He was less triumphant…when announcing a $22.5 billion deficit in the coming year, a contrast to Texas’s record $32.7 billion surplus. …California’s problem, as usual, is that Democrats baked too much spending into their budget baseline. They expanded Medicaid to undocumented immigrants over the age of 50, enacted universal pre-school and school lunches, extended paid family leave by two weeks, and boosted climate spending by $10 billion. …Much of Texas’s surplus this year owes to surging sales-tax revenue from inflation and population growth—i.e., Californians moving to Texas and spending their tax savings. Mr. Newsom claimed Tuesday that California has a more “fair” tax system than the Lone Star State and that Texans pay more in taxes. This is disinformation. According to the Census Bureau, California’s per capita state tax collections ($6,325) were second highest in the country in 2021 after Vermont. Texas’s ($2,214) were second lowest after Alaska. …California’s budget problems will grow as more of its rich and middle class move to lower-tax states like Texas.

Per-capita state tax collections are the most striking numbers in the editorial.  The average Californian is paying $6,325 for state government, nearly three times as much as the $2,214 that is paid by the average Texan.

Does anyone think that Californians are getting nearly three times as much value as their counterparts in the Lone Star State?

Based on how people are voting with their feet, the answer is obvious. But if you prefer more technical measures of state government value, California loses that contest as well.


TRY BORROWING AT A BANK WITH A FINANCIAL CONDITION LIKE THE USA HAS:

The problem in Washington is not lack of revenue but our lack of spending restraint. This video below makes that point. WASHINGTON IS A SPENDING ADDICT!!!

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The Honorable John Barrasso of Wyoming
United States Senate
Washington, D.C. 20510

Dear Senator Barrasso,

On September 16, 2021 my post “46 REPUBLICAN SENATORS VOW NOT TO HELP DEMOCRATS RAISE THE DEBT CEILING (HERE WE GO AGAIN!!!!!)” and you were one of the 46 Senators who pledged not to raise the debt ceiling but you folded like a wet leaf just like I predicted:

I have written before about those heroes of mine that have resisted raising the debt ceiling but in the end I have always been disappointed and here we go again!

But first let me give you a taste of something I wrote about 10 years ago on this same issue!

Why don’t the Republicans  just vote no on the next increase to the debt ceiling limit. I have praised over and over and overthe 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.

What would happen if the debt ceiling was not increased? Yes President Obama would probably cancel White House tours and he would try to stop mail service or something else to get on our nerves but that is what the Republicans need to do.

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 President Obama and I must say that I have been impressed that he has had the White House staff answer so many of my letters. The White House answered concerning Social Security (two times), Green Technologies, welfare, small businesses, Obamacare (twice),  federal overspending, expanding unemployment benefits to 99 weeks,  gun control, national debt, abortion, jumpstarting the economy, and various other  issues.   However, his 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.   President Obama is 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.

A.F. Branco for Oct 21, 2021

46 Republican Senators Vow Not to Help Democrats Raise the Debt Ceiling

All but four Republican senators have signed a pledge that they will not vote to raise the debt ceiling, sending another warning to Democrats that they are on their own on the pressing issue.

Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) circulated a letter during the chamber’s vote-a-rama on the $3.5 trillion budget resolution Wednesday, signing up a majority of his fellow Republicans in an effort to link the Democrats’ proposed spending package with the statutory debt limit imposed on the federal government by Congress, which covers spending that has already been approved and must be paid by the U.S. Treasury.

In the letter, which is addressed to “Our Fellow Americans,” the Republican signatories claim that Democrats are responsible for increased federal spending and so must be responsible for raising the debt limit. “We will not vote to increase the debt ceiling, whether that increase comes through a stand-alone bill, a continuing resolution, or any other vehicle,” the letter says. “Democrats, at any time, have the power through reconciliation to unilaterally raise the debt ceiling, and they should not be allowed to pretend otherwise.”

The Republicans who didn’t sign the letter are Sens. Susan Collins of Maine, John Kennedy of Louisiana, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Richard Shelby of Alabama.

Why now: A two-year suspension of the debt ceiling expired at the end of July, forcing the U.S. Treasury to begin taking “extraordinary measures” to keep paying its bills as it waits for Congress to either raise or suspend the limit before the country is forced to default. Democrats opted not to include an increase in the debt ceiling in their budget resolution, which would have made it possible to raise the limit without Republican support, though they still have the option of revising the resolution to include such a provision.

What Democrats say: Democrats point out that much of the increased debt in recent years was produced during former President Trump’s administration. “I cannot believe that Republicans would let the country default,” Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) said Wednesday. “It has always been bipartisan to deal with the debt ceiling. When Trump was president I believe the Democrats joined with him to raise it three times.”

President Biden told reporters Wednesday that trillions in debt were added “on the Republicans’ watch” but said he was confident that the GOP would act in time. “They are not going to let us default,” he said.

The bottom line: No one expects Congress to allow the U.S. to default, but it looks like we could be in for a high-stakes game of chicken in the coming weeks — and the markets are starting to notice. According to Reuters Wednesday, “Some U.S. Treasury bill yields are beginning to reflect concerns that lawmakers may wait until the last minute to increase or suspend the debt ceiling.”

Will you stand up against the Democrats in the future and make the Government ONLY SPEND WHAT IT BRINGS IN? We are becoming an entitlement society and we must stop this trend!!!!

Everette Hatcher III, 13900 Cottontail Lane, Alexander, AR 72002, everettehatcher@gmail.com, http://www.thedailyhatch.org cell 501-920-5733

PS: In 2010 we had a group of conservatives get elected in the House and many of them stood up to President Obama when he wanted to raise the debt limit and I praised these 66 heroes of mine on my blog in 2011 and Representative Andy Harris of Maryland was one of those. Here is what I wrote about him:


Sixty Six who resisted “Sugar-coated Satan Sandwich” Debt Deal (Part 37)

This post today is a part of a series I am doing on the 66 Republican Tea Party favorites that resisted eating the “Sugar-coated Satan Sandwich” Debt Deal. Actually that name did not originate from a representative who agrees with the Tea Party, but from a liberal.

Rep. Emanuel Clever (D-Mo.) called the newly agreed-upon bipartisan compromise deal to raise the  debt limit “a sugar-coated satan sandwich.”

“This deal is a sugar-coated satan sandwich. If you lift the bun, you will not like what you see,” Clever tweeted on August 1, 2011.

August 1, 2011

Rep. Harris Votes Against the Debt Ceiling “Deal” 

Washington, DC – Today, Rep. Andy Harris voted against the debt ceiling increase. The plan did not require passage of a balanced budget amendment, which Rep. Harris feels is essential to bringing permanent common sense accountability to Washington.

“A balanced budget amendment is the only way to make sure the federal government spends what it takes in and lives within its means,” said Rep. Andy Harris.  “Over the past few weeks I have repeatedly voted for reasonable proposals to raise the debt ceiling that included passage of a balanced budget amendment. But I didn’t come to Washington to continue writing blank checks. Maryland’s families and job creators sent me to Congress to permanently change the way Washington does business.  I appreciate Speaker Boehner’s remarkable, historic efforts to craft a proposal to solve the debt ceiling issue.  But today’s debt ceiling deal just doesn’t go far enough to build an environment for job creation by requiring passage of a balanced budget amendment to bring permanent common sense accountability to Washington.”

Currently, the U.S. Government has a national debt of $14.3 trillion and runs an annual deficit of $1.65 trillion.

Andrew Peter Harris (born January 25, 1957) is an American politician and physician who has been the U.S. Representative for Maryland’s 1st congressional district since 2011. The district includes the entire Eastern Shore, as well as several eastern exurbs of Baltimore. He is currently the only Republicanmember of Maryland’s congressional delegation. Harris previously served in the Maryland Senate.

Andy Harris
Andy Harris 115th Congress (cropped).jpg
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Maryland‘s 1st district
Assumed office
January 3, 2011
Preceded by Frank Kratovil
Member of the Maryland Senate
In office
1999 – January 3, 2011
Preceded by Vernon Boozer (9th)
Norman Stone (7th)
Succeeded by Robert Kittleman (9th)
J.B. Jennings (7th)
Constituency 9th district (1999–2003)
7th district (2003–2011)

Related posts:

Sixty Six who resisted “Sugar-coated Satan Sandwich” Debt Deal (Part 49)

Sixty Six who resisted “Sugar-coated Satan Sandwich” Debt Deal (Part 49) This post today is a part of a series I am doing on the 66 Republican Tea Party favorites that resisted eating the “Sugar-coated Satan Sandwich” Debt Deal. Actually that name did not originate from a representative who agrees with the Tea Party, but […]

Sixty Six who resisted “Sugar-coated Satan Sandwich” Debt Deal (Part 48)

Sixty Six who resisted “Sugar-coated Satan Sandwich” Debt Deal (Part 48) This post today is a part of a series I am doing on the 66 Republican Tea Party favorites that resisted eating the “Sugar-coated Satan Sandwich” Debt Deal. Actually that name did not originate from a representative who agrees with the Tea Party, but […]

Sixty Six who resisted “Sugar-coated Satan Sandwich” Debt Deal (Part 47)

Sixty Six who resisted “Sugar-coated Satan Sandwich” Debt Deal (Part 47) This post today is a part of a series I am doing on the 66 Republican Tea Party favorites that resisted eating the “Sugar-coated Satan Sandwich” Debt Deal. Actually that name did not originate from a representative who agrees with the Tea Party, but […]

Sixty Six who resisted “Sugar-coated Satan Sandwich” Debt Deal (Part 46)

  Sixty Six who resisted “Sugar-coated Satan Sandwich” Debt Deal (Part 46) This post today is a part of a series I am doing on the 66 Republican Tea Party favorites that resisted eating the “Sugar-coated Satan Sandwich” Debt Deal. Actually that name did not originate from a representative who agrees with the Tea Party, […]

Sixty Six who resisted “Sugar-coated Satan Sandwich” Debt Deal (Part 45)

Sixty Six who resisted “Sugar-coated Satan Sandwich” Debt Deal (Part 45) This post today is a part of a series I am doing on the 66 Republican Tea Party favorites that resisted eating the “Sugar-coated Satan Sandwich” Debt Deal. Actually that name did not originate from a representative who agrees with the Tea Party, but […]

Sixty Six who resisted “Sugar-coated Satan Sandwich” Debt Deal (Part 44)

Sixty Six who resisted “Sugar-coated Satan Sandwich” Debt Deal (Part 44) This post today is a part of a series I am doing on the 66 Republican Tea Party favorites that resisted eating the “Sugar-coated Satan Sandwich” Debt Deal. Actually that name did not originate from a representative who agrees with the Tea Party, but […]

Sixty Six who resisted “Sugar-coated Satan Sandwich” Debt Deal (Part 43)

Sixty Six who resisted “Sugar-coated Satan Sandwich” Debt Deal (Part 43) This post today is a part of a series I am doing on the 66 Republican Tea Party favorites that resisted eating the “Sugar-coated Satan Sandwich” Debt Deal. Actually that name did not originate from a representative who agrees with the Tea Party, but […]

Sixty Six who resisted “Sugar-coated Satan Sandwich” Debt Deal (Part 42)

Sixty Six who resisted “Sugar-coated Satan Sandwich” Debt Deal (Part 42) This post today is a part of a series I am doing on the 66 Republican Tea Party favorites that resisted eating the “Sugar-coated Satan Sandwich” Debt Deal. Actually that name did not originate from a representative who agrees with the Tea Party, but […]

Sixty Six who resisted “Sugar-coated Satan Sandwich” Debt Deal (Part 41)

Sixty Six who resisted “Sugar-coated Satan Sandwich” Debt Deal (Part 41) This post today is a part of a series I am doing on the 66 Republican Tea Party favorites that resisted eating the “Sugar-coated Satan Sandwich” Debt Deal. Actually that name did not originate from a representative who agrees with the Tea Party, but […]

Sixty Six who resisted “Sugar-coated Satan Sandwich” Debt Deal (Part 40)

Sixty Six who resisted “Sugar-coated Satan Sandwich” Debt Deal (Part 40) This post today is a part of a series I am doing on the 66 Republican Tea Party favorites that resisted eating the “Sugar-coated Satan Sandwich” Debt Deal. Actually that name did not originate from a representative who agrees with the Tea Party, but […]

Sixty Six who resisted “Sugar-coated Satan Sandwich” Debt Deal (Part 39)

Sixty Six who resisted “Sugar-coated Satan Sandwich” Debt Deal (Part 39) This post today is a part of a series I am doing on the 66 Republican Tea Party favorites that resisted eating the “Sugar-coated Satan Sandwich” Debt Deal. Actually that name did not originate from a representative who agrees with the Tea Party, but […]

Sixty Six who resisted “Sugar-coated Satan Sandwich” Debt Deal (Part 38)

Sixty Six who resisted “Sugar-coated Satan Sandwich” Debt Deal (Part 38) This post today is a part of a series I am doing on the 66 Republican Tea Party favorites that resisted eating the “Sugar-coated Satan Sandwich” Debt Deal. Actually that name did not originate from a representative who agrees with the Tea Party, but […]

Sixty Six who resisted “Sugar-coated Satan Sandwich” Debt Deal (Part 37)

Sixty Six who resisted “Sugar-coated Satan Sandwich” Debt Deal (Part 37) This post today is a part of a series I am doing on the 66 Republican Tea Party favorites that resisted eating the “Sugar-coated Satan Sandwich” Debt Deal. Actually that name did not originate from a representative who agrees with the Tea Party, but […]

Sixty Six who resisted “Sugar-coated Satan Sandwich” Debt Deal (Part 36)

Sixty Six who resisted “Sugar-coated Satan Sandwich” Debt Deal (Part 36) This post today is a part of a series I am doing on the 66 Republican Tea Party favorites that resisted eating the “Sugar-coated Satan Sandwich” Debt Deal. Actually that name did not originate from a representative who agrees with the Tea Party, but […]

Sixty Six who resisted “Sugar-coated Satan Sandwich” Debt Deal (Part 35)

Sixty Six who resisted “Sugar-coated Satan Sandwich” Debt Deal (Part 35) This post today is a part of a series I am doing on the 66 Republican Tea Party favorites that resisted eating the “Sugar-coated Satan Sandwich” Debt Deal. Actually that name did not originate from a representative who agrees with the Tea Party, but […]

Sixty Six who resisted “Sugar-coated Satan Sandwich” Debt Deal (Part 34)

Sixty Six who resisted “Sugar-coated Satan Sandwich” Debt Deal (Part 34) This post today is a part of a series I am doing on the 66 Republican Tea Party favorites that resisted eating the “Sugar-coated Satan Sandwich” Debt Deal. Actually that name did not originate from a representative who agrees with the Tea Party, but […]

Sixty Six who resisted “Sugar-coated Satan Sandwich” Debt Deal (Part 33)

Sixty Six who resisted “Sugar-coated Satan Sandwich” Debt Deal (Part 33) This post today is a part of a series I am doing on the 66 Republican Tea Party favorites that resisted eating the “Sugar-coated Satan Sandwich” Debt Deal. Actually that name did not originate from a representative who agrees with the Tea Party, but […]

Sixty Six who resisted “Sugar-coated Satan Sandwich” Debt Deal (Part 32)

Sixty Six who resisted “Sugar-coated Satan Sandwich” Debt Deal (Part 32) This post today is a part of a series I am doing on the 66 Republican Tea Party favorites that resisted eating the “Sugar-coated Satan Sandwich” Debt Deal. Actually that name did not originate from a representative who agrees with the Tea Party, but […]

Sixty Six who resisted “Sugar-coated Satan Sandwich” Debt Deal (Part 31)

Congressmen Tim Huelskamp on the debt ceiling Sixty Six who resisted “Sugar-coated Satan Sandwich” Debt Deal (Part 31) This post today is a part of a series I am doing on the 66 Republican Tea Party favorites that resisted eating the “Sugar-coated Satan Sandwich” Debt Deal. Actually that name did not originate from a representative […]

Sixty Six who resisted “Sugar-coated Satan Sandwich” Debt Deal (Part 30)

Sixty Six who resisted “Sugar-coated Satan Sandwich” Debt Deal (Part 30) This post today is a part of a series I am doing on the 66 Republican Tea Party favorites that resisted eating the “Sugar-coated Satan Sandwich” Debt Deal. Actually that name did not originate from a representative who agrees with the Tea Party, but […]

The Sixty Six who resisted “Sugar-coated Satan Sandwich” Debt Deal (Part 29)

 Sixty Six who resisted “Sugar-coated Satan Sandwich” Debt Deal (Part 29) This post today is a part of a series I am doing on the 66 Republican Tea Party favorites that resisted eating the “Sugar-coated Satan Sandwich” Debt Deal. Actually that name did not originate from a representative who agrees with the Tea Party, but […]

The Sixty Six who resisted “Sugar-coated Satan Sandwich” Debt Deal (Part 28)

The Sixty Six who resisted “Sugar-coated Satan Sandwich” Debt Deal (Part 28) This post today is a part of a series I am doing on the 66 Republican Tea Party favorites that resisted eating the “Sugar-coated Satan Sandwich” Debt Deal. Actually that name did not originate from a representative who agrees with the Tea Party, […]

The Sixty Six who resisted “Sugar-coated Satan Sandwich” Debt Deal (Part 27)

The Sixty Six who resisted “Sugar-coated Satan Sandwich” Debt Deal (Part 27) This post today is a part of a series I am doing on the 66 Republican Tea Party favorites that resisted eating the “Sugar-coated Satan Sandwich” Debt Deal. Actually that name did not originate from a representative who agrees with the Tea Party, […]

The Sixty Six who resisted “Sugar-coated Satan Sandwich” Debt Deal (Part 26)

The Sixty Six who resisted “Sugar-coated Satan Sandwich” Debt Deal (Part 26) This post today is a part of a series I am doing on the 66 Republican Tea Party favorites that resisted eating the “Sugar-coated Satan Sandwich” Debt Deal. Actually that name did not originate from a representative who agrees with the Tea Party, […]

The Sixty Six who resisted “Sugar-coated Satan Sandwich” Debt Deal (Part 25)

Uploaded by RepJoeWalsh on Jun 14, 2011 Our country’s debt continues to grow — it’s eating away at the American Dream. We need to make real cuts now. We need Cut, Cap, and Balance. The Sixty Six who resisted “Sugar-coated Satan Sandwich” Debt Deal (Part 25) This post today is a part of a series […]

The Sixty Six who resisted “Sugar-coated Satan Sandwich” Debt Deal (Part 23)

The Sixty Six who resisted “Sugar-coated Satan Sandwich” Debt Deal (Part 23) This post today is a part of a series I am doing on the 66 Republican Tea Party favorites that resisted eating the “Sugar-coated Satan Sandwich” Debt Deal. Actually that name did not originate from a representative who agrees with the Tea Party, […]

The Sixty Six who resisted “Sugar-coated Satan Sandwich” Debt Deal (Part 22)

The Sixty Six who resisted “Sugar-coated Satan Sandwich” Debt Deal (Part 22) This post today is a part of a series I am doing on the 66 Republican Tea Party favorites that resisted eating the “Sugar-coated Satan Sandwich” Debt Deal. Actually that name did not originate from a representative who agrees with the Tea Party, […]

The Sixty Six who resisted “Sugar-coated Satan Sandwich” Debt Deal (Part 21)

The Sixty Six who resisted “Sugar-coated Satan Sandwich” Debt Deal (Part 21) This post today is a part of a series I am doing on the 66 Republican Tea Party favorites that resisted eating the “Sugar-coated Satan Sandwich” Debt Deal. Actually that name did not originate from a representative who agrees with the Tea Party, […]

The Sixty Six who resisted “Sugar-coated Satan Sandwich” Debt Deal (Part 20)

The Sixty Six who resisted “Sugar-coated Satan Sandwich” Debt Deal (Part 20) This post today is a part of a series I am doing on the 66 Republican Tea Party favorites that resisted eating the “Sugar-coated Satan Sandwich” Debt Deal. Actually that name did not originate from a representative who agrees with the Tea Party, […]

The Sixty Six who resisted “Sugar-coated Satan Sandwich” Debt Deal (Part 19)

The Sixty Six who resisted “Sugar-coated Satan Sandwich” Debt Deal (Part 19) This post today is a part of a series I am doing on the 66 Republican Tea Party favorites that resisted eating the “Sugar-coated Satan Sandwich” Debt Deal. Actually that name did not originate from a representative who agrees with the Tea Party, […]

The Sixty Six who resisted “Sugar-coated Satan Sandwich” Debt Deal (Part 18)

The Sixty Six who resisted “Sugar-coated Satan Sandwich” Debt Deal (Part 18) This post today is a part of a series I am doing on the 66 Republican Tea Party favorites that resisted eating the “Sugar-coated Satan Sandwich” Debt Deal. Actually that name did not originate from a representative who agrees with the Tea Party, […]

The Sixty Six who resisted “Sugar-coated Satan Sandwich” Debt Deal (Part 17)

The Sixty Six who resisted “Sugar-coated Satan Sandwich” Debt Deal (Part 17) This post today is a part of a series I am doing on the 66 Republican Tea Party favorites that resisted eating the “Sugar-coated Satan Sandwich” Debt Deal. Actually that name did not originate from a representative who agrees with the Tea Party, […]

The Sixty Six who resisted “Sugar-coated Satan Sandwich” Debt Deal (Part 16)

The Sixty Six who resisted “Sugar-coated Satan Sandwich” Debt Deal (Part 16) This post today is a part of a series I am doing on the 66 Republican Tea Party favorites that resisted eating the “Sugar-coated Satan Sandwich” Debt Deal. Actually that name did not originate from a representative who agrees with the Tea Party, […]

Congress Must Cut Spending to Match Hike in Debt Ceiling ‘Dollar for Dollar,’ Heritage Foundation President Says

Congress Must Cut Spending to Match Hike in Debt Ceiling ‘Dollar for Dollar,’ Heritage Foundation President Says

Fred Lucas  @FredLucasWH / February 01, 2023

“There has to be first and foremost a dollar-for-dollar correspondence to whatever dollar amount is added to the debt ceiling with spending cuts,” Heritage Foundation President Kevin Roberts says. Pictured: A screen shows the national debt clock in New York after the U.S. hit its debt limit and the Treasury Department started using extraordinary measures to avoid default Jan. 19. (Photo: Fatih Aktas/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

Ahead of President Joe Biden’s meeting about the nation’s debt ceiling Wednesday with House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., it’s clear some negotiation will be required, Heritage Foundation President Kevin Roberts told reporters. 

McCarthy’s fellow House Republicans’ metaphor is that they will be “using the debt ceiling fight today, this week, this spring, as an opportunity to put a wrench in the president’s plan to expand the government,” Roberts said Wednesday morning.

“What we’re looking for is an absolute rejection of a real misnomer, which is there is something called a ‘clean’ debt limit increase,” said Roberts, who leads the conservative think tank that is the parent organization of The Daily Signal. “There has to be first and foremost a dollar-for-dollar correspondence to whatever dollar amount is added to the debt ceiling with spending cuts.”

A poll last week found 61% of Americans favor offsetting an increase in the amount of debt with spending cuts. 

The debt ceiling is the federal limit of how much the federal government is allowed to borrow. The U.S. national debt is $31.5 trillion. The government reached the debt limit of $31.4 trillion on Jan. 19. 

White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierrehas said raising the debt ceiling is “something that should be done without conditions,” and added that the White House is “not going to be negotiating over the debt ceiling.” 

Long term, Roberts said, lawmakers must look at more responsible defense spending and reforms to how much debt the Federal Reserve may incur. Heritage’s president expressed support for both McCarthy and the House’s GOP committee chairmen, while voicing disappointment in Senate Republicans. 

Roberts said that the nation’s safety-net programs should be strengthened and reformed. This assertion comes as McCarthy and other Republicans have fended off unfounded allegations from Biden and fellow Democrats that the House’s new Republican majority wants to cut Social Security and Medicare. Roberts said reforms to safety-net programs will deliver stronger “21st century programs.”

No lawmaker supports a default on debt service payments, Roberts said, and he projected the chance of one at only 1% or 2%. 

“We understand there are philosophical and partisan differences between the president and the speaker, but it’s good they are meeting and it reveals that even though the president has been fairly steadfast rhetorically in saying he wouldn’t negotiate, that there might be some negotiating going on,” he said. 

McCarthy is doing the right thing at the moment, Roberts said, but expressed disappointment with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.

“We are deeply disappointed. All of Heritage, our 700,000 supporters, are deeply disappointed in the lack of support that Leader McConnell is offering Speaker McCarthy,” Roberts said. “I can just tell you, as someone who spends as much time outside D.C. as I can, that moderate conservatives to strident conservatives—who are really driving the movement right now—they believe that is a betrayal.”

Roberts acknowledged that some may be surprised that a conservative think tank would call for more responsible spending, but stressed that’s consistent with conservatives’ strong-on-defense principles: 

We care so deeply about America’s peace through strength that when we look at the fiscal situation in 2023 in contrast with the fiscal situation in 1983, I don’t see how those who are dyed-in-the-wool Reaganites can have faith in the U.S. Defense Department’s fighting a one-front war, let alone a two-front war, if there continues to be an absence of accountability on so much of the spending. 

It’s important to stop spending military dollars on wrongheaded diversity, equity, and inclusion programs, but that won’t be enough, Heritage’s president said. 

“We’ve got to have a hard conversation about which missiles and munitions programs … need to be in place for what I hope never happens, which seems to be an increasing likelihood with each passing month, which is some sort of confrontation with China,” Roberts said. 

Answering a reporter’s question on the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, he noted that Germany isn’t meeting its NATO obligations even as it criticizes the United States. 

“That needs to be tied to Congress—not the president of the United States—telling NATO allies it’s time to pony up, [and] chief among them … would be our friends in Germany,” Roberts said. He added: “Heritage is going to drive really hard until we see Germans in particular forced by our Congress to pull their weight and shut their damned mouths.” 

Another priority is limiting the amount of debt the Federal Reserve may accumulate, Roberts said.

“We are trying to impose handcuffs on the Federal Reserve with the amount of debt they can incur,” Roberts said. “We have to have a statutory cap on assets. Congress has to return to running the show when it comes to fiscal responsibility.” 

Have an opinion about this article? To sound off, please email letters@DailySignal.com, and we’ll consider publishing your edited remarks in our regular “We Hear You” feature. Remember to include the URL or headline of the article plus your name and town and/or state. 


March 20, 2021

Office of Senator Sheldon Whitehouse
United States Senate
Washington, D.C. 20510

Dear Senator Whitehouse,

I noticed you that signed a 2017 letter strongly supporting the filibuster.
Why are you thinking about abandoning that view now?

Does your change of view have anything to do with Biden now being in office?


Democrats distance themselves from previous pro-filibuster stance, citing GOP obstruction

More than half of current Senate Democrats and VP Harris signed 2017 letter supporting filibuster when GOP was in control

Tyler Olson

By Tyler Olson | Fox News

As progressives push hard for Democrats to eliminate the legislative filibuster after gaining control of the Senate, House and the presidency, many Democratic senators are distancing themselves from a letter they signed in 2017 backing the procedure.

Sens. Susan Collins, R-Maine, and Chris Coons, D-Del., led a letter in 2017 that asked Republican Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., to preserve the legislative filibuster. As it’s existed for decades, the filibuster requires 60 votes in order to end debate on a bill and proceed to a final vote.

“We are writing to urge you to support our efforts to preserve existing rules, practices, and traditions” on the filibuster, the letter said.

Besides Collins and Coons, 59 other senators joined on the letter. Of that group, 27 Democratic signatories still hold federal elected office. Twenty-six still hold their Senate seats, and Vice President Harris assumed her new job on Jan. 20, vacating her former California Senate seat.

Sen. Chris Coons, D-Del., speaks as the Senate Judiciary Committee hears from legal experts on the final day of the confirmation hearing for Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Oct. 15, 2020. Coons has softened his support for the legislative filibuster in recent years after leading an effort to protect it in 2017. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Sen. Chris Coons, D-Del., speaks as the Senate Judiciary Committee hears from legal experts on the final day of the confirmation hearing for Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Oct. 15, 2020. Coons has softened his support for the legislative filibuster in recent years after leading an effort to protect it in 2017. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

But now, the momentum among Senate Democrats is for either full abolition of the filibuster or significantly weakening it. President Biden endorsed the latter idea Tuesday, announcing his support for a “talking filibuster.”

KAMALA HARRIS SUPPORTS CHANGE TO FILIBUSTER IN SENATE TO LIMIT MINORITY PARTY POWER

“I don’t think that you have to eliminate the filibuster, you have to do it what it used to be when I first got to the Senate back in the old days,” Biden told ABC. “You had to stand up and command the floor, you had to keep talking.”

The legislative filibuster has been a 60-vote threshold for what is called a “cloture vote” — or a vote to end debate on a bill — meaning that any 41 senators could prevent a bill from getting to a final vote. If there are not 60 votes, the bill cannot proceed.

The “talking filibuster” — as it was most recently seriously articulated by Sen. Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., in 2012 — would allow 41 senators to prevent a final vote by talking incessantly, around-the-clock, on the Senate floor. But once those senators stop talking, the threshold for a cloture vote is lowered to 51.

Harris’ office confirmed to Fox News Wednesday that she is now aligned with Biden on the filibuster issue. She’d previously taken an even more hostile position to the filibuster, saying she would fully “get rid” of it “to pass a Green New Deal” at a CNN town hall in 2019.

The legislative filibuster has been a 60-vote threshold for what is called a “cloture vote” — or a vote to end debate on a bill — meaning that any 41 senators could prevent a bill from getting to a final vote. If there are not 60 votes, the bill cannot proceed.

The “talking filibuster” — as it was most recently seriously articulated by Sen. Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., in 2012 — would allow 41 senators to prevent a final vote by talking incessantly, around-the-clock, on the Senate floor. But once those senators stop talking, the threshold for a cloture vote is lowered to 51.

Harris’ office confirmed to Fox News Wednesday that she is now aligned with Biden on the filibuster issue. She’d previously taken an even more hostile position to the filibuster, saying she would fully “get rid” of it “to pass a Green New Deal” at a CNN town hall in 2019.

Coons, who led the 2017 letter along with Collins, has also distanced himself from his previous stance.

Vice President Kamala Harris attends a ceremonial swearing-in for Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., as President Pro Tempore of the Senate on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Feb. 4, 2021. Harris has changed her stance on the legislative filibuster since signing a letter in 2017 backing it. (Michael Reynolds/Pool via AP)

Vice President Kamala Harris attends a ceremonial swearing-in for Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., as President Pro Tempore of the Senate on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Feb. 4, 2021. Harris has changed her stance on the legislative filibuster since signing a letter in 2017 backing it. (Michael Reynolds/Pool via AP) (AP)

BIDEN SUPPORTS CHANGING SENATE FILIBUSTER 

“I’m going to try my hardest, first, to work across the aisle,” he said in September when asked about ending the filibuster. “Then, if, tragically, Republicans don’t change the tune or their behavior at all, I would.”

Fox News reached out to all of the other 26 Democratic signatories of the 2017 letter, and they all either distanced themselves from that position or did not respond to Fox News’ inquiry.

“Less than four years ago, when Donald Trump was President and Mitch McConnell was the Majority Leader, 61 Senators, including more than 25 Democrats, signed their names in opposition to any efforts that would curtail the filibuster,” a GOP aide told Fox News. “Other than the occupant of the White House, and the balance of power in the Senate, what’s changed?”

“I’m interested in getting results for the American people, and I hope we will find common ground to advance key priorities,” Sen. Tim Kaine. D-Va., said in a statement. “If Republicans try to use arcane rules to block us from getting results for the American people, then we’ll have a conversation at that time.”

Added Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va: “I am still hopeful that the Senate can work together in a bipartisan way to address the enormous challenges facing the country. But when it comes to fundamental issues like protecting Americans from draconian efforts attacking their constitutional right to vote, it would be a mistake to take any option off the table.”

“Senator Stabenow understands the urgency of passing important legislation, including voting rights, and thinks it warrants a discussion about the filibuster if Republicans refuse to work across the aisle,” Robyn Bryan, a spokesperson for Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., said.

FILE - In this Oct. 26, 2018, file photo, Sen.Bob Casey, D-Pa., speaks to reporters in the studio of KDKA-TV in Pittsburgh. Casey has reversed his stance on the legislative filibuster since signing a 2017 letter in support of it. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar, File)

FILE – In this Oct. 26, 2018, file photo, Sen.Bob Casey, D-Pa., speaks to reporters in the studio of KDKA-TV in Pittsburgh. Casey has reversed his stance on the legislative filibuster since signing a 2017 letter in support of it. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar, File)

Representatives for Sen. Bob Casey, D-Pa., pointed to recent comments he made on MSNBC.

“Yes, absolutely,” Casey said when asked if he would support a “talking filibuster” or something similar. “Major changes to the filibuster for someone like me would not have been on the agenda even a few years ago. But the Senate does not work like it used to.”

MCCONNELL SAYS SENATE WILL BE ‘100-CAR PILEUP’ IF DEMS NUKE FILIBUSTER

“I hope any Democratic senator who’s not currently in support of changing the rules or altering them substantially, I hope they would change their minds,” Casey added.

Representatives for Sen. Angus King, I-Vt., who caucuses with Democrats, meanwhile, references a Bangor Daily News editorial that said King was completely against the filibuster in 2012 but now believes it’s helpful in stopping bad legislation. It said, however, that King is open to “modifications” similar to a talking filibuster.

The senators who did not respond to questions on their 2017 support of the filibuster were Sens. Joe Manchin. D-W.Va.; Patrick Leahy, D-Vt.; Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn.; Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H.; Michael Bennet, D-Colo.; Martin Heinrich, D-N.M.; Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio; Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif.; Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y.; Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii; Cory Booker, D-N.J.; Maria Cantwell, D-Wash.; Maize Hirono, D-Hawaii; John Tester, D-Mont.; Tom Carper, D-Del.; Maggie Hassan, D-N.H.; Tammy Duckworth, D-Ill.; Jack Reed, D-R-I.; Ed Markey, D-Mass.; Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I.; and Bob Menendez, D-N.J.

Some of these senators, however, have addressed the filibuster in other recent comments.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., on Wednesday was asked if she supported changing the filibuster threshold by CNN and said she is still opposed to the idea. “Not at this time,” Feinstein said.

Sen. Mazie Hirono, D-Hawaii, speaks to reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Jan. 30, 2020, during the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump on charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. Hirono has changed her opinion on the legislative filibuster since signing a 2017 letter supporting it. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

Sen. Mazie Hirono, D-Hawaii, speaks to reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Jan. 30, 2020, during the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump on charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. Hirono has changed her opinion on the legislative filibuster since signing a 2017 letter supporting it. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

Sen. Maize Hirono, D-Hawaii, meanwhile said last week she is already for getting rid of the current 60-vote threshold and thinks other Democrats will sign on soon.

“If Mitch McConnell continues to be totally an obstructionist, and he wants to use the 60 votes to stymie everything that President Biden wants to do and that we Democrats want to do that will actually help people,” Hirono said, “then I think the recognition will be among the Democrats that we’re gonna need to.”

The most recent talk about either removing or significantly weakening the filibuster was spurred by comments from Manchin that appeared to indicate he would be open to a talking filibuster. He said filibustering a bill should be more “painful” for a minority.

Manchin appeared to walk back any talk of a talking filibuster on Wednesday, however.

“You know where my position is,” he said. “There’s no little bit of this and a little bit — there’s no little bit here. You either protect the Senate, you protect the institution and you protect democracy or you don’t.”

Manchin and Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., both committed to supporting the current form of the filibuster earlier this year. Sinema was not in the Senate in 2017.

Senate Minority Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said their comments gave him the reassurance he needed to drop a demand that Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., put filibuster protections into the Senate’s organizing resolution.

But with Manchin seeming to flake at least in the eyes of some, other Democrats are beginning to push harder for filibuster changes.

I read this about you and your Democratic friends several years ago in the Senate:

Senate rejects ‘Cut, Cap, Balance’

By SCOTT WONG

07/22/2011 10:58 AM EDT

Updated 07/22/2011 04:25 PM EDT

The Democratic-controlled Senate voted Friday to block a Republican measure that would force Congress to pass a stringent balanced budget amendment and cap spending before increasing the debt ceiling. 

The legislation, a conservative priority, never had a chance of passing, but the strictly party-line 51-46 vote to table the “Cut, Cap and Balance” bill highlighted the partisan divide in Washington over how to tackle spending and raise the nation’s $14.3 trillion debt limit.

REPUBLICANS WANT TO SLOW SPENDING NOW AND I ADMIT THAT WASN’T ALWAYS THE CASE!!!

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 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.

Sincerely, 

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

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Open letter to President Obama (Part 200.2)Tea Party Republican Representative takes on the President concerning fiscal cliff

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Arizona’s New School Choice Bill Moves Us Closer to Milton Friedman’s Vision

Milton Friedman – Public Schools / Voucher System

Published on May 9, 2012 by

JANUARY 24, 2023 3:48PM
File:President Ronald Reagan and Nancy Reagan in The East Room Congratulating Milton Friedman Receiving The Presidential Medal of Freedom.jpg

Arizona’s New School Choice Bill Moves Us Closer to Milton Friedman’s Vision

The education disruption over the past two years has re-energized parents and taxpayers alike.

“Our goal is to have a system in which every family in the U.S. will be able to choose for itself the school to which its children go,” the Nobel Prize-winning economist Milton Friedman stated in 2003. “We are far from that ultimate result. If we had that, a system of free choice, we would also have a system of competition, innovation, which would change the character of education.”

Last week, Arizona lawmakers moved us much closer to that ultimate result. Legislators in that state, which already had some of the most robust school choice policies in the US, passed the country’s first universal education savings account bill, extending education choice to all K-12 students.

The education savings accounts, or Empowerment Scholarship Accounts as they are known in Arizona, had previously been available to certain Arizona students who met specific criteria, including special needs students and children in active-duty military families. This new bill, which the Governor Doug Ducey is expected to sign, extends education choice to all school-age children throughout Arizona.

Every family will now have access to 90 percent of the state-allocated per pupil education dollars, or about $7,000 per student, to use toward approved education-related resources, including private school tuition, tutors, curriculum materials, online learning programs, and more.

“Arizona is now the gold standard for school choice,” Corey DeAngelis, senior fellow at the American Federation for Children, told me this week. “Every other state should follow Arizona’s lead and fund students instead of systems. Education funding is meant for educating children, not for protecting a particular institution. School choice is the only way to truly secure parental rights in education.”

Several states have introduced or expanded school choice policies over the past couple of years, enabling taxpayer funding of education to go directly to students rather than bureaucratic school systems. In this week’s LiberatED podcast episode, I spoke with one education entrepreneur, Michelle McCartney, whose homeschool resource center is an approved vendor for New Hampshire’s Education Freedom Accounts, an education savings account program for income-eligible students that was implemented last year.

While McCartney sees a fully private, free market in education as the ideal circumstance, she recognizes that education choice policies are an important first step toward expanding education options for more families, and reducing government involvement in the education sector.

“If it was up to me we wouldn’t pay any money to the government and school would be entirely privatized,” said McCartney. “That’s how I believe it should be, but it’s not. So I think we can all sit here and have discussions about what would be the ideal circumstance, but I think sometimes we’ve got to roll with what we have, and if we can get any of that money back to the families I think that’s an important first step.”

Indeed, Milton Friedman also saw school choice policies such as vouchers as a first step in education reform, not a final one. Friedman popularized the idea of school choice policies, specifically universal school vouchers, in his 1955 paper, “The Role of Government in Education,” and elaborated on his views over the following decades up until his death in 2006 at the age of 94.

Friedman and his economist wife Rose wrote in their influential book, Free To Choose: “We regard the voucher plan as a partial solution because it affects neither the financing of schooling nor the compulsory attendance laws. We favor going much farther.”

While Arizona’s new legislation now makes it the forerunner in education choice policies across the country, West Virginia is close behind and begins to address compulsory attendance. Lawmakers there recently passed legislation that loosens state compulsory school attendance laws for participants in learning pods and microschools, two emerging, decentralized K-12 learning models that are gaining popularity across the country. West Virginia also passed an education savings account program last year, known as the Hope Scholarship, that extends education choice to nearly all K-12 students.

The education disruption over the past two years has re-energized parents and taxpayers alike. They are demanding more options beyond an assigned district school, embracing innovative learning models, and loosening the government grip on education. As Friedman envisioned, a choice-based system of education weakens the government monopoly on schooling and sparks innovation and competition to ultimately “change the character of education.”

We are seeing that change occur right before our eyes.

Listen to the weekly LiberatED Podcast on Apple, Spotify, Google, and Stitcher, and sign up for Kerry’s weekly LiberatED email newsletter to stay up-to-date on educational news and trends from a free-market perspective.

Milton Friedman, School Choice Pioneer


As our new School Choice Timeline shows, calls for public funding to follow students to a variety of educational options date back centuries. However, Nobel Prize‐​winning economist Milton Friedman is often considered the father of the modern school choice movement.

In a 1955 essay, The Role of Government in Education, Friedman acknowledged some justifications for government mandates and funding when it comes to education. However, he said it’s difficult to justify government administration of education. He suggested governments could provide parents with vouchers worth a specified maximum sum per child per year to be spent on “approved” educational services.

Friedman would return to this idea repeatedly over the years in his writings and his popular Free to Choose television series. But he did more than just write and talk about his idea. In 1996, he and his wife Rose, who was also a noted economist, started the Milton and Rose D. Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice. Their original plan included the eventual removal of their name from the foundation, which happened in 2016; the organization is now known as EdChoice and is the go‐​to source for up‐​to‐​date information on school choice in America.

Milton Friedman had a remarkable life. He was born in Brooklyn in 1912 to parents who emigrated to the U.S. from eastern Europe. His father died during his senior year in high school, leaving his mother and older sisters to support the family. He managed to attend Rutgers University through a combination of scholarships and various jobs. After earning a degree in economics, he was awarded a scholarship to pursue a graduate degree at the University of Chicago, where he met his future wife, Rose. The Friedmans had two children, a son and a daughter.

Friedman’s list of accomplishments is astonishingly long. In addition to his 1976 Nobel Prize for Economic Science, he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the National Medal of Science in 1988. He was a Senior Research Fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution from 1977 to 2006, a distinguished economics professor at the University of Chicago from 1946 to 1976, and a researcher at the National Bureau of Economic Research from 1937 to 1981. He was a prolific writer of newspaper and magazine columns, essays, and books.

Milton Friedman’s focus on education choice made perfect sense in light of his other work. He had a consistent focus on preserving and expanding individual freedom. He saw parental control and the ability to choose the environment that worked best for individual children as essential to a quality education. His 1962 book Capitalism and Freedom included chapters on economic and political freedom, trade, fiscal policy, occupational licenses, and poverty, along with his earlier essay on the role of government in education.

In 1980, Milton and Rose released Free to Choose, a discussion of economics and freedom, as a book and a television series. One segment/​chapter asked, “What’s Wrong with Our Schools?” and then explained the importance of parents being able to choose what works for their individual children.

When the Friedman Foundation was launched, there were five education choice programs in the U.S. with fewer than 10,000 students participating. Today, according to EdChoice, there are 74 programs in 32 states, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico, with 670,000 students participating.

While there is a long and deep history of individuals and organizations calling for various forms of school choice, it is clear that Milton Friedman played an enormous role in its advance in the U.S. He helped lay the intellectual groundwork for the programs in place today, and his relatable writings and videos helped explain his ideas to parents, policymakers, and thought leaders. As we celebrate National School Choice Week—and Cato’s new School Choice Timeline—it’s a great time to commemorate Milton Friedman’s important contributions to the movement.

The School Choice Revolution

It’s time to celebrate another victory for school choice.

  • In 2021, West Virginia adopted statewide school choice.
  • In 2022, Arizona adopted statewide school choice.
  • In 2023, Iowa adopted statewide school choice.

Now Utah has joined the club, with Governor Spencer Cox approving a new law that will give families greater freedom to choose the best educational options for their children.

Here are some details from Marjorie Cortez, reporting for the Deseret News.

The Utah Senate gave final passage to legislation that will provide $8,000 scholarships to qualifying families for private schools and other private education options…The bill passed by a two-thirds margin in each legislative house, which means it cannot be challenged by referendum. …The bill creates the Utah Fits All Scholarship, which can then be used for education expenses like curriculum, textbooks, education, software, tutoring services, micro-school teacher salaries and private school tuition.

As you might expect, teacher unions and their allies are very disappointed – which is a very positive sign.

…the Utah Education Association…opposed HB215… The bill was also opposed by the Utah State Board of Education, Utah PTA, school superintendents, business administrators and school boards. The Alliance for a Better Utah was pointed in its reaction… “Conservative lawmakers just robbed our neighborhood schools of $42 million. Private school vouchers have been and continue to be opposed by Utahns but these lawmakers are instead pursuing a national agenda to ‘destroy public education.’

The Wall Street Journal opined on this great development.

School choice is gaining momentum across the country, and this week Utah joined Iowa in advancing the education reform cause. …Utah’s bill, which the Senate passed Thursday, 20-8, makes ESAs of $8,000 available to every student. There’s no income cap on families who can apply, though lower-income families receive preference and the program is capped at $42 million. The funds can be used for private school tuition, home-schooling expenses, tutoring, and more.

But the best part of the editorial is the look at other states that may be poised to expand educational freedom.

About a dozen other state legislatures have introduced bills to create new ESA programs, and several want to expand the ones they have. In Florida a Republican proposal would extend the state’s already robust scholarship programs to any student in the state. The bill would remove income limits that are currently in place for families who want to apply, though lower-income applicants would receive priority. …South Carolina legislators are mulling a new ESA program for lower-income students. In Indiana, a Senate bill would make state ESAs available to more students. An Ohio bill would remove an income cap and other eligibility rules for the state’s school vouchers. Two Oklahoma Senate bills propose new ESA programs… ESA bills are in some stage of moving in Nebraska, New Hampshire, Texas and Virginia.

Let’s hope there is more progress.

School choice is a win-win for both students and taxpayers.

P.S. Here’s a must-see chart showing how more and more money for the government school monopoly has produced zero benefit.

P.P.S. There are very successful school choice systems in CanadaSwedenChile, and the Netherlands.

P.P.P.S. Getting rid of the Department of Education would be a good idea, but the battle for school choice is largely going to be won and lost on the state and local level.

The Machine: The Truth Behind Teachers Unions

Published on Sep 4, 2012 by

America’s public education system is failing. We’re spending more money on education but not getting better results for our children.

That’s because the machine that runs the K-12 education system isn’t designed to produce better schools. It’s designed to produce more money for unions and more donations for politicians.

For decades, teachers’ unions have been among our nation’s largest political donors. As Reason Foundation’s Lisa Snell has noted, the National Education Association (NEA) alone spent $40 million on the 2010 election cycle (source: http://reason.org/news/printer/big-education-and-big-labor-electio). As the country’s largest teachers union, the NEA is only one cog in the infernal machine that robs parents of their tax dollars and students of their futures.

Students, teachers, parents, and hardworking Americans are all victims of this political machine–a system that takes money out of taxpayers’ wallets and gives it to union bosses, who put it in the pockets of politicians.

Our kids deserve better.

“The Machine” is 4:17 minutes.

Written and narrated by Evan Coyne Maloney. Produced by the Moving Picture Institute in partnership with Reason TV.

Visit http://www.MovingPictureInstitute.org to learn more.

No one did more to advance the cause of school vouchers than Milton and Rose Friedman. Friedman made it clear in his film series “Free to Choose” how sad he was that young people who live in the inner cities did not have good education opportunities available to them.

I have posted often about the voucher system and how it would solve our education problems. What we are doing now is not working. Milton Friedman’s idea of implementing school vouchers was hatched about 50 years ago.

Poor families are most affected by this lack of choice. As Friedman noted, “There is no respect in which inhabitants of a low-income neighborhood are so disadvantaged as in the kind of schooling they can get for their children.” It is a sad statement quantified by data on low levels of academic achievement and attainment. Take a look at this article below.

Lindsey Burke

September 25, 2012 at 5:46 pm

SAT scores among the nation’s test-takers are at a 40-year low.

As The Washington Post reports:

Reading scores on the SAT for the high school class of 2012 reached a four-decade low, putting a punctuation mark on a gradual decline in the ability of college-bound teens to read passages and answer questions about sentence structure, vocabulary and meaning on the college entrance exam.

The decline over the decades has been significant. The average reading (verbal) score is down 34 points since 1972. Sadly, the historically low SAT scores are only the latest marker of decline. Graduation rates have been stagnant since the 1970s, reading and math achievement has been virtually flat over the same time period, and American students still rank in the middle of the pack compared to their international peers.

On the heels of the news about the SAT score decline, President Obama filmed a segment with NBC’s Education Nation earlier today. The President notably praised the concept of charter schools and pay for performance for teachers.

But those grains of reform were dwarfed by his support of the status quo. During the course of the interview, President Obama suggested hiring 100,000 new math and science teachers and spending more money on preschool. He also stated that No Child Left Behind had good intentions but was “under-resourced.”

Efforts by the federal government to intervene in preschool, most notably through Head Start, have failed—despite a $160 billion in spending on the program since 1965. And No Child Left Behind is far from “under-resourced.” The $25 billion, 600-page law has been on the receiving end of significant new spending every decade since the original law was first passed nearly half a century ago.

President Obama was also pressed on the issue of education unions by host Savannah Guthrie:

Some people think, President Obama gets so much support from the teachers’ unions, he can’t possibly have an honest conversation about what they’re doing right or wrong. Can you really say that teachers’ unions aren’t slowing the pace of reform?

President Obama responded: “You know, I just really get frustrated when I hear teacher-bashing as evidence of reform.”

Criticizing education unions for standing in the way of reform should not be conflated with criticizing teachers, as the President does in the interview. The unions have blocked reforms such as performance pay and charter schools (which the President supports), have opposed alternative teacher certification that would help mid-career professionals enter the classroom, and have consistently fought the implementation of school choice options for children.

If we ever hope to move the needle on student achievement—or see SAT scores turn in the right direction again—we’ll need to implement many of those exact reforms, particularly school choice.

And as he has in the past, President Obama stated that his Administration wants to “use evidenced-based approaches and find out what works.” We know what works: giving families choices when it comes to finding schools that best meet their children’s needs. Instead of continuing to call for more spending and more Washington intervention in education, let’s try something new: choice and freedom.

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Why Milton Friedman Saw School Choice as a First Step, Not a Final One

Milton Friedman – Public Schools / Voucher System

Published on May 9, 2012 by

JANUARY 24, 2023 3:48PM
File:President Ronald Reagan and Nancy Reagan in The East Room Congratulating Milton Friedman Receiving The Presidential Medal of Freedom.jpg

Why Milton Friedman Saw School Choice as a First Step, Not a Final One

On his birthday, let’s celebrate Milton Friedman’s vision of enabling parents, not government, to be in control of a child’s education.

Libertarians and others are often torn about school choice. They may wish to see the government schooling monopoly weakened, but they may resist supporting choice mechanisms, like vouchers and education savings accounts, because they don’t go far enough. Indeed, most current choice programs continue to rely on taxpayer funding of education and don’t address the underlying compulsory nature of elementary and secondary schooling.

Skeptics may also have legitimate fears that taxpayer-funded education choice programs will lead to over-regulation of previously independent and parochial schooling options, making all schooling mirror compulsory mass schooling, with no substantive variation.

Friedman Challenged Compulsory Schooling Laws

Milton Friedman had these same concerns. The Nobel prize-winning economist is widely considered to be the one to popularize the idea of vouchers and school choice beginning with his 1955 paper, “The Role of Government in Education.” His vision continues to be realized through the important work of EdChoice, formerly the Friedman Foundation for Education Choice, that Friedman and his economist wife, Rose, founded in 1996.

July 31 is Milton Friedman’s birthday. He died in 2006 at the age of 94, but his ideas continue to have an impact, particularly in education policy.

Friedman saw vouchers and other choice programs as half-measures. He recognized the larger problems of taxpayer funding and compulsion, but saw vouchers as an important starting point in allowing parents to regain control of their children’s education. In their popular book, Free To Choose, first published in 1980, the Friedmans wrote:

We regard the voucher plan as a partial solution because it affects neither the financing of schooling nor the compulsory attendance laws. We favor going much farther. (p.161)

They continued:

The compulsory attendance laws are the justification for government control over the standards of private schools. But it is far from clear that there is any justification for the compulsory attendance laws themselves. (p. 162)

The Friedmans admitted that their “own views on this have changed over time,” as they realized that “compulsory attendance at schools is not necessary to achieve that minimum standard of literacy and knowledge,” and that “schooling was well-nigh universal in the United States before either compulsory attendance or government financing of schooling existed. Like most laws, compulsory attendance laws have costs as well as benefits. We no longer believe the benefits justify the costs.” (pp. 162-3)

Still, they felt that vouchers would be the essential starting point toward chipping away at monopoly mass schooling by putting parents back in charge. School choice, in other words, would be a necessary but not sufficient policy approach toward addressing the underlying issue of government control of education.

Vouchers as a First Step

In their book, the Friedmans presented the potential outcomes of their proposed voucher plan, which would give parents access to some or all of the average per-pupil expenditures of a child enrolled in public school. They believed that vouchers would help create a more competitive education market, encouraging education entrepreneurship. They felt that parents would be more empowered with greater control over their children’s education and have a stronger desire to contribute some of their own money toward education. They asserted that in many places “the public school has fostered residential stratification, by tying the kind and cost of schooling to residential location” and suggested that voucher programs would lead to increased integration and heterogeneity. (pp. 166-7)

To the critics who said, and still say, that school choice programs would destroy the public schools, the Friedmans replied that these critics fail to

explain why, if the public school system is doing such a splendid job, it needs to fear competition from nongovernmental, competitive schools or, if it isn’t, why anyone should object to its “destruction.” (p. 170)

What I appreciate most about the Friedmans discussion of vouchers and the promise of school choice is their unrelenting support of parents. They believed that parents, not government bureaucrats and intellectuals, know what is best for their children’s education and well-being and are fully capable of choosing wisely for their children—when they have the opportunity to do so.

They wrote:

Parents generally have both greater interest in their children’s schooling and more intimate knowledge of their capacities and needs than anyone else. Social reformers, and educational reformers in particular, often self-righteously take for granted that parents, especially those who are poor and have little education themselves, have little interest in their children’s education and no competence to choose for them. That is a gratuitous insult. Such parents have frequently had limited opportunity to choose. However, U.S. history has demonstrated that, given the opportunity, they have often been willing to sacrifice a great deal, and have done so wisely, for their children’s welfare. (p. 160).

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Voucher Programs Today

Today, school voucher programs exist in 15 states plus the District of Columbia. These programs have consistently shown that when parents are given the choice to opt-out of an assigned district school, many will take advantage of the opportunity. In Washington, D.C., low-income parents who win a voucher lottery send their children to private schools.

The most recent three-year federal evaluation of voucher program participants found that while student academic achievement was comparable to achievement for non-voucher students remaining in public schools, there were statistically significant improvements in other important areas. For instance, voucher participants had lower rates of chronic absenteeism than the control groups, as well as higher student satisfaction scores. There were also tremendous cost-savings.

In Wisconsin, the Milwaukee Parental Choice Program has served over 28,000 low-income students attending 129 participating private schools.

According to Corey DeAngelis, Director of School Choice at the Reason Foundation and a prolific researcher on the topic, the recent analysis of the D.C. voucher program “reveals that private schools produce the same academic outcomes for only a third of the cost of the public schools. In other words, school choice is a great investment.”

In Wisconsin, the Milwaukee Parental Choice Program was created in 1990 and is the nation’s oldest voucher program. It currently serves over 28,000 low-income students attending 129 participating private schools. Like the D.C. voucher program, data on test scores of Milwaukee voucher students show similar results to public school students, but non-academic results are promising.

Increased Access and Decreased Crime

Recent research found voucher recipients had lower crime rates and lower incidences of unplanned pregnancies in young adulthood. On his birthday, let’s celebrate Milton Friedman’s vision of enabling parents, not government, to be in control of a child’s education.According to Howard Fuller, an education professor at Marquette University, founder of the Black Alliance for Educational Options, and one of the developers of the Milwaukee voucher program, the key is parent empowerment—particularly for low-income minority families.

In an interview with NPR, Fuller said: “What I’m saying to you is that there are thousands of black children whose lives are much better today because of the Milwaukee parental choice program,” he says.
“They were able to access better schools than they would have without a voucher.”

Putting parents back in charge of their child’s education through school choice measures was Milton Friedman’s goal. It was not his ultimate goal, as it would not fully address the funding and compulsion components of government schooling; but it was, and remains, an important first step. As the Friedmans wrote in Free To Choose:

The strong American tradition of voluntary action has provided many excellent examples that demonstrate what can be done when parents have greater choice. (p. 159).

On his birthday, let’s celebrate Milton Friedman’s vision of enabling parents, not government, to be in control of a child’s education.

Celebrating School Choice? Thank Milton Friedman, too

by Dr. Robert Luebke

Director of the Center for Effective Education, John Locke Foundation

January 25, 2021
  • In the 1950s, a young Milton Friedman argued that free market principles of consumer choice and competition were needed to remedy the nonresponsive and monopolistic system that controlled and delivered public education
  • Friedman’s work provided the intellectual foundations of the modern school-choice movement
  • If Friedman were alive today and came to North Carolina, he’d see school choice flourishing

In the decades after the American Revolution, parents were the drivers of how and where their children were educated. Parents could choose from private schools, tutors, and home schools as ways to educate children. In the mid-1840s, Massachusetts became the first state to lead a push for state-controlled and -funded public education. A century later, the rise of the Progressive Era saw government gain control over how schools were financed, administered, and regulated.

Along with these changes came a weakening in the ability of parents to control their child’s education. Of course, if parents didn’t like their child’s school or didn’t think it was a good fit, they could choose a private school — if they could afford it. If not, children were forced to attend the local public school, whether parents liked it or not.

In the mid-1950s, a young economist at the University of Chicago laid out a case for the role of government in education for its citizens in an article given the unassuming title of The Role of Government in Education. In it Milton Friedman acknowledged there is a case for government subsidizing public education, but not for government administering the schools. Friedman believed increased centralization and government control of public schools had led to less freedom and efficiency in education and a decline in quality. For government not only to finance education, but also largely to deliver education services was an arrangement Friedman considered unnatural as well as unjustified.

In his article Friedman argued that free market principles of consumer choice and competition were needed to remedy the nonresponsive and monopolistic system that controlled and delivered public education.

Friedman sought nothing less than to upend how American education was financed and administered. Instead of government deciding how and where children are educated, government would provide vouchers to parents for education or educational services at approved schools.

Friedman believed giving parents the power to “vote with their feet” would force monopolistic public-school systems to be responsive to parental concerns. He also was convinced that the use of vouchers would infuse competition among schools and encourage them to innovate and be more effective, qualities conspicuously absent from most public-school systems. Moreover, Friedman also thought it critical to separate the funding of education from the delivery of education services.

Six and a half decades later, it’s not difficult to see how “The Role of Government in Education” provided the intellectual foundations of the modern school-choice movement. People don’t always hear what they need to hear, so Friedman’s article went largely unnoticed outside the policy world. Those seeds took time to grow.

In 1989, Wisconsin become the first state to put Friedman’s ideas into practice when it approved a statewide voucher program that allowed low-income students to use vouchers to pay tuition at a private school. In 2013, North Carolina approved the Opportunity Scholarship Program, a similar program that today provides over 14,000 students with scholarships of up to $4,200 to help pay tuition at a local private school.

School choice today

If Milton Friedman were alive today and came to North Carolina, he’d see school choice flourishing. Today parents can choose from a variety of public and private school-choice programs. They include public options such as charter or magnet schools as well as private options such as the Opportunity Scholarship Program or the Special Education Scholarship Grants for Children with Disabilities.

Regarding charter schools, the table below shows that the number of students enrolled in charter schools has increased dramatically from over 38,000 in 2010 to over 117,000 today. Enrollment in private schools in the Tar Heel state saw modest growth over the last 10 years, while the number of home schoolers increased by 83 percent.

Over the past decade, while the average daily membership (ADM) enrollment in traditional public schools increased by just one half of one percent, the school-choice population in North Carolina expanded by 71 percent. Today over 370,000 students attend charter, private, and home schools and have access to a better education. Ten years ago, only 13 percent of students were enrolled in choice schools. Today nearly 80 percent of students still attend traditional public schools, but the number of students enrolled in choice schools has increased to almost 21 percent, up significantly from ten years ago.

K-12 Enrollment in North Carolina, by Type of School, 2010 and 2020

Schools 2010 Enrollment 2020 Enrollment Change, 2010–20
Traditional Public Schools (ADM) 1,402,269 1,409,391 0.5%
Charter Schools 38,449 117,264 204.9%
Home Schools 81,509 149,173 83.0%
Private Schools 96,421 103,959 7.8%
Total, Choice Schools 216,379 370,396 71.2%
Schools 2010 Enrollment 2020 Enrollment Percentage Point Change
Percentage of Students in Traditional Public Schools 86.7% 79.2% –7.5
Percentage of Students in
Choice Schools
13.3% 20.8% +7.5

Source: Highlights of the North Carolina Public School Budget, Statistical Profile of North Carolina Public Schools, and North Carolina Office of Non-Public Education (for specific years).

Friedman’s legacy

Friedman’s ideas have helped to fuel an education revolution in North Carolina and across the country. Choice empowers parents to make educational decisions, challenges monopolies, and calls out bureaucracies. Choice expands personal freedom but also highlights that accountability comes in different forms. In so doing, choice has helped to shift the public discussion of education from a focus on how much money is spent to how well money is spent.

Let’s be clear: Milton Friedman got it right. Choice benefits students, families, schools, and our communities. Today school choice continues to thrive because it empowers parents and students and enriches our communities. That’s not to say there haven’t been mistakes and growing pains. Nevertheless, having choices in education is far preferable. Choice recognizes what too many of our public schools ignore: children are different and learn differently.

If we are really concerned that our children receive a quality education, we must allow parents and children to access appropriate educational opportunities. As more and more families are empowered to make these choices, we should thank Milton Friedman for laying the intellectual groundwork for many of the school choice programs we enjoy today.

Milton Friedman, School Choice Pioneer


As our new School Choice Timeline shows, calls for public funding to follow students to a variety of educational options date back centuries. However, Nobel Prize‐​winning economist Milton Friedman is often considered the father of the modern school choice movement.

In a 1955 essay, The Role of Government in Education, Friedman acknowledged some justifications for government mandates and funding when it comes to education. However, he said it’s difficult to justify government administration of education. He suggested governments could provide parents with vouchers worth a specified maximum sum per child per year to be spent on “approved” educational services.

Friedman would return to this idea repeatedly over the years in his writings and his popular Free to Choose television series. But he did more than just write and talk about his idea. In 1996, he and his wife Rose, who was also a noted economist, started the Milton and Rose D. Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice. Their original plan included the eventual removal of their name from the foundation, which happened in 2016; the organization is now known as EdChoice and is the go‐​to source for up‐​to‐​date information on school choice in America.

Milton Friedman had a remarkable life. He was born in Brooklyn in 1912 to parents who emigrated to the U.S. from eastern Europe. His father died during his senior year in high school, leaving his mother and older sisters to support the family. He managed to attend Rutgers University through a combination of scholarships and various jobs. After earning a degree in economics, he was awarded a scholarship to pursue a graduate degree at the University of Chicago, where he met his future wife, Rose. The Friedmans had two children, a son and a daughter.

Friedman’s list of accomplishments is astonishingly long. In addition to his 1976 Nobel Prize for Economic Science, he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the National Medal of Science in 1988. He was a Senior Research Fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution from 1977 to 2006, a distinguished economics professor at the University of Chicago from 1946 to 1976, and a researcher at the National Bureau of Economic Research from 1937 to 1981. He was a prolific writer of newspaper and magazine columns, essays, and books.

Milton Friedman’s focus on education choice made perfect sense in light of his other work. He had a consistent focus on preserving and expanding individual freedom. He saw parental control and the ability to choose the environment that worked best for individual children as essential to a quality education. His 1962 book Capitalism and Freedom included chapters on economic and political freedom, trade, fiscal policy, occupational licenses, and poverty, along with his earlier essay on the role of government in education.

In 1980, Milton and Rose released Free to Choose, a discussion of economics and freedom, as a book and a television series. One segment/​chapter asked, “What’s Wrong with Our Schools?” and then explained the importance of parents being able to choose what works for their individual children.

When the Friedman Foundation was launched, there were five education choice programs in the U.S. with fewer than 10,000 students participating. Today, according to EdChoice, there are 74 programs in 32 states, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico, with 670,000 students participating.

While there is a long and deep history of individuals and organizations calling for various forms of school choice, it is clear that Milton Friedman played an enormous role in its advance in the U.S. He helped lay the intellectual groundwork for the programs in place today, and his relatable writings and videos helped explain his ideas to parents, policymakers, and thought leaders. As we celebrate National School Choice Week—and Cato’s new School Choice Timeline—it’s a great time to commemorate Milton Friedman’s important contributions to the movement.

The School Choice Revolution

It’s time to celebrate another victory for school choice.

  • In 2021, West Virginia adopted statewide school choice.
  • In 2022, Arizona adopted statewide school choice.
  • In 2023, Iowa adopted statewide school choice.

Now Utah has joined the club, with Governor Spencer Cox approving a new law that will give families greater freedom to choose the best educational options for their children.

Here are some details from Marjorie Cortez, reporting for the Deseret News.

The Utah Senate gave final passage to legislation that will provide $8,000 scholarships to qualifying families for private schools and other private education options…The bill passed by a two-thirds margin in each legislative house, which means it cannot be challenged by referendum. …The bill creates the Utah Fits All Scholarship, which can then be used for education expenses like curriculum, textbooks, education, software, tutoring services, micro-school teacher salaries and private school tuition.

As you might expect, teacher unions and their allies are very disappointed – which is a very positive sign.

…the Utah Education Association…opposed HB215… The bill was also opposed by the Utah State Board of Education, Utah PTA, school superintendents, business administrators and school boards. The Alliance for a Better Utah was pointed in its reaction… “Conservative lawmakers just robbed our neighborhood schools of $42 million. Private school vouchers have been and continue to be opposed by Utahns but these lawmakers are instead pursuing a national agenda to ‘destroy public education.’

The Wall Street Journal opined on this great development.

School choice is gaining momentum across the country, and this week Utah joined Iowa in advancing the education reform cause. …Utah’s bill, which the Senate passed Thursday, 20-8, makes ESAs of $8,000 available to every student. There’s no income cap on families who can apply, though lower-income families receive preference and the program is capped at $42 million. The funds can be used for private school tuition, home-schooling expenses, tutoring, and more.

But the best part of the editorial is the look at other states that may be poised to expand educational freedom.

About a dozen other state legislatures have introduced bills to create new ESA programs, and several want to expand the ones they have. In Florida a Republican proposal would extend the state’s already robust scholarship programs to any student in the state. The bill would remove income limits that are currently in place for families who want to apply, though lower-income applicants would receive priority. …South Carolina legislators are mulling a new ESA program for lower-income students. In Indiana, a Senate bill would make state ESAs available to more students. An Ohio bill would remove an income cap and other eligibility rules for the state’s school vouchers. Two Oklahoma Senate bills propose new ESA programs… ESA bills are in some stage of moving in Nebraska, New Hampshire, Texas and Virginia.

Let’s hope there is more progress.

School choice is a win-win for both students and taxpayers.

P.S. Here’s a must-see chart showing how more and more money for the government school monopoly has produced zero benefit.

P.P.S. There are very successful school choice systems in CanadaSwedenChile, and the Netherlands.

P.P.P.S. Getting rid of the Department of Education would be a good idea, but the battle for school choice is largely going to be won and lost on the state and local level.

The Machine: The Truth Behind Teachers Unions

Published on Sep 4, 2012 by

America’s public education system is failing. We’re spending more money on education but not getting better results for our children.

That’s because the machine that runs the K-12 education system isn’t designed to produce better schools. It’s designed to produce more money for unions and more donations for politicians.

For decades, teachers’ unions have been among our nation’s largest political donors. As Reason Foundation’s Lisa Snell has noted, the National Education Association (NEA) alone spent $40 million on the 2010 election cycle (source: http://reason.org/news/printer/big-education-and-big-labor-electio). As the country’s largest teachers union, the NEA is only one cog in the infernal machine that robs parents of their tax dollars and students of their futures.

Students, teachers, parents, and hardworking Americans are all victims of this political machine–a system that takes money out of taxpayers’ wallets and gives it to union bosses, who put it in the pockets of politicians.

Our kids deserve better.

“The Machine” is 4:17 minutes.

Written and narrated by Evan Coyne Maloney. Produced by the Moving Picture Institute in partnership with Reason TV.

Visit http://www.MovingPictureInstitute.org to learn more.

No one did more to advance the cause of school vouchers than Milton and Rose Friedman. Friedman made it clear in his film series “Free to Choose” how sad he was that young people who live in the inner cities did not have good education opportunities available to them.

I have posted often about the voucher system and how it would solve our education problems. What we are doing now is not working. Milton Friedman’s idea of implementing school vouchers was hatched about 50 years ago.

Poor families are most affected by this lack of choice. As Friedman noted, “There is no respect in which inhabitants of a low-income neighborhood are so disadvantaged as in the kind of schooling they can get for their children.” It is a sad statement quantified by data on low levels of academic achievement and attainment. Take a look at this article below.

Lindsey Burke

September 25, 2012 at 5:46 pm

SAT scores among the nation’s test-takers are at a 40-year low.

As The Washington Post reports:

Reading scores on the SAT for the high school class of 2012 reached a four-decade low, putting a punctuation mark on a gradual decline in the ability of college-bound teens to read passages and answer questions about sentence structure, vocabulary and meaning on the college entrance exam.

The decline over the decades has been significant. The average reading (verbal) score is down 34 points since 1972. Sadly, the historically low SAT scores are only the latest marker of decline. Graduation rates have been stagnant since the 1970s, reading and math achievement has been virtually flat over the same time period, and American students still rank in the middle of the pack compared to their international peers.

On the heels of the news about the SAT score decline, President Obama filmed a segment with NBC’s Education Nation earlier today. The President notably praised the concept of charter schools and pay for performance for teachers.

But those grains of reform were dwarfed by his support of the status quo. During the course of the interview, President Obama suggested hiring 100,000 new math and science teachers and spending more money on preschool. He also stated that No Child Left Behind had good intentions but was “under-resourced.”

Efforts by the federal government to intervene in preschool, most notably through Head Start, have failed—despite a $160 billion in spending on the program since 1965. And No Child Left Behind is far from “under-resourced.” The $25 billion, 600-page law has been on the receiving end of significant new spending every decade since the original law was first passed nearly half a century ago.

President Obama was also pressed on the issue of education unions by host Savannah Guthrie:

Some people think, President Obama gets so much support from the teachers’ unions, he can’t possibly have an honest conversation about what they’re doing right or wrong. Can you really say that teachers’ unions aren’t slowing the pace of reform?

President Obama responded: “You know, I just really get frustrated when I hear teacher-bashing as evidence of reform.”

Criticizing education unions for standing in the way of reform should not be conflated with criticizing teachers, as the President does in the interview. The unions have blocked reforms such as performance pay and charter schools (which the President supports), have opposed alternative teacher certification that would help mid-career professionals enter the classroom, and have consistently fought the implementation of school choice options for children.

If we ever hope to move the needle on student achievement—or see SAT scores turn in the right direction again—we’ll need to implement many of those exact reforms, particularly school choice.

And as he has in the past, President Obama stated that his Administration wants to “use evidenced-based approaches and find out what works.” We know what works: giving families choices when it comes to finding schools that best meet their children’s needs. Instead of continuing to call for more spending and more Washington intervention in education, let’s try something new: choice and freedom.

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7-time Super Bowl champ Tom Brady announces he’s ‘retiring for good’ On 60 MINUTES this quote from TOM BRADY: …There’s times where I’m not the person that I want to be. Why do I have three Super Bowl rings, and still think there’s something greater out there for me? I mean, maybe a lot of people would say, “Hey man, this is what is.” I reached my goal, my dream, my life. Me, I think: God, it’s gotta be more than this. I mean this can’t be what it’s all cracked up to be. I mean I’ve done it. I’m 27. And what else is there for me? More than this…” 

7-time Super Bowl champ Tom Brady announces he’s ‘retiring for good’

https://youtu.be/TvVhkj5xdqM

NICK BROMBERG

Tom Brady says he’s retiring again. And this time it’s for real.

Brady posted a video to social media Wednesday morning announcing his retirement for the second time. He retired after the 2021 season but reversed course six weeks later. Wednesday, he said he was done for good.

“Good morning guys, I’ll get to the point right away. I’m retiring for good,” Brady said.

“I know the process was a pretty big deal last time so when I woke up this morning I figured I just press record and let you guys know first. I won’t be long-winded, you only get one super-emotional retirement essay and I used mine up last year.”


Brady leaves football with the most Super Bowls of any player in NFL history and will be a surefire first-ballot Pro Football Hall of Fame member. He’s the NFL’s all-time leader in passing yards, passing touchdowns and QB wins in both the regular season and postseason. Brady’s teams went to 10 Super Bowls and won seven of them. Six of those victories came with the New England Patriots while his final Super Bowl win in February of 2021 came with the Bucs.

“Tom Brady will be remembered as one of the greatest to ever play in the NFL,” commissioner Roger Goodell said after Brady retired in 2022. “An incredible competitor and leader, his stellar career is remarkable for its longevity but also for the sustained excellence he displayed year after year. Tom made everyone around him better and always seemed to rise to the occasion in the biggest moments. … It has been a privilege to watch him compete and have him in the NFL.”

Brady, 45, announced his second retirement exactly a year after he said he was retiring following the 2021 season. The first retirement came after his Buccaneers lost to the Super Bowl champion Los Angeles Rams in the playoffs. This retirement comes after the Bucs lost a round earlier in the playoffs to the Dallas Cowboys.

TAMPA, FL - JANUARY 16: Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady (12) throws a pass during the NFC Wild Card Playoff game between the Dallas Cowboys and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on January 16, 2023 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Cliff Welch/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Tom Brady said Wednesday that he was “retiring for good.” (Photo by Cliff Welch/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Brady retires exactly a year after he retired in 2022

After retiring on Feb. 1, 2022, Brady said he was coming back to the Buccaneers in early March for a 23rd season. That return to football wasn’t a smooth one both on and off the field. Brady and wife Gisele Bundchen confirmed their divorce in late October amid months of reports about their relationship following Brady’s decision to continue playing.

The Buccaneers also had their worst season with Brady at quarterback. While Tampa Bay won the NFC South, it did so with an 8-9 record and an offense that didn’t look in sync for much of the season. The team’s running game was virtually non-existent for much of the season as Brady threw a league-high 733 passes.

No other QB threw more than 700 passes in 2022 or had more than Brady’s 490 completions. He finished third in passing yards behind likely MVP Patrick Mahomes and Justin Herbert. But the Bucs averaged just over 18 points per game in 2022; just seven teams averaged fewer points per game.

Tampa’s offensive struggles were on full display in the playoff loss to the Cowboys. Dallas dominated Tampa Bay in the 31-14 win, and the Bucs made myriad coaching moves below head coach Todd Bowles after the season was over.

Those moves included the departure of offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich. The move to change coordinators was seen as a possible way to keep Brady around for a 24th season. But that looks extremely unlikely to happen now.

Assuming this retirement sticks, Brady ends his career as a three-time first-team All-Pro selection and a 15-time Pro Bowler. He’ll finish his career with 89,214 career regular-season passing yards and 649 passing TDs to just 212 interceptions. He’ll also end his career with 35 postseason victories over 48 games and 13,400 passing yards and 88 touchdown passes in the playoffs.

Brady’s next step now that his career appears to be officially over could be a move to the broadcast booth. Brady previously signed a contract with Fox Sports to be a game analyst when his playing career is over, though the emergence of former NFL tight end Greg Olsen as an excellent broadcaster could complicate Brady’s immediate broadcast future. Olsen and Kevin Burkhardt are set to call the Super Bowl with the Chiefs and Eagles and Fox has said that it has no plans for Brady to be involved with its coverage of the game.

How Brady’s retirement affects the Bucs’ salary-cap situation

Brady signed a two-year deal worth $50 million when he joined the Buccaneers after the 2019 season. His compensation for the 2022 season after he came back was $15 million and his decision to retire has a significant impact on Tampa’s 2023 salary cap.

Because of the deferred money involved in Brady’s contracts with Tampa Bay, the Bucs will take an $11 million hit against the salary cap in 2023 and $24 million over 2024. Brady was set to have a dead cap hit of $35 million against the Bucs’ cap in 2023 had he signed with another team.

With the cap moving up to $224 million in 2023, Brady’s retirement is the best financial decision for Tampa Bay if he wasn’t going to return to the organization. With a roster that was built to chase Super Bowls with Brady on it, the Bucs need to make over $50 million in contract cuts and adjustments to get under the cap for next season.


In this earlier post below was this video and quote.

On 60 MINUTES this quote from TOM BRADY: …There’s times where I’m not the person that I want to be. Why do I have three Super Bowl rings, and still think there’s something greater out there for me? I mean, maybe a lot of people would say, “Hey man, this is what is.” I reached my goal, my dream, my life. Me, I think: God, it’s gotta be more than this. I mean this can’t be what it’s all cracked up to be. I mean I’ve done it. I’m 27. And what else is there for me? More than this…” 

—-

After Life on Netflix


https://youtu.be/eIGGKSHMQOM

Ricky Gervais plays bereaved husband Tony Johnson in AFTER LIFE

Tony and his wife Lisa who died 6 months ago of cancer

(Above) Tony and Anne on the bench at the graveyard where their spouses are buried.

May 12, 2020 
Ricky Gervais 


Dear Ricky,  

This is the 25th day in a row that I have written another open letter to you to comment on some of your episodes of AFTER LIFE, and then I wanted to pass along some evidence that indicates the Bible is historically accurate.

As you know I am writing you a series of letters on Solomon’s efforts to find a meaning and purpose to life. Solomon tried to find a meaning and purpose to life UNDER THE SUN in the Book of Ecclesiastes in all of the 6 “L” words and looked into  learning(1:16-18),laughter, ladies, luxuries,  and liquor (2:1-3, 8, 10, 11), and labor (2:4-6, 18-20).  

In season two of AFTER LIFE there is the following discussion: 


Matt: Okay everyone listen up. That was Mr. Middleton. Some of you know that he owns everything, the newspaper and the building. He wants to stop running the paper. He wants to close the paper and then sell the building. 
Tony: Probably sell it to a property developer. This would be luxury flats. 
Kath: I will be alright. Tambury Brewery already said they would take me on. I think the boss fancies me. 
Tony: Well that is the end of the Tambury Gazette kids. Don’t worry we will just get another [crappy] job that barely pays enough to live. 

Sandy: This is the only job I have ever liked. I won’t have a job. My mum is disabled and my daddy can’t work. My brother and sister are in school and they get nothing as it is. (Starts to cry.) 

Tony: Okay. 
Sandy: So I got to find another job that I hate. 
Tony: Okay we will save the paper. 
Sandy: How?

Tony: We will get more revenue. Kath will get more. 
Kath: How?

Tony: You are really good at your job. You will charge more for advertising, like Tambury Brewery. They will pay more, won’t they. Or we will get a loan. Happens all the time. We will buy the building and we will pay back the loan with the profit from the paper and it will be our business to make it work. So don’t worry. 
Sandy: You promise? You will save the paper? 
Tony: Yeah. We will. 
—-

Tony is involved in a very worthwhile effort to save the newspaper but ultimately will it being meaning to his life UNDER THE SUN?

Ravi Zacharias quoted Jack Higgins, author of The Eagle Has Landed, “When you get to the top, there’s nothing there.” Tom Brady’s 2005 60 MINUTES INTERVIEW makes SOLOMON’s Point in ECCLESIASTES 2:11 “Then I considered all that my hands had done and the toil I had expended in doing it, and behold, all was vanity and a striving after wind, and there was nothing to be gained under the sun.”

Emptiness

One of the most common refrains we hear from those who have reached the pinnacle of success is that of the emptiness that still stalks their lives, all their successes notwithstanding. That sort of confession is at least one reason the question of meaning is so central in life’s pursuit. Although none like to admit it, what brings purpose in life for many, particularly in countries rich in enterprising opportunities, is a higher standard of living, even if it means being willing to die for it. Yet, judging by the remarks of some who have attained those higher standards, there is frequently an admission of disappointment. After his second Wimbledon victory, Boris Becker surprised the world by admitting his great struggle with suicide. 

Jack Higgins, the renowned author of The Eagle Has Landed, has said that he had known as a small boy is this: “When you get to the top, there’s nothing there.”

Ravi Zacharias, Can Man Live Without God, (Word Publ., Dallas: 1994), p. 56

In June 2005, 60-Minutes correspondent Steve Kroft spoke with New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady about his success on and off the field. What he said about being satisfied in life surprised everyone.

BRADY: …There’s times where I’m not the person that I want to be. Why do I have three Super Bowl rings, and still think there’s something greater out there for me? I mean, maybe a lot of people would say, “Hey man, this is what is.” I reached my goal, my dream, my life. Me, I think: God, it’s gotta be more than this. I mean this can’t be what it’s all cracked up to be. I mean I’ve done it. I’m 27. And what else is there for me? “More than this…” 

——-

Uploaded by EdenWorshipCenter on Jan 22, 2008

EWC sermon illustration showing a clip from the 2005 Tom Brady 60 minutes interview.

To Download this video copy the URL to www.vixy.net

Below you will see several video clips of both Tom Brady and Tim Tebow. Evidently despite all the super bowl rings Brady is still looking for true satisfaction, and Tim Tebow has already found it in a relationship with Jesus Christ (the article below indicates this.)

Tom Brady, the answer is Jesus Christ!

Uploaded by HarvestTV on Jan 28, 2008

Everyone needs Jesus, even Super Bowl champions. See the rest of Pastor Greg Laurie’s message “What Do You Live For?” at www.harvest.org.

_____________________________

Tim Tebow at Lipscomb University (04.17.2010) 4 of 4.wmv

Uploaded by PositiveRoleModels4U on Apr 28, 2010

Tim Tebow’s Inspirational Speech at Lipscomb University on Saturday, April 17, 2010 (Nashville, TN) video 4 of 4

_________________

Tim Tebow

Quarterback :: Denver Broncos 

Many Gator fans may think that Tim Tebow is a “miracle” quarterback, but his parents say he was actually a miracle baby.

Bob and Pam Tebow were Christian missionaries in the Philippines in 1987 when Pam, Tim’s mother contracted amoebic dysentery, the leading cause of death in the country. She was pregnant with Tim—her fifth child—at the time, very dehydrated and very sick when she went to her doctor who advised her to abort the baby because of the powerful medicines she would have to take to survive. But they decided against abortion and instead prayed. Both mom and baby survived.

“We thought we lost the baby about four times,” Tim’s dad, Bob, says. “He’s a miracle baby, so we’ve reminded him of that hundreds of times.”

Tim, now a strapping 6-3, 240 lb. 2007 Heisman Trophy winner at the University of Florida, keeps his humble beginnings in mind to stay grounded. “I am fortunate to have family members, coaches and teammates around who can help me stay focused on the right things,” Tim says. “For me, every day includes four things: God, family, academics and football, in that order. If those get jumbled around and you get the wrong one first, you can have a lot of problems.

“I am no different than anyone else—despite what people may think—because I am a Gator football player,” Tim adds. “Through everything I do…and just by living…I want people, when they see me, to say, ‘There’s something different about this guy, and that’s because he has a relationship with Jesus Christ.’”

Tim, who began his walk with Christ as a six-year-old, according to BPSports, says, “I want to take this platform that I have—being a quarterback and being at the University of Florida—and use that to help people…and to be that role model, that example for kids. That’s the reason I think I’ve been blessed to have the success that I’ve had.”

Tim, who will lead Florida against the Oklahoma Sooners in the January 8 BCS National Championship Game in Miami, uses his influence as a Gator football player in every game. In the blacks under his eyes, he has the words “Phil. 4:13” written in white lettering, referencing the verse in Philippians, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”

During his 2008 spring break, instead of hanging out at the beach, he spent his week as a missionary in the Philippines with his dad’s ministry, The Bob Tebow Evangelistic Association. He has traveled to the Philippines several summers to minister to orphans and the poor there.

“Meeting all of those different people who have nothing and are poor gave me an appreciation for what I and my family have, and provided me with the perspective of taking nothing for granted,” Tim says. “It also allowed me to see the effect that I could have on those people. For some, the belief in Christ is all that they have and is much more important than money or material possessions.”

He also has spoken at several prisons across the state of Florida, talking to them about his Christian faith and offering the opportunity for the prisoners and guards to ask Jesus into their hearts as Savior and Lord.

Tim tells the crowds, “I found true satisfaction, true happiness, and it is not by having your name in a newspaper, it is not by winning trophies, it is not by winning championships, it is by having a relationship with Jesus Christ.”

Tim Tebow Prison Sermon

Uploaded by GatorSports on May 2, 2011

Florida quarterback Tim Tebow preaches a sermon with inmates at the Lake City Correctional Facility.–(Aaron Daye/The Gainesville Sun)

_____________________

Tom Brady ESPN Interview

—-

“There’s Gotta Be More Than This…” – Tom Brady

February 6, 2017 Featured Post

Inspired by both the Super Bowl and our first Sunday Night Chapel of the spring 2017 semester, our Director, Andy Deane, wrote this article for calvarychapel.com:

In what many are calling the most exciting Super Bowl game ever played, Tom Brady ended the debate over who is the greatest quarterback of all time. He is the only quarterback to win five Super Bowl games, and it’s a record that may last decades. At one point the Patriots were down 25 points, and I found myself congratulating a

pastor friend who lived in Georgia on a great victory. But, as one commentator put it, “Tom Brady saved his most ruthless performance for the Atlanta Falcons in the Super Bowl.” The unlikely, and terribly suspenseful, comeback sent the game into the first overtime period in Super Bowl history before the Patriots forced their way into the end zone to win it in overtime.

As I sat there in amazement, watching the celebration, I turned to my wife and said, “Isn’t this the guy that 10 years ago said…” After searching online, I found the sobering interview with Tom Brady I was looking for.

In June 2005, 60-Minutes correspondent Steve Kroft spoke with New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady about his success on and off the field. What he said about being satisfied in life surprised everyone.

BRADY: …There’s times where I’m not the person that I want to be. Why do I have three Super Bowl rings, and still think there’s something greater out there for me? I mean, maybe a lot of people would say, “Hey man, this is what is.” I reached my goal, my dream, my life. Me, I think: God, it’s gotta be more than this. I mean this can’t be what it’s all cracked up to be. I mean I’ve done it. I’m 27. And what else is there for me?

KROFT: What’s the answer?

BRADY: I wish I knew. I wish I knew…

Watch the clip starting around the 55-second marker:

—-

Tom Brady “More than this…” 


After watching what was the best game I’ve ever seen, I went over to the auditorium at Calvary Chapel Bible College for our first Sunday Night Chapel. As I sat there in worship, we sang the song Crowns written by Hillsong. As I listened to the song, and personally found great joy and peace in the Lord, I found myself praying for Tom Brady. As you read the lyrics, you may see why. The chorus goes like this:

My wealth is in the cross
There’s nothing more I want
Than just to know His love
My heart is set on Christ
And I will count all else as loss
The greatest of my crowns
Mean nothing to me now
For I counted up the cost
And all my wealth is in the cross

Until these words ring true in the heart of every person, they will find themselves saying, “There’s gotta be more than this.” What people experience after they come down from amazing highs in life was described by Solomon thousands of years ago when he wrote, “Then I considered all that my hands had done and the toil I had expended in doing it, and behold, all was vanity and a striving after wind, and there was nothing to be gained under the sun” (Ecclesiastes 2:11).

17 pieces of evidence for the accuracy of the Bi le below:

__________

1. Yahweh inscription, c. 1400 BC

This photo displays a reproduction of the oldest known inscription of the name “Yahweh,” the personal name of God (cf. Exodus 3). The writing is in hieroglyphs and is dated to c. 1400 BC. The inscription was discovered in the temple built by the Egyptian Pharaoh Amenhotep III in Soleb, which is in modern day Sudan. The text refers to a group of wandering followers of Yahweh who are possibly the Israelites; however, this is uncertain at this time.

NOTE: The inscription shown here is not related to the purported inscription from Jebel al-Lawz. Though Jebel al-Lawz may someday prove to be the Biblical Mt. Sinai, the purported inscription from there currently lacks scholarly support.

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2. Israel outside of the Bible

This engraved slab of granite is more than ten feet tall and was found in 1896 in Western Thebes, Egypt. It contains the oldest* certain reference to “Israel” outside of the Bible, and is referred to as the Merneptah Stela. It was carved c. 1210 BC in hieroglyphs and is currently located in the Egyptian Museum, Cairo. (Note: the word “Israel” is the darkened section in the second line from the bottom, which can be seen more clearly by clicking on the photo to enlarge it.)

*The Berlin Pedestal may contain a reference to Israel that is older than the Merneptah Stela.

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3. King David

This inscribed basalt stone contains an ancient reference to the Biblical King David. Being roughly a foot tall, it was written in Aramaic in the mid 9th century BC and is known as the Tel Dan Stela. The text actually refers to the “House of David,” meaning his royal family. Found during excavations in the ancient city of Dan in 1993/94, it is now located in the Israel Museum.

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4. King Solomon

In the Biblical passage found in 1 Kings 9:15 it notes that King Solomon constructed the city wall for the town of Gezer.  Archaeologists working at the site have now identified Solomon’s wall, and the photo displayed here shows the remains of the gated portion.PHOTO USED WITH PERMISSION: © BiblePlaces.

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5. Pharaoh Shishak

This wall carving within the Karnak Temple complex in Egypt commemorates Pharaoh Shishak’s military exploits, including an invasion into Israel, c. 925 BC. Shishak is referred to in the Bible, and most scholars believe the invasion depicted in the carving is the same event noted in the Bible in 1 Kings 14:25. The carving displays a large image of the god Amun leading a number of captive cities by ropes. The scene is damaged; but, among others, it lists the Israelite city of Megiddo as one of many attacked by the Egyptians. Click “Read more” below to see the sequence of Egyptian pyramid development from the first pyramid to the Great Pyramid.

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6. King Ahab

This limestone monument, known as the Kurkh Monolith, is approximately seven feet high and is now located in the British Museum. Discovered in 1861 in Kurkh, Turkey, it was originally carved in c. 852 BC by the Assyrians. The cuneiform writing on the monument refers to a battle involving King Ahab of Israel, who is also frequently referred to in the Bible (cf. 1 Kings 16-22).

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7. Moabite Stone

The Moabite Stone, also called the Mesha Stela, is an inscribed black basalt monument written in the Moabite language in c. 835 BC. It stands nearly four feet tall and was found in 1868 in the land of ancient Moab, now modern Jordan. It contains references to Biblical figures such as Israelite King Omri and Moabite King Mesha (cf. 1 and 2 Kings), as well as the covenant name of God, YHWH (cf. Exodus 3). It is now located in the Louvre.

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8. Israelite kings

The Black Obelisk of Shalmaneser III was made in c. 827 BC in ancient Assyria. It is about six and a half feet in height and is made of fine grained black limestone. The cuneiform text reads, “Tribute of Jehu, son of Omri….”  Both Jehu and Omri were Israelite kings who are referred to in the Bible (cf. 1 & 2 Kings). A close-up photo showing an Israelite, possibly Jehu, bowing to the king of Assyria can be seen by clicking “Read more” below. The obelisk was found in 1846 in Nimrud and is now in the British Museum.

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9. King Hazael

This inscribed basalt slab is known as the Stela of Zakkur. It refers to the Aramaic king Hazael who is also referred to in the Bible in such passages as 1 Kings 19:15. The item was discovered in 1903 at Tel Afis in Syria and dates to approximately 800 BC. The artifact is about 24 inches tall and the language is Aramaic. It is now located in the Louvre.PHOTO

USED WITH PERMISSION: © BiblePlaces.comEmail ThisBlogThis!Share to TwitterShare to FacebookShare to Pinteresthttps://apis.google.com/u/0/se/0/_/+1/fastbutton?usegapi=1&source=blogger%3Ablog%3Aplusone&size=medium&width=300&annotation=inline&hl=en&origin=http%3A%2F%2Fbibleandarchaeology.blogspot.com&url=http%3A%2F%2Fbibleandarchaeology.blogspot.com%2F2011%2F09%2Fuzziah-re-burial-inscription.html&gsrc=3p&jsh=m%3B%2F_%2Fscs%2Fapps-static%2F_%2Fjs%2Fk%3Doz.gapi.en.Rf1K0P5IJVE.O%2Fm%3D__features__%2Fam%3DAQ%2Frt%3Dj%2Fd%3D1%2Ft%3Dzcms%2Frs%3DAGLTcCNZ6t72TrLdRouGl8wNgklzWb5Tig#_methods=onPlusOne%2C_ready%2C_close%2C_open%2C_resizeMe%2C_renderstart%2Concircled%2Cdrefresh%2Cerefresh&id=I8_1432125514420&parent=http%3A%2F%2Fbibleandarchaeology.blogspot.com&pfname=&rpctoken=43931483

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10. King Jeroboam II

This seal is a bronze cast replica of the original found at Megiddo in c. 1904.  The Hebrew lettering reads, “belonging to Shema, servant of Jeroboam.” Scholars believe that the original seal was from King Jeroboam II* who is referred to in such passages as 2 Kings 13:13. The original was made in the 8th century BC of jasper and measured about 1 x 1.5 inches.  Unfortunately, the original is now lost but the replica remains in a private collection.*Some scholars suggest that the seal comes from Jeroboam I instead of Jeroboam II, but this is not widely accepted.

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11. King Ahaz

This clay seal impression from the 8th century BC contains the Hebrew text, “Belonging to Ahaz [son of] Jotham, King of Judah.” Ahaz was a Biblical king referred to in the books of 2 Kings and Isaiah. Fingerprints can be seen on the left side of the impression, possibly those of Ahaz himself. The artifact is roughly one-half inch in size and is now in a private collection. Click on “Read more” below to see how a seal such as this, along with a string, were used to secure a papyrus document.NOTE: Though the likelihood of authenticity is very high, the provenance of this item is unknown.PHOTO USED WITH PERMISSION: © Z.Radovan/www.BibleLandPictures.comRead moreEmail ThisBlogThis!Share to TwitterShare to FacebookShare to Pinteresthttps://apis.google.com/u/0/se/0/_/+1/fastbutton?usegapi=1&source=blogger%3Ablog%3Aplusone&size=medium&width=300&annotation=inline&hl=en&origin=http%3A%2F%2Fbibleandarchaeology.blogspot.com&url=http%3A%2F%2Fbibleandarchaeology.blogspot.com%2F2010%2F12%2Fking-ahaz-seal.html&gsrc=3p&jsh=m%3B%2F_%2Fscs%2Fapps-static%2F_%2Fjs%2Fk%3Doz.gapi.en.Rf1K0P5IJVE.O%2Fm%3D__features__%2Fam%3DAQ%2Frt%3Dj%2Fd%3D1%2Ft%3Dzcms%2Frs%3DAGLTcCNZ6t72TrLdRouGl8wNgklzWb5Tig#_methods=onPlusOne%2C_ready%2C_close%2C_open%2C_resizeMe%2C_renderstart%2Concircled%2Cdrefresh%2Cerefresh&id=I10_1432125514427&parent=http%3A%2F%2Fbibleandarchaeology.blogspot.com&pfname=&rpctoken=24027052

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12. Sargon II

This brick refers to the Assyrian King Sargon II who reigned from 721 to 705 BC. It is inscribed in cuneiform text and is located in the Oriental Institute Museum at the University of Chicago. The brick was found in the ancient Assyrian city of Khorsabad during excavations that took place from 1929 to 1935. Sargon is also referred to in the Bible in Isaiah 20:1. Click “Read more” below to see a giant lammasu, the winged bull deity from ancient Assyria.


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13. Hezekiah’s Tunnel (probable)

In the Biblical passage found in 2 Kings 20:20 there is a reference to a “tunnel” built by King Hezekiah in Jerusalem to bring water into the city c. 700 BC.  A tunnel in Jerusalem, likely built by Hezekiah, is still open and visitors can walk through it. It is about one-third of a mile long, and the water is roughly knee deep. Some scholars question if this is the exact tunnel built by Hezekiah; but, in any case an ancient Hebrew inscription was found in the tunnel showing Jewish presence in Jerusalem in antiquity. Click “Read more” below to see a picture of the ancient inscription.

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14. Sennacherib Prism

This artifact is known as the Sennacherib Prism. It was made in ancient Assyria in c. 700 BC of baked clay and is approximately 15 inches tall. The cuneiform script in the Akkadian language refers to Israelite King Hezekiah and to Assyrian King Sennacherib, both of whom are in the Biblical text (cf. 2 Kings 19:9). In the inscription the Assyrian talks about trapping Hezekiah in Jerusalem like a caged bird. The artifact was purchased from a Baghdad antiquities dealer in c. 1919 and is now in the Oriental Institute Museum, University of Chicago. It is one of eight such prisms found so far (e.g. Taylor Prism, British Museum).

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15. Siege of Lachish

This wall relief carving depicts the siege of Lachish, telling the story from the Assyrian point of view. The carving was created in c. 700 BC and was discovered in the 1850s in the ancient city of Nineveh, Assyria. The full original panel measured sixty-two feet in length and was nearly nine feet tall. The same events are recorded in the Bible in 2 Kings 18-19. The relief now resides in the British Museum.(NOTE: If you click on the photo and enlarge it, the detail is really quite engaging. The defenders are throwing flaming torches, the attackers have battering rams, etc. In the lower right there are even depictions of victims being impaled.)

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16. King Manasseh

This clay prism, known as the Esarhaddon Prism, was made by the Assyrian king Esarhaddon in 673-672 BC. It refers to “Manasseh king of Judah,” who is also frequently referred to in the Bible in such passages as 2 Kings 20:21. The prism is written in cuneiform script and was found in the 1920s in the ruins of Nineveh. It is made of clay and is about 13 inches high. It is now located in the British Museum.

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17. Pharaoh Tirhakah

This wall carving was fashioned in the 7th century BC in the Edifice of Tirhakah in the Karnak Temple complex, which is located in modern day Luxor, Egypt. The building is made of sandstone and the carving shows Pharaoh Tirhakah on the left and baboons on the right worshipping the Egyptian god Re. Pharaoh Tirhakah, originally from the Kingdom of Cush,  is referred to in the Bible in both 2 Kings 19:9 and Isaiah 37:9.

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The answer to find meaning in life is found in putting your faith and trust in Jesus Christ. The Bible is true from cover to cover and can be trusted.

Thank you again for your time and I know how busy you are.

Sincerely,

Everette Hatcher, everettehatcher@gmail.comhttp://www.thedailyhatch.org, cell ph 501-920-5733, 13900 Cottontail Lane, Alexander, AR 72002

PS: What is the meaning of life? Find it in the end of the open letter I wrote to you on April 23, 2020. 

Below is the workforce of THE TAMBURY GAZETTE

Seen below is the third episode of AFTERLIFE (season 1) when Matt takes Tony to a comedy club with front row seats to cheer him up but it turns into disaster!!!

——

—-

Part 1 “Why have integrity in Godless Darwinian Universe where Might makes Right?”

Part 2 “My April 14, 2016 Letter to Ricky mentioned Book of Ecclesiastes and the Meaninglessness of Life”

Part 3 Letter about Brandon Burlsworth concerning suffering and pain and evil in the world.  “Why didn’t Jesus save her [from cancer]?” (Tony’s 10 year old nephew George in episode 2)

Part 4 Letter on Solomon on Death Tony in episode one, “It should be everyone’s moral duty to kill themselves.”

Part 5 Letter on subject of Learning in Ecclesiastes “I don’t read books of fiction but mainly science and philosophy”

Part 6 Letter on Luxuries in Ecclesiastes Part 6, The Music of AFTERLIFE (Part A)

Part 7 Letter on Labor in Ecclesiastes My Letter to Ricky on Easter in 2017 concerning Book of Ecclesiastes and the legacy of a person’s life work

Part 8 Letter on Liquor in Ecclesiastes Tony’s late wife Lisa told him, “Don’t get drunk all the time alright? It will only make you feel worse in the log run!”

Part 9 Letter on Laughter in Ecclesiastes , I said of laughter, “It is foolishness;” and of mirth, “What does it accomplish?” Ecclesiastes 2:2

Part 10 Final letter to Ricky on Ladies in Ecclesiastes “I gathered a chorus of singers to entertain me with song, and—most exquisite of all pleasures— voluptuous maidens for my bed…behold, all was vanity and a striving after wind, and there was nothing to be gained under the sun” Ecclesiastes 2:8-11.

Part 11 Letter about Daniel Stanhope and optimistic humanism  “If man has been kicked up out of that which is only impersonal by chance , then those things that make him man-hope of purpose and significance, love, motions of morality and rationality, beauty and verbal communication-are ultimately unfulfillable and thus meaningless.” (Francis Schaeffer)

Part 12 Letter on how pursuit of God is only way to get Satisfaction Dan Jarrell “[In Ecclesiastes] if one seeks satisfaction they will never find it. In fact, every pleasure will be fleeting and can not be sustained, BUT IF ONE SEEKS GOD THEN ONE FINDS SATISFACTION”

Part 13 Letter to Stephen Hawking on Solomon realizing he will die just as a dog will die “For men and animals both breathe the same air, and both die. So mankind has no real advantage over the beasts; what an absurdity!” Ecclesiastes

Part 14 Letter to Stephen Hawking on 3 conclusions of humanism and Bertrand Russell destruction of optimistic humanism. “That Man is the product of causes which had no prevision of the end they were achieving; that his origin, his growth, his hopes and fears, his loves and his beliefs, are but the outcome of accidental collocations of atoms—no philosophy which rejects them can hope to stand. Only within the scaffolding of these truths, only on the firm foundation of unyielding despair, can the soul’s habitation henceforth be safely built.”(Bertrand Russell, Free Man’s Worship)

Part 15 Letter to Stephen Hawking on Leonardo da Vinci and Solomon and Meaningless of life “I hate life. As far as I can see, what happens on earth is a bad business. It’s smoke—and spitting into the wind” Ecclesiastes Book of Ecclesiastes Part 15 “I hate life. As far as I can see, what happens on earth is a bad business. It’s smoke—and spitting into the wind” Ecclesiastes 2:17

Part 16 Letter to Stephen Hawking on Solomon’s longing for death but still fear of death and 5 conclusions of humanism on life UNDER THE SUN. Francis Schaeffer “Life is just a series of continual and unending cycles and man is stuck in the middle of the cycle. Youth, old age, Death. Does Solomon at this point embrace nihilism? Yes!!! He exclaims that the hates life (Ecclesiastes 2:17), he longs for death (4:2-3) Yet he stills has a fear of death (2:14-16)”

Mandeep Dhillon as Sandy on her first assignment in ‘After Life’. (Twitter)

A still from ‘After Life’ that captures the vibe of the Tambury Gazette. (Twitter)

Michael Scott of THE OFFICE (USA) with Ricky Gervais

After Life on Netflix

After Life on Netflix stars Ricky Gervais as a bereaved husband (Image: Netflix)

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Psychiatrist played by Paul Kaye seen below.

The sandy beach walk

Tony Johnson with his dog Brandi seen below:


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Related posts:

Taking on Ark Times Bloggers on various issues Part I “Old Testament Bible Prophecy” includes the film TRUTH AND HISTORY and article ” Jane Roe became pro-life”

April 12, 2013 – 5:45 am

I have gone back and forth and back and forth with many liberals on the Arkansas Times Blog on many issues such as abortion, human rights, welfare, poverty, gun control  and issues dealing with popular culture. Here is another exchange I had with them a while back. My username at the Ark Times Blog is Saline […]By Everette Hatcher III | Posted in Biblical ArchaeologyFrancis SchaefferProlife | Edit|Comments (0)

John MacArthur on fulfilled prophecy from the Bible Part 2

August 8, 2013 – 1:28 am

I have posted many of the sermons by John MacArthur. He is a great bible teacher and this sermon below is another great message. His series on the Book of Proverbs was outstanding too.  I also have posted several of the visits MacArthur made to Larry King’s Show. One of two most popular posts I […]By Everette Hatcher III | Posted in Adrian RogersCurrent Events | Edit|Comments (0)

John MacArthur on fulfilled prophecy from the Bible Part 1

August 6, 2013 – 1:24 am

I have posted many of the sermons by John MacArthur. He is a great bible teacher and this sermon below is another great message. His series on the Book of Proverbs was outstanding too.  I also have posted several of the visits MacArthur made to Larry King’s Show. One of two most popular posts I […]By Everette Hatcher III | Posted in Adrian RogersCurrent Events |Tagged Bible Prophecyjohn macarthur | Edit|Comments (0)

John MacArthur: Fulfilled prophecy in the Bible? (Ezekiel 26-28 and the story of Tyre, video clips)

April 5, 2012 – 10:39 am

Prophecy–The Biblical Prophesy About Tyre.mp4 Uploaded by TruthIsLife7 on Dec 5, 2010 A short summary of the prophecy about Tyre and it’s precise fulfillment. Go to this link and watch the whole series for the amazing fulfillment from secular sources. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qvt4mDZUefo________________ John MacArthur on the amazing fulfilled prophecy on Tyre and how it was fulfilled […]By Everette Hatcher III | Posted in Biblical Archaeology | Edit|Comments (1)

John MacArthur on the Bible and Science (Part 2)

August 1, 2013 – 12:10 am

John MacArthur on the Bible and Science (Part 2) I have posted many of the sermons by John MacArthur. He is a great bible teacher and this sermon below is another great message. His series on the Book of Proverbs was outstanding too.  I also have posted several of the visits MacArthur made to Larry […]By Everette Hatcher III | Posted in Current Events | Edit|Comments (0)

John MacArthur on the Bible and Science (Part 1)

July 30, 2013 – 1:32 am

John MacArthur on the Bible and Science (Part 1) I have posted many of the sermons by John MacArthur. He is a great bible teacher and this sermon below is another great message. His series on the Book of Proverbs was outstanding too.  I also have posted several of the visits MacArthur made to Larry […]By Everette Hatcher III | Posted in Current Events | Edit|Comments (0)

Adrian Rogers: “Why I believe the Bible is true”

July 9, 2013 – 8:38 am

Adrian Rogers – How you can be certain the Bible is the word of God Great article by Adrian Rogers. What evidence is there that the Bible is in fact God’s Word? I want to give you five reasons to affirm the Bible is the Word of God. First, I believe the Bible is the […]By Everette Hatcher III | Posted in Adrian RogersBiblical Archaeology | Edit|Comments (0)

The Old Testament is Filled with Fulfilled Prophecy by Jim Wallace

June 24, 2013 – 9:47 am

Is there any evidence the Bible is true? Articles By PleaseConvinceMe Apologetics Radio The Old Testament is Filled with Fulfilled Prophecy Jim Wallace A Simple Litmus Test There are many ways to verify the reliability of scripture from both internal evidences of transmission and agreement, to external confirmation through archeology and science. But perhaps the […]By Everette Hatcher III | Posted in Biblical ArchaeologyCurrent Events | Edit|Comments (0)

Taking on Ark Times Bloggers on various issues Part M “Old Testament prophecy fulfilled?”Part 3(includes film DEATH BY SOMEONE’S CHOICE)

April 19, 2013 – 1:52 am

  I have gone back and forth and back and forth with many liberals on the Arkansas Times Blog on many issues such as abortion, human rights, welfare, poverty, gun control  and issues dealing with popular culture. Here is another exchange I had with them a while back. My username at the Ark Times Blog is […]By Everette Hatcher III | Posted in Francis SchaefferProlife | Edit|Comments (0)

Evidence for the Bible

March 27, 2013 – 9:43 pm

Here is some very convincing evidence that points to the view that the Bible is historically accurate. Archaeological and External Evidence for the Bible Archeology consistently confirms the Bible! Archaeology and the Old Testament Ebla tablets—discovered in 1970s in Northern Syria. Documents written on clay tablets from around 2300 B.C. demonstrate that personal and place […]By Everette Hatcher III | Posted in Biblical Archaeology | E

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RESPONDING TO HARRY KROTO’S BRILLIANT RENOWNED ACADEMICS!! Part 4 Carl Sagan Review by LARRY VARDIMAN of Carl Sagan’s Pale Blue Dot, Larry Vardiman noted, ”Earlier in the day I had the opportunity to briefly talk with him during a break in presentations at the fall meeting of the American Geophysical Union. I introduced myself and found him very cordial but extremely animated and energetic in attempting to convince me that the Bible is not a valid source of truth and that science has proven it wrong”

Carl Sagan’s Pale Blue Dot

BY LARRY VARDIMAN, PH.D.  *   |

THURSDAY, JUNE 01, 1995

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On December 6, 1994, Carl Sagan, author of Cosmos, well-known astronomer and speaker, appeared before the Commonwealth Club of California in San Francisco to introduce his new book, Pale Blue Dot.1

Earlier in the day I had the opportunity to briefly talk with him during a break in presentations at the fall meeting of the American Geophysical Union. I introduced myself and found him very cordial but extremely animated and energetic in attempting to convince me that the Bible is not a valid source of truth and that science has proven it wrong.

I was puzzled at his enthusiasm until I purchased and read his book. In it he presents the case that the earth and man are not at the center of the universe or God’s attention. In fact, he stresses that science has disproved the Bible and that man is an insignificant species on a remote planet whirling through the vast reaches of space. He suggests space exploration and colonization as a vision for developing anew meaning in life to replace that given historically by religion.

Since Carl Sagan is such an effective spokesman for the naturalistic world view which prevails in the modern scientific community, and for his concept that a creator God is an outdated “geocentrist conceit” concocted by our less enlightened forefathers and foisted upon the human culture, I felt a review and rebuttal of his new book was in order.REVIEW

At the heart of Dr. Sagan’s argument for a universe without a creator is the progressive disillusionment he believes science has handed those who believe in religion. This he calls “The Great Demotions.” He suggests that observation of the night-time sky by our ancestors led to a misplaced sense of importance of man:

And if the lights in the sky rise and set around us, isn’t it evident that we’re at the center of the Universe? These celestial bodies—so clearly reveals that we are special. The Universe seems designed for human beings. It’s difficult to contemplate these circumstances without experiencing stirrings of pride and reassurance. The entire Universe, made for us! We must really be something.

This satisfying demonstration of our importance, buttressed by daily observations of the heavens, made the geocentrist conceit a transcultural truth—taught in the schools, built into the language, part and parcel of great literature and sacred scripture. Dissenters were discouraged, sometimes with torture and death. It is no wonder that for the vast bulk of human history, no one questioned it.

Over the past 300 years, Sagan says, science began to strip away this “geocentrist conceit” starting with Copernicus’ finding that the earth revolved around the sun rather than the sun around the earth. Next it was determined that our earth is only one of a myriad of worlds, the sun is only one of our galaxy, and our galaxy is only one of a myriad of galaxies in the universe. Apparently, there is nothing special about our position in the universe. Einstein’s theory of relativity then discredited the view held by Newton and all other great classical physicists that the velocity of the earth in space constituted a “privileged frame of reference.” Next, the age of the solar system was calculated to be about 4.5 billion years old and the universe about 15 billion. The final demotion was the conclusion by Darwin that man is not a special creation but, rather, evolved in the primordial ooze from simple, single-celled organisms. Man is simply the end-product in a long chain of evolutionary change.

These “great demotions” lead to the conclusion that there is no meaning or purpose in our existence. Sagan bemoans this loss of meaning by lampooning the Biblical story of the Garden of Eden:

There was a particular tree of which we were not to partake, a tree of knowledge. Knowledge and understanding and wisdom were forbidden to us in this story. We were to be kept ignorant. But we couldn’t help ourselves. We were starving forknowledge—created hungry, you might say. This was the origin of all our troubles. In particular, it is why we no longer live in a garden: We found out too much. So long as we were incurious and obedient, I imagine, we could console ourselves with our importance and centrality, and tell ourselves that we were the reason the Universe was made. As we began to indulge our curiosity, though, to explore, to learn how the Universe really is, we expelled ourselves from Eden. Angels with a flaming sword were set as sentries at the gates of Paradise to bar our return. The gardeners became exiles and wanderers. Occasionally we mourn that lost world, but that, it seems to me, is maudlin and sentimental. We could not happily have remained ignorant forever.

Sagan admits several times in his book that “there is in this Universe much of what seems to be design.” Yet, he can not bring himself to attribute this design to a Designer. He does go so far as to say in one place that, “Maybe there is one [a designer] hiding, maddeningly unwilling to be revealed.” However, he finally concludes that the evidence does not require a Designer. He also admits that without a Designer there is no purpose and without purpose man cannot survive. Sagan has been building a justification for the remainder of his book. He now states in egotistical terms his agenda for the human race:

The significance of our lives and our fragile planet is then determined only by our own wisdom and courage. We are the custodians of life’s meaning. We long for a Parent to care for us, to forgive us our errors, to save us from our childish mistakes. But knowledge is preferable to ignorance. Better by far to embrace the hard truth than a reassuring fable. If we crave some cosmic purpose, then let us find ourselves a worthy goal. On behalf of Earthlife, I urge that, with full knowledge of our limitations, we vastly increase our knowledge of the Solar System and then begin to settle other worlds.

REBUTTAL

The crux of Sagan’s arguments is the validity of his “great demotions.” Has science shown the Bible to be untrue and that the earth and man are insignificant random combinations of molecules near a remote star in a vast, uncaring universe? I do not believe that the sun revolves around the earth. However, I strongly hold to the view that man is at the center of God’s care and concern, if not very near the center of His creation.

The Bible nowhere says that the sun revolves around the earth. It simply uses the common everyday reference system we are all familiar with when referring to the motions of the sun. References to sunrise and sunset appear in the newspaper each day, and there is no difficulty in understanding their meaning. Similar terms are used in surveying, nautical navigation, even orbital mechanics. They communicate information just as does the Bible.

In the covenant with Abraham God implied that there is a myriad of stars in the universe. He said, “look now toward heaven, and tell the stars, if thou be able to number them….”Sagan believes some of these stars may have planets circling them with life on them. However, Sagan recently admitted in a radio interview that after 25 years of searching for intelligent life, he has been unable to find evidence of life anywhere else in the universe. (Sagan has stated that he would even be happy to find stupid life.) He went so far as to say, “there must be something unique about the earth.” Einstein’s theories of relativity and the great ages of our solar system and universe both have yet to be proven. If relativity can be shown to be true, some believe the effect could possibly explain the apparent great times of light traveling from distant stars.2

The theory of evolution is the greatest house of cards of all. It flies in the face of the well-founded Second Law of Thermodynamics, cannot be supported by the fossil record, violates common sense in the development of complex systems, and could not even occur in 15 billion years.

These “great demotions” then are the result of misapplying faulty theories rather than validating God’s statements in Scripture regarding our position and purpose.

God has declared our standing as follows:

“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth” (Genesis 1:1).

“The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth His handiwork” (Psalm 19:1).

“And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness” (Genesis 1:26).

“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16).

It is evident from only these few selected Scripture passages that God created the universe and cares for us to the point of providing His own Son as a sacrifice for our sins. In our finiteness we don’t fully understand an infinite God, but how dare we arrogantly deny such a God.REACTIONS

Dr. Sagan is an excellent writer and public speaker. He has a very engaging writing style and dares to discuss controversial issues. His Cosmos series and book sold more copies than any science book ever written in English. He has won the Pulitzer Prize for his writing. However, he is wrong. Carl Sagan is blinded to the evidence that God exists and created man as His special object of love and concern.

This point of view among so many scientists today is described in Romans 1:20: “For the invisible things of Him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse.” Dr. Sagan has rejected out of hand the evidences he has clearly seen for design in the universe. Although he has expressed a reluctant need to find a Designer, he has given up on the search and has constructed his own “Tower of Babel.”

A recurrent theme throughout the book is his allegorizing of the Biblical account and an assumption that it is a transcription of man’s uninformed experiences. No place is given to the possibility that Scripture is inspired by the Creator. Dr. Sagan’s goal in Pale Blue Dot is to substitute his “creation myth” and purpose for “Earthlife” for the creation account and dominion mandate found in Genesis. Sagan even raises the specter of “becoming like the Most High.” I fear for men who would place themselves in such opposition to God and His Word.CONCLUSIONS

Because of the kinship I feel toward scientists like Carl Sagan, I am saddened greatly by their actions. Scientists have the greatest opportunities of all to see the evidence of God’s marvelous provision for man in His creation. Those who can’t see God’s hand in the universe around them should be encouraged to ask God to reveal Himself to them. God is not hiding. He is waiting for us to see Him. Please pray for Carl Sagan and others like him who, in their conceit declare, “There is no God!” (Psalm 14:1).REFERENCES 

1. C. Sagan. Pale Blue Dot (Random House, 1994), 429 pp.
2. R. Humphries. Starlight and Time (Master Books, 1994), 133 pp.

On November 21, 2014 I received a letter from Nobel Laureate Harry Kroto and it said:

…Please click on this URL http://vimeo.com/26991975

and you will hear what far smarter people than I have to say on this matter. I agree with them.

Harry Kroto

I have attempted to respond to all of Dr. Kroto’s friends arguments and I have posted my responses one per week for over a year now. Here are some of my earlier posts:

Arif AhmedHaroon Ahmed,  Jim Al-Khalili, Sir David AttenboroughMark Balaguer, Horace Barlow, Michael BateSir Patrick BatesonSimon Blackburn, Colin Blakemore, Ned BlockPascal BoyerPatricia ChurchlandAaron CiechanoverNoam Chomsky, Brian CoxPartha Dasgupta,  Alan Dershowitz, Frank DrakeHubert Dreyfus, John DunnBart Ehrman, Mark ElvinRichard Ernst, Stephan Feuchtwang, Robert FoleyDavid Friend,  Riccardo GiacconiIvar Giaever , Roy GlauberRebecca GoldsteinDavid J. Gross,  Brian Greene, Susan GreenfieldStephen F Gudeman,  Alan Guth, Jonathan HaidtTheodor W. Hänsch, Brian Harrison,  Stephen HawkingHermann Hauser, Robert HindeRoald Hoffmann,  Bruce HoodGerard ‘t HooftCaroline HumphreyNicholas Humphrey,  Herbert Huppert,  Gareth Stedman Jones, Steve JonesShelly KaganMichio Kaku,  Stuart KauffmanMasatoshi Koshiba,  Lawrence KraussHarry Kroto, George Lakoff,  Rodolfo LlinasElizabeth Loftus,  Alan MacfarlaneDan McKenzie,  Mahzarin BanajiPeter MillicanMarvin MinskyLeonard Mlodinow,  P.Z.Myers,   Yujin NagasawaAlva NoeDouglas Osheroff, David Parkin,  Jonathan Parry, Roger Penrose,  Saul PerlmutterHerman Philipse,  Carolyn PorcoRobert M. PriceVS RamachandranLisa RandallLord Martin ReesColin RenfrewAlison Richard,  C.J. van Rijsbergen,  Oliver Sacks, John SearleMarcus du SautoySimon SchafferJ. L. Schellenberg,   Lee Silver Peter Singer,  Walter Sinnott-ArmstrongRonald de Sousa, Victor StengerJohn SulstonBarry Supple,   Leonard Susskind, Raymond TallisMax TegmarkNeil deGrasse Tyson,  Martinus J. G. Veltman, Craig Venter.Alexander Vilenkin, Sir John Walker, James D. WatsonFrank WilczekSteven Weinberg, and  Lewis Wolpert,

In  the 1st video below in the 45th clip in this series are his words and  my response is below them.
Carl Sagan. Credit: NASA

Carl Edward Sagan (/ˈsɡən/; SAY-gən; November 9, 1934 – December 20, 1996) was an American astronomer, planetary scientist, cosmologist, astrophysicist, astrobiologist, author, and science communicator. His best known scientific contribution is research on extraterrestrial life, including experimental demonstration of the production of amino acids from basic chemicals by radiation. Sagan assembled the first physical messages sent into space, the Pioneer plaque and the Voyager Golden Record, universal messages that could potentially be understood by any extraterrestrial intelligence that might find them. Sagan argued the hypothesis, accepted since, that the high surface temperatures of Venus can be attributed to, and calculated using, the greenhouse effect.[3]

50 Renowned Academics Speaking About God (Part 1)

Another 50 Renowned Academics Speaking About God (Part 2

A Further 50 Renowned Academics Speaking About God (Part 3)

CARL SAGAN interview with Charlie Rose:

“…faith is belief in the absence of evidence. To believe in the absence of evidence, in my opinion, is a mistake. The idea is to hold belief until there is compelling evidence. If the Universe does not comply with our previous propositions, then we have to change…Religion deals with history poetry, great literature, ethics, morals, compassion…where religion gets into trouble is when it pretends to know something about science,”

I would respond that there is evidence that Christianity is true. Biblical Archaeology is Silencing the critics! Significantly, even liberal theologians, secular academics, and critics generally cannot deny that archaeology has confirmed thebiblical record at many points. Rationalistic detractors of the Bible can attack it all day long, but they cannot dispute archaeological facts.

Related posts:

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 52 THE BEATLES (Part D, There is evidence that the Beatles may have been exposed to Francis Schaeffer!!!) (Feature on artist Anna Margaret Rose Freeman )

______________   George Harrison Swears & Insults Paul and Yoko Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds- The Beatles The Beatles:   I have dedicated several posts to this series on the Beatles and I don’t know when this series will end because Francis Schaeffer spent a lot of time listening to the Beatles and talking […]

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 51 THE BEATLES (Part C, List of those on cover of Stg.Pepper’s ) (Feature on artist Raqib Shaw )

  The Beatles in a press conference after their Return from the USA Uploaded on Nov 29, 2010 The Beatles in a press conference after their Return from the USA. The Beatles:   I have dedicated several posts to this series on the Beatles and I don’t know when this series will end because Francis […]

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 50 THE BEATLES (Part B, The Psychedelic Music of the Beatles) (Feature on artist Peter Blake )

__________________   Beatles 1966 Last interview I have dedicated several posts to this series on the Beatles and I don’t know when this series will end because Francis Schaeffer spent a lot of time listening to the Beatles and talking and writing about them and their impact on the culture of the 1960’s. In this […]

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 49 THE BEATLES (Part A, The Meaning of Stg. Pepper’s Cover) (Feature on artist Mika Tajima)

_______________ The Beatles documentary || A Long and Winding Road || Episode 5 (This video discusses Stg. Pepper’s creation I have dedicated several posts to this series on the Beatles and I don’t know when this series will end because Francis Schaeffer spent a lot of time listening to the Beatles and talking and writing about […]

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE PART 48 “BLOW UP” by Michelangelo Antonioni makes Philosophic Statement (Feature on artist Nancy Holt)

_______________ Francis Schaeffer pictured below: _____________________ I have included the 27 minute  episode THE AGE OF NONREASON by Francis Schaeffer. In that video Schaeffer noted,  ” Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band…for a time it became the rallying cry for young people throughout the world. It expressed the essence of their lives, thoughts and their feelings.” How Should […]

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 47 Woody Allen and Professor Levy and the death of “Optimistic Humanism” from the movie CRIMES AND MISDEMEANORS Plus Charles Darwin’s comments too!!! (Feature on artist Rodney Graham)

Crimes and Misdemeanors: A Discussion: Part 1 ___________________________________ Today I will answer the simple question: IS IT POSSIBLE TO BE AN OPTIMISTIC SECULAR HUMANIST THAT DOES NOT BELIEVE IN GOD OR AN AFTERLIFE? This question has been around for a long time and you can go back to the 19th century and read this same […]

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE PART 46 Friedrich Nietzsche (Featured artist is Thomas Schütte)

____________________________________ Francis Schaeffer pictured below: __________ Francis Schaeffer has written extensively on art and culture spanning the last 2000years and here are some posts I have done on this subject before : Francis Schaeffer’s “How should we then live?” Video and outline of episode 10 “Final Choices” , episode 9 “The Age of Personal Peace and Affluence”, episode 8 […]

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 45 Woody Allen “Reason is Dead” (Feature on artists Allora & Calzadilla )

Love and Death [Woody Allen] – What if there is no God? [PL] ___________ _______________ How Should We then Live Episode 7 small (Age of Nonreason) #02 How Should We Then Live? (Promo Clip) Dr. Francis Schaeffer 10 Worldview and Truth Two Minute Warning: How Then Should We Live?: Francis Schaeffer at 100 Francis Schaeffer […]

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 44 The Book of Genesis (Featured artist is Trey McCarley )

___________________________________ Francis Schaeffer pictured below: ____________________________ Francis Schaeffer “BASIS FOR HUMAN DIGNITY” Whatever…HTTHR Dr. Francis schaeffer – The flow of Materialism(from Part 4 of Whatever happened to human race?) Dr. Francis Schaeffer – The Biblical flow of Truth & History (intro) Francis Schaeffer – The Biblical Flow of History & Truth (1) Dr. Francis Schaeffer […]

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The Milwaukee Parental Choice Program, created in 1990, is the country’s first modern private school choice program. Right in line with Milton Friedman’s 1955 idea for a tuition voucher, the program offers private school vouchers to low‐ and middle‐​income families who live in Milwaukee!

Milton Friedman – Public Schools / Voucher System – Failures in Educatio…

Milton Friedman – Educational Vouchers

JANUARY 27, 2023 3:28PM

Friday Feature: School Choice Milestones

By Colleen Hroncich


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As we wrap up our National School Choice Week look at the history of school choice, I’m going to explore some notable milestones in the U.S. over the years. For more in‐​depth coverage, be sure to check out our new School Choice Timeline.

When we talk about school choice, we generally mean a program where public funding follows students to nonpublic schools. This becomes particularly important after the mid‐​1800s, when state governments began to mandate taxpayers fund and children attend specific schools established and run by local government entities. Prior to that, education was typically a private or local concern—the domain of parents or small communities.

The oldest school choice program in the U.S. is Vermont’s town tuitioning program. Vermont’s founding constitution, adopted in 1777, required the legislature to establish a school in each town. As the state grew and the population became more dispersed, some towns could not support a public school. In 1869, the legislature passed a law allowing students from a town without a public school to attend any public or private school in or outside of Vermont, with the sending town paying the receiving school’s tuition. Originally, parents could choose religious private schools, but that option was removed by the state’s supreme court in 1961. The U.S. Supreme Court’s 2022 decision in Carson v. Makin overturned a similar ban on religious schools in Maine’s town tuitioning program. In response, the Vermont Secretary of Education notified superintendents that “School districts may not deny tuition payments to religious” schools that otherwise meet the criteria for the program.

The Milwaukee Parental Choice Program, created in 1990, is the country’s first modern private school choice program. Right in line with Milton Friedman’s 1955 idea for a tuition voucher, the program offers private school vouchers to low‐ and middle‐​income families who live in Milwaukee. In its first year, 341 students used vouchers to attend seven private schools in the city. This year, 129 schools in the metro Milwaukee area are participating in the program, enrolling nearly 29,000 students. The value of the voucher increases when state aid to school districts increases. Today there are 26 voucher programs running in 15 states plus Washington, DC and Puerto Rico.

Arizona introduced the Individual Income Tax Credit Scholarship Program, the nation’s first tax credit scholarship, in 1997. It provides tax credits to individuals who donate to school tuition organizations that provide scholarships for private school tuition. While the tax credits are worth 100% of the donation, they’re capped at $611 per donor. There is no cap on scholarship values, students can receive multiple scholarships, and every K–12 student in the state is eligible to participate in the program. There are now 26 tax credit scholarship programs in 21 states.

While I’ve long known that Milton Friedman is considered the father of school vouchers, I only recently learned he later suggested “partial vouchers”—which sound a lot like education savings accounts (ESAs). Here’s how he described them in a 2006 EducationNext interview:

Moreover, there’s no reason to expect that the future market will have the shape or form that our present market has. How do we know how education will develop? Why is it sensible for a child to get all his or her schooling in one brick building? Why not add partial vouchers? Why not let them spend part of a voucher for math in one place and English or science somewhere else? Why should schooling have to be in one building? Why can’t a student take some lessons at home, especially now, with the availability of the Internet? Right now, as a matter of fact, one of the biggest growth areas has been home schooling. There are more children being home schooled than there are in all of the voucher programs combined. 

Friedman’s words proved prophetic when Arizona created the nation’s first ESA in 2011: the Empowerment Scholarship Account program. Originally limited to students with special needs, the program allows parents who opt out of public school to receive a portion of state education funding in an account that can be used for a variety of approved educational purchases—like private school tuition, tutoring, or education therapies.

Other states adopted similar ESAs that were restricted to various populations (students with special needs, military families, economically disadvantaged families, children assigned to low‐​performing public schools, etc.). In 2021, West Virginia made a huge jump forward with Hope Scholarships, an ESA that’s open to every child in public schools (93% of kids in the state). Last year, Arizona re‐​claimed the ESA crown by becoming the first state with universal eligibility. Already this year, Iowahas joined the universal ESA club and Utahis on the verge. Other states are poised to follow suit. After decades of baby steps, universal school choice is on the march.

Our coverage this week—Neal’s introductory post, my look at Milton Friedman, Neal’s exploration of religion and school choice, and my piece on school choice and the courts—has been designed to highlight Cato’s new School Choice Timeline. There are a lot of misconceptions about the origins and goals of school choice. We hope the timeline adds clarity to conversations around school choice so it can be debated on its merits rather than with false attacks about its origins.

Censorship, School Libraries, Democracy, and Choice

A big advantage of living in a constitutional republicis that individual rights are protected from “tyranny of the majority.”

  • Assuming courts are doing their job, it doesn’t matterif 90 percent of voters support restrictions on free speech.
  • Assuming courts are doing their job, it doesn’t matter if 90 percent of voters support gun confiscation.
  • Assuming courts are doing their job, it doesn’t matter if 90 percent of voters support warrantless searches.

That being said, a constitutional republic is a democratic form of government. And if government is staying within proper boundaries, political decisions should be based on majority rule, as expressed through elections.

In some cases, that will lead to decisions I don’t like. For instance, the (tragic) 16th Amendment gives the federal government the authority to impose an income tax and voters repeatedly have elected politicians who have opted to exercise that authority.

Needless to say, I will continue my efforts to educate voters and lawmakers in hopes that eventually there will be majorities that choose a different approach. That’s how things should work in a properly functioning democracy.

But not everyone agrees.

report in the New York Times, authored by Elizabeth Harris and Alexandra Alter, discusses the controversy over which books should be in the libraries of government schools.

The Keller Independent School District, just outside of Dallas, passed a new rule in November: It banned books from its libraries that include the concept of gender fluidity. …recently, the issue has been supercharged by a rapidly growing and increasingly influential constellation of conservative groups.The organizations frequently describe themselves as defending parental rights. …“This is not about banning books, it’s about protecting the innocence of our children,” said Keith Flaugh, one of the founders of Florida Citizens Alliance, a conservative group focused on education… The restrictions, said Emerson Sykes, a First Amendment litigator for the American Civil Liberties Union, infringe on students’ “right to access a broad range of material without political censorship.” …In Florida, parents who oppose book banning formed the Freedom to Read Project.

As indicated by the excerpt, some people are very sloppy with language.

If a school decides not to buy a certain book for its library, that is not a “book ban.” Censorship only exists when the government uses coercion to prevent people from buying books with their own money.

As I wrote earlier this year, “The fight is not over which books to ban. It’s about which books to buy.”

And this brings us back to the issue of democracy.

School libraries obviously don’t have the space or funds to stock every book ever published, so somebody has to make choices. And voters have the ultimate power to make those choices since they elect school boards.

I’ll close by noting that democracy does not please everyone. Left-leaning parents in Alabama probably don’t always like the decisions of their school boards,just like right-leaning parents in Vermont presumably don’t always like the decisions of their school boards.

And the same thing happens with other contentious issues, such as teaching critical race theory.

Which is why school choice is the best outcome. Then, regardless of ideology, parents can choose schools that have the curriculum (and books) that they think will be best for their children.

P.S. If you want to peruse a genuine example of censorship, click here.


More Academic Evidence for School Choice

Since teacher unions care more about lining their pockets and protecting their privileges rather than improving education, I’ll never feel any empathy for bosses like Randi Weingarten.

That being said, the past couple of years have been bad news for Ms Weingarten and her cronies.

Not only is school choice spreading – especially in states such as Arizona and West Virginia, but we also are getting more and more evidence that competition produces better results for schoolkids.

In a study published by the National Bureau of Economic Research, Professors David N. Figlio, Cassandra M.D. Hart & Krzysztof Karbownikfound that school choice led to benefits even for kids who remained stuck in government schools.

They enjoyed better academic outcomes, which is somewhat surprising, but even I was pleasantly shocked to see improved behavioral outcomes as well.

School choice programs have been growing in the United States and worldwide over the past two decades, and thus there is considerable interest in how these policies affect students remaining in public schools. …the evidence on the effects of these programs as they scale up is virtually non-existent. Here, we investigate this question using data from the state of Florida where, over the course of our sample period, the voucher program participation increased nearly seven-fold.We find consistent evidence that as the program grows in size, students in public schools that faced higher competitive pressure levels see greater gains from the program expansion than do those in locations with less competitive pressure. Importantly, we find that these positive externalities extend to behavioral outcomes— absenteeism and suspensions—that have not been well-explored in prior literature on school choice from either voucher or charter programs. Our preferred competition measure, the Competitive Pressure Index, produces estimates implying that a 10 percent increase in the number of students participating in the voucher program increases test scores by 0.3 to 0.7 percent of a standard deviation and reduces behavioral problems by 0.6 to 0.9 percent. …Finally, we find that public school students who are most positively affected come from comparatively lower socioeconomic background, which is the set of students that schools should be most concerned about losing under the Florida Tax Credit Scholarship program.

It’s good news that competition from the private sector produces better results in government schools.

But it’s great news that those from disadvantaged backgrounds disproportionately benefit when there is more school choice.

Wonkier readers will enjoy Figure A2, which shows the benefits to regular kids on the right and disadvantaged kids on the left.

Since the study looked at results in Florida, I’ll close by observing that Florida is ranked #1 for education freedom and ranked #3 for school choice.

P.S. Here’s a video explaining the benefits of school choice.

P.P.S. There’s international evidence from SwedenChileCanada, and the Netherlands, all of which shows superior results when competition replaces government education monopolies.

———-

Portrait of Milton Friedman.jpg

Milton Friedman chose the emphasis on school choice and school vouchers as his greatest legacy and hopefully the Supreme Court will help that dream see a chance!

Educational Choice, the Supreme Court, and a Level Playing Field for Religious Schools

The case for school choice is very straightforward.

The good news is that there was a lot of pro-choice reform in 2021.

West Virginia adopted a statewide system that is based on parental choice. And many other states expanded choice-based programs.

But 2022 may be a good year as well. That’s because the Supreme Court is considering whether to strike down state laws that restrict choice by discriminating against religious schools.

Michael Bindas of the Institute for Justice and Walter Womack of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference make the case for a level playing field in a column for the New York Times.

In 2002, the Supreme Court held that the Constitution allows school choice programs to include schools that provide religious instruction, so long as the voucher program also offers secular options. The question now before the court is whether a state may nevertheless exclude schools that provide religious instruction. The case, Carson v. Makin, …concerns Maine’s tuition assistance program. In that large and sparsely populated state, over half of the school districts have no public high schools. If a student lives in such a district, and it does not contract with another high school to educate its students, then the district must pay tuition for the student to attend the school of her or his parents’ choice. …But one type of school is off limits: a school that provides religious instruction. That may seem unconstitutional, and we argue that it is. Only last year, the Supreme Court, citing the free exercise clause of the Constitution, held that states cannot bar students in a school choice program from selecting religious schools when it allows them to choose other private schools. …The outcome will be enormously consequential for families in public schools that are failing them and will go a long way toward determining whether the most disadvantaged families can exercise the same control over the education of their children as wealthier citizens.

The Wall Street Journal editorialized on this issue earlier this week.

Maine has one of the country’s oldest educational choice systems, a tuition program for students who live in areas that don’t run schools of their own. Instead these families get to pick a school, and public funds go toward enrollment. Religious schools are excluded, however, and on Wednesday the Supreme Court will hear from parents who have closely read the First Amendment.…Maine argues it isn’t denying funds based on the religious “status” of any school… The state claims, rather, that it is merely refusing to allocate money for a “religious use,” specifically, “an education designed to proselytize and inculcate children with a particular faith.” In practice, this distinction between “status” and “use” falls apart. Think about it: Maine is happy to fund tuition at an evangelical school, as long as nothing evangelical is taught. Hmmm. …A state can’t subsidize tuition only for private schools with government-approved values, and trying to define the product as “secular education” gives away the game. …America’s Founders knew what they were doing when they wrote the First Amendment to protect religious “free exercise.”

What does the other side say?

Rachel Laser, head of Americans United for Separation of Church and State, doesn’t want religious schools to be treated equally under school choice programs.

Here’s some of her column in the Washington Post.

…two sets of parents in Maine claim that the Constitution’s promise of religious freedom actually requires the state to fund religious education at private schools with taxpayer dollars — as a substitute for public education. This interpretation flips the meaning of religious freedom on its head and threatens both true religious freedom and public education.…The problem here is even bigger than public funds paying for praying, as wrong as that is. Unlike public schools, private religious schools often do not honor civil rights protections, especially for LGBTQ people, women, students with disabilities, religious minorities and the nonreligious. …If the court were to agree with the parents, it would also be rejecting the will of three-quarters of the states, which long ago enacted clauses in their state constitutions and passed statutes specifically prohibiting public funding of religious education. …It is up to parents and religious communities to educate their children in their faith. Publicly funded schools should never serve that purpose.

These arguments are not persuasive.

The fact that many state constitutions include so-called Blaine amendments actually undermines her argument since those provisions were motivated by a desire to discriminate against parochial schools that provided education to Catholic immigrants.

And it’s definitely not clear why school choice shouldn’t include religious schools that follow religious teachings, unless she also wants to argue that student grants and loans shouldn’t go to students at Notre Dame, Brigham Young, Liberty, and other religiously affiliated colleges.

The good news is that Ms. Laser’s arguments don’t seem to be winning. Based on this report from yesterday’s Washington Post, authored by Robert Barnes, there are reasons to believe the Justices will make the right decision.

Conservatives on the Supreme Court seemed…critical of a Maine tuition program that does not allow public funds to go to schools that promote religious instruction. The case involves an unusual program in a small state that affects only a few thousand students. But it could have greater implications… The oral argument went on for nearly two hours and featured an array of hypotheticals. …But the session ended as most suspected it would, with the three liberal justices expressing support for Maine and the six conservatives skeptical that it protected religious parents from unconstitutional discrimination.

I can’t resist sharing this additional excerpt about President Biden deciding to side with teacher unions instead of students.

The Justice Department switched its position in the case after President Biden was inaugurated and now supports Maine.

But let’s not dwell on Biden’s hackery (especially since that’s a common affliction on the left).

Instead, let’s close with some uplifting thoughts about what might happen if we get a good decision from the Supreme Court when decisions are announced next year.

Maybe I’m overly optimistic, but I think we’re getting close to a tipping point. As more and more states and communities shift to choice, we will have more and more evidence that it’s a win-win for both families and taxpayers.

Which will lead to more choice programs, which will produce more helpful data.

Lather, rinse, repeat. No wonder the (hypocriticalteacher unionsare so desperate to stop progress.

P.S. There’s strong evidence for school choice from nations such as SwedenChile, and the Netherlands.

Free To Choose 1980 – Vol. 06 What’s Wrong with Our Schools? – Full Video
https://youtu.be/tA9jALkw9_Q



Why Milton Friedman Saw School Choice as a First Step, Not a Final One

On his birthday, let’s celebrate Milton Friedman’s vision of enabling parents, not government, to be in control of a child’s education.

Wednesday, July 31, 2019
Kerry McDonald
Kerry McDonald

EducationMilton FriedmanSchool ChoiceSchooling

Libertarians and others are often torn about school choice. They may wish to see the government schooling monopoly weakened, but they may resist supporting choice mechanisms, like vouchers and education savings accounts, because they don’t go far enough. Indeed, most current choice programs continue to rely on taxpayer funding of education and don’t address the underlying compulsory nature of elementary and secondary schooling.

Skeptics may also have legitimate fears that taxpayer-funded education choice programs will lead to over-regulation of previously independent and parochial schooling options, making all schooling mirror compulsory mass schooling, with no substantive variation.

Milton Friedman had these same concerns. The Nobel prize-winning economist is widely considered to be the one to popularize the idea of vouchers and school choice beginning with his 1955 paper, “The Role of Government in Education.” His vision continues to be realized through the important work of EdChoice, formerly the Friedman Foundation for Education Choice, that Friedman and his economist wife, Rose, founded in 1996.

July 31 is Milton Friedman’s birthday. He died in 2006 at the age of 94, but his ideas continue to have an impact, particularly in education policy.

Friedman saw vouchers and other choice programs as half-measures. He recognized the larger problems of taxpayer funding and compulsion, but saw vouchers as an important starting point in allowing parents to regain control of their children’s education. In their popular book, Free To Choose, first published in 1980, the Friedmans wrote:

We regard the voucher plan as a partial solution because it affects neither the financing of schooling nor the compulsory attendance laws. We favor going much farther. (p.161)

They continued:

The compulsory attendance laws are the justification for government control over the standards of private schools. But it is far from clear that there is any justification for the compulsory attendance laws themselves. (p. 162)

The Friedmans admitted that their “own views on this have changed over time,” as they realized that “compulsory attendance at schools is not necessary to achieve that minimum standard of literacy and knowledge,” and that “schooling was well-nigh universal in the United States before either compulsory attendance or government financing of schooling existed. Like most laws, compulsory attendance laws have costs as well as benefits. We no longer believe the benefits justify the costs.” (pp. 162-3)

Still, they felt that vouchers would be the essential starting point toward chipping away at monopoly mass schooling by putting parents back in charge. School choice, in other words, would be a necessary but not sufficient policy approach toward addressing the underlying issue of government control of education.

In their book, the Friedmans presented the potential outcomes of their proposed voucher plan, which would give parents access to some or all of the average per-pupil expenditures of a child enrolled in public school. They believed that vouchers would help create a more competitive education market, encouraging education entrepreneurship. They felt that parents would be more empowered with greater control over their children’s education and have a stronger desire to contribute some of their own money toward education. They asserted that in many places “the public school has fostered residential stratification, by tying the kind and cost of schooling to residential location” and suggested that voucher programs would lead to increased integration and heterogeneity. (pp. 166-7)

To the critics who said, and still say, that school choice programs would destroy the public schools, the Friedmans replied that these critics fail to

explain why, if the public school system is doing such a splendid job, it needs to fear competition from nongovernmental, competitive schools or, if it isn’t, why anyone should object to its “destruction.” (p. 170)

What I appreciate most about the Friedmans discussion of vouchers and the promise of school choice is their unrelenting support of parents. They believed that parents, not government bureaucrats and intellectuals, know what is best for their children’s education and well-being and are fully capable of choosing wisely for their children—when they have the opportunity to do so.

They wrote:

Parents generally have both greater interest in their children’s schooling and more intimate knowledge of their capacities and needs than anyone else. Social reformers, and educational reformers in particular, often self-righteously take for granted that parents, especially those who are poor and have little education themselves, have little interest in their children’s education and no competence to choose for them. That is a gratuitous insult. Such parents have frequently had limited opportunity to choose. However, U.S. history has demonstrated that, given the opportunity, they have often been willing to sacrifice a great deal, and have done so wisely, for their children’s welfare. (p. 160).

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Today, school voucher programs exist in 15 states plus the District of Columbia. These programs have consistently shown that when parents are given the choice to opt-out of an assigned district school, many will take advantage of the opportunity. In Washington, D.C., low-income parents who win a voucher lottery send their children to private schools.

The most recent three-year federal evaluationof voucher program participants found that while student academic achievement was comparable to achievement for non-voucher students remaining in public schools, there were statistically significant improvements in other important areas. For instance, voucher participants had lower rates of chronic absenteeism than the control groups, as well as higher student satisfaction scores. There were also tremendous cost-savings.

In Wisconsin, the Milwaukee Parental Choice Program has served over 28,000 low-income students attending 129 participating private schools.

According to Corey DeAngelis, Director of School Choice at the Reason Foundation and a prolific researcher on the topic, the recent analysis of the D.C. voucher program “reveals that private schools produce the same academic outcomes for only a third of the cost of the public schools. In other words, school choice is a great investment.”

In Wisconsin, the Milwaukee Parental Choice Program was created in 1990 and is the nation’s oldest voucher program. It currently serves over 28,000 low-income students attending 129 participating private schools. Like the D.C. voucher program, data on test scores of Milwaukee voucher students show similar results to public school students, but non-academic results are promising.

Recent research found voucher recipients had lower crime rates and lower incidences of unplanned pregnancies in young adulthood. On his birthday, let’s celebrate Milton Friedman’s vision of enabling parents, not government, to be in control of a child’s education.

According to Howard Fuller, an education professor at Marquette University, founder of the Black Alliance for Educational Options, and one of the developers of the Milwaukee voucher program, the key is parent empowerment—particularly for low-income minority families.

In an interview with NPR, Fuller said: “What I’m saying to you is that there are thousands of black children whose lives are much better today because of the Milwaukee parental choice program,” he says. 
“They were able to access better schools than they would have without a voucher.”

Putting parents back in charge of their child’s education through school choice measures was Milton Friedman’s goal. It was not his ultimate goal, as it would not fully address the funding and compulsion components of government schooling; but it was, and remains, an important first step. As the Friedmans wrote in Free To Choose:

The strong American tradition of voluntary action has provided many excellent examples that demonstrate what can be done when parents have greater choice. (p. 159).

On his birthday, let’s celebrate Milton Friedman’s vision of enabling parents, not government, to be in control of a child’s education.

Kerry McDonald

Milton Friedman

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Dan Mitchell: All savings should be protected from double taxation, not just what you set aside for retirement. And that means government can tax you one time, either when you first earn the income or when you consume the income!

Protecting Individual Savings from Double Taxation

While speaking last year in Hawaii on the topic of good tax policy, I explained why it is misguided to impose extra layers of tax on saving and investment.

Regarding the problem of double taxation, I’ve addressed how various features of the tax code need to be fixed.

Today, we’re going to focus on the fixing the tax treatment of household savings. And the problem that needs fixing is that the federal government taxes you when you earn money and also taxes any interest you earn if you decide to save some of your after-tax income.

As you can see from the chart, this creates a tax wedge.

And that tax wedge distorts people’s decisions and makes them more likely to choose immediate consumption rather than savings (which can be viewed as deferred consumption).

As mentioned in the video, every economic theoryrecognizes that saving and investment (again, just another way of saying deferred consumption) are critical to future growth and rising living standards. So there are good reasons to fix the tax code.

The good news is that there are two ways to fix this problem.

  1. Tax income only one time when it is first earned.
  2. Tax income only one time when it is consumed.

In practical terms, the first option treats all savings like a “Roth IRA,”, which means you pay tax the year you earn your income, but the IRS does not get another bit at the apple if you save some of your after-tax income and it earns interest or otherwise grows in value.

The second option treats all savings like a 401(k), which means you are not taxed on any income that you place in a savings vehicle, but you are taxed on any money (including any interest or other returns) that you withdraw from the account.

As shown by Adam Michel of the Heritage Foundation, both of these approaches lead to the same long-run result (and thus are superior to what happens when people save without being protected from double taxation).

The good news is that Americans can protect their savings from double taxation by using either individual retirement accounts (IRAs) or 401(k)s.

The bad news is that those “qualified accounts” are restricted. Only people who are saving for retirement can protect themselves from double taxation.

That needs to change.

Here’s what I wrote back in 2012 and I think it’s reasonably succinct and accurate.

…all saving and investment should be treated the way we currently treat individual retirement accounts. If you have a traditional IRA (or “front-ended” IRA), you get a deduction for any money you put in a retirement account, but then you pay tax on the money – including any earnings – when the money is withdrawn. If you have a Roth IRA (or “back-ended” IRA), you pay tax on your income in the year that it is earned, but if you put the money in a retirement account, there is no additional tax on withdrawals or the subsequent earnings. From an economic perspective, front-ended IRAs and back-ended IRAs generate the same result. Income that is saved and invested is treated the same as income that is immediately consumed. From a present-value perspective, front-ended IRAs and back-ended IRAs produce the same outcome. All that changes is the point at which the government imposes the single layer of tax.

The key takeaways are in the first and last sentences. All savings should be protected from double taxation, not just what you set aside for retirement. And that means government can tax you one time, either when you first earn the income or when you consume the income.

This means we need universal savings accounts, sort of like they have in Canada.

Here’s what Robert Bellafiore of the Tax Foundation wrote about the idea back in 2019.

USAs do not penalize withdrawals on account of their purpose or timing. In contrast, some types of existing savings accounts are not neutral, penalizing people who withdraw their money for anything but approved purposes at approved times. For example, withdrawals from 529 accounts can only be made without penalty if they are used to fund education.If a parent has a 529 account for a child but must make a withdrawal to cover emergency expenses, he or she must pay income taxes on the earnings, plus a 10 percent penalty. Withdrawals from 401(k)s before the age of 59½ incur the same penalty, though there are certain exceptions. USAs’ neutrality would likely boost saving, for two reasons. First, when savings are not hit by multiple layers of taxation, savers can expect a higher return and are therefore likely to save more. Both IRAs and 401(k)s tax savings only once, and studies have estimated that roughly half of 401(k) balances, and roughly a quarter of all IRA contributions, constitute new saving—in other words, dollars that would have been spent are saved instead.

The bottom line is that we need to copy jurisdictions such as Hong Kong and Singapore that have little or no double taxation of any kind.

Especially since we now live in a world where inflation has become an issue, which acts as a hidden tax on saving and investment.

I’ll close with this chart from the OECD. It’s a few years old, so I’m sure some nations have changed their policies, but it gives one a good idea of how savings is treated around the world.

The bottom line is that it’s good to avoid Norway and the United States is unimpressive.

I’m very surprised to see that Argentina and Germany have good policy.

P.S. For some of our friends on the left, policies that protect from double taxation are akin to an entitlement.

I enjoyed this article below because it demonstrates that the Laffer Curve has been working for almost 100 years now when it is put to the test in the USA. I actually got to hear Arthur Laffer speak in person in 1981 and he told us in advance what was going to happen the 1980’s and it all came about as he said it would when Ronald Reagan’s tax cuts took place. I wish we would lower taxes now instead of looking for more revenue through raised taxes. We have to grow the economy:

What Mitt Romney Said Last Night About Tax Cuts And The Deficit Was Absolutely Right. And What Obama Said Was Absolutely Wrong.

Mitt Romney repeatedly said last night that he would not allow tax cuts to add to the deficit.  He repeatedly said it because over and over again Obama blathered the liberal talking point that cutting taxes necessarily increased deficits.

Romney’s exact words: “I want to underline that — no tax cut that adds to the deficit.”

Meanwhile, Obama has promised to cut the deficit in half during his first four years – but instead gave America the highest deficits in the history of the entire human race.

I’ve written about this before.  Let’s replay what has happened every single time we’ve ever cut the income tax rate.

The fact of the matter is that we can go back to Calvin Coolidge who said very nearly THE EXACT SAME THING to his treasury secretary: he too would not allow any tax cuts that added to the debt.  Andrew Mellon – quite possibly the most brilliant economic mind of his day – did a great deal of research and determined what he believed was the best tax rate.  And the Coolidge administration DID cut income taxes and MASSIVELY increased revenues.  Coolidge and Mellon cut the income tax rate 67.12 percent (from 73 to 24 percent); and revenues not only did not go down, but they went UP by at least 42.86 percent (from $700 billion to over $1 billion).

That’s something called a documented fact.  But that wasn’t all that happened: another incredible thing was that the taxes and percentage of taxes paid actually went UP for the rich.  Because as they were allowed to keep more of the profits that they earned by investing in successful business, they significantly increased their investments and therefore paid more in taxes than they otherwise would have had they continued sheltering their money to protect themselves from the higher tax rates.  Liberals ignore reality, but it is simply true.  It is a fact.  It happened.

Then FDR came along and raised the tax rates again and the opposite happened: we collected less and less revenue while the burden of taxation fell increasingly on the poor and middle class again.  Which is exactly what Obama wants to do.

People don’t realize that John F. Kennedy, one of the greatest Democrat presidents, was a TAX CUTTER who believed the conservative economic philosophy that cutting tax rates would in fact increase tax revenues.  He too cut taxes, and he too increased tax revenues.

So we get to Ronald Reagan, who famously cut taxes.  And again, we find that Reagan cut that godawful liberal tax rate during an incredibly godawful liberal-caused economic recession, and he increased tax revenue by 20.71 percent (with revenues increasing from $956 billion to $1.154 trillion).  And again, the taxes were paid primarily by the rich:

“The share of the income tax burden borne by the top 10 percent of taxpayers increased from 48.0 percent in 1981 to 57.2 percent in 1988. Meanwhile, the share of income taxes paid by the bottom 50 percent of taxpayers dropped from 7.5 percent in 1981 to 5.7 percent in 1988.”

So we get to George Bush and the Bush tax cuts that liberals and in particular Obama have just demonized up one side and demagogued down the other.  And I can simply quote the New York Times AT the time:

Sharp Rise in Tax Revenue to Pare U.S. Deficit By EDMUND L. ANDREWS Published: July 13, 2005

WASHINGTON, July 12 – For the first time since President Bush took office, an unexpected leap in tax revenue is about to shrink the federal budget deficit this year, by nearly $100 billion.

A Jump in Corporate Payments On Wednesday, White House officials plan to announce that the deficit for the 2005 fiscal year, which ends in September, will be far smaller than the $427 billion they estimated in February.

Mr. Bush plans to hail the improvement at a cabinet meeting and to cite it as validation of his argument that tax cuts would stimulate the economy and ultimately help pay for themselves.

Based on revenue and spending data through June, the budget deficit for the first nine months of the fiscal year was $251 billion, $76 billion lower than the $327 billion gap recorded at the corresponding point a year earlier.

The Congressional Budget Office estimated last week that the deficit for the full fiscal year, which reached $412 billion in 2004, could be “significantly less than $350 billion, perhaps below $325 billion.”

The big surprise has been in tax revenue, which is running nearly 15 percent higher than in 2004. Corporate tax revenue has soared about 40 percent, after languishing for four years, and individual tax revenue is up as well
.

And of course the New York Times, as reliable liberals, use the adjective whenever something good happens under conservative policies and whenever something bad happens under liberal policies: ”unexpected.”   But it WASN’T ”unexpected.”  It was EXACTLY what Republicans had said would happen and in fact it was exactly what HAD IN FACT HAPPENED every single time we’ve EVER cut income tax rates.

The truth is that conservative tax policy has a perfect track record: every single time it has ever been tried, we have INCREASED tax revenues while not only exploding economic activity and creating more jobs, but encouraging the wealthy to pay more in taxes as well.  And liberals simply dishonestly refuse to acknowledge documented history.

Meanwhile, liberals also have a perfect record … of FAILUREThey keep raising taxes and keep not understanding why they don’t get the revenues they predicted.

The following is a section from my article, “Tax Cuts INCREASE Revenues; They Have ALWAYS Increased Revenues“, where I document every single thing I said above:

The Falsehood That Tax Cuts Increase The Deficit

Now let’s take a look at the utterly fallacious view that tax cuts in general create higher deficits.

Let’s take a trip back in time, starting with the 1920s.  From Burton Folsom’s book, New Deal or Raw Deal?:

In 1921, President Harding asked the sixty-five-year-old [Andrew] Mellon to be secretary of the treasury; the national debt [resulting from WWI] had surpassed $20 billion and unemployment had reached 11.7 percent, one of the highest rates in U.S. history.  Harding invited Mellon to tinker with tax rates to encourage investment without incurring more debt. Mellon studied the problem carefully; his solution was what is today called “supply side economics,” the idea of cutting taxes to stimulate investment.  High income tax rates, Mellon argued, “inevitably put pressure upon the taxpayer to withdraw this capital from productive business and invest it in tax-exempt securities. . . . The result is that the sources of taxation are drying up, wealth is failing to carry its share of the tax burden; and capital is being diverted into channels which yield neither revenue to the Government nor profit to the people” (page 128).

Mellon wrote, “It seems difficult for some to understand that high rates of taxation do not necessarily mean large revenue to the Government, and that more revenue may often be obtained by lower taxes.”  And he compared the government setting tax rates on incomes to a businessman setting prices on products: “If a price is fixed too high, sales drop off and with them profits.”

And what happened?

“As secretary of the treasury, Mellon promoted, and Harding and Coolidge backed, a plan that eventually cut taxes on large incomes from 73 to 24 percent and on smaller incomes from 4 to 1/2 of 1 percent.  These tax cuts helped produce an outpouring of economic development – from air conditioning to refrigerators to zippers, Scotch tape to radios and talking movies.  Investors took more risks when they were allowed to keep more of their gains.  President Coolidge, during his six years in office, averaged only 3.3 percent unemployment and 1 percent inflation – the lowest misery index of any president in the twentieth century.

Furthermore, Mellon was also vindicated in his astonishing predictions that cutting taxes across the board would generate more revenue.  In the early 1920s, when the highest tax rate was 73 percent, the total income tax revenue to the U.S. government was a little over $700 million.  In 1928 and 1929, when the top tax rate was slashed to 25 and 24 percent, the total revenue topped the $1 billion mark.  Also remarkable, as Table 3 indicates, is that the burden of paying these taxes fell increasingly upon the wealthy” (page 129-130).

Now, that is incredible upon its face, but it becomes even more incredible when contrasted with FDR’s antibusiness and confiscatory tax policies, which both dramatically shrunk in terms of actual income tax revenues (from $1.096 billion in 1929 to $527 million in 1935), and dramatically shifted the tax burden to the backs of the poor by imposing huge new excise taxes (from $540 million in 1929 to $1.364 billion in 1935).  See Table 1 on page 125 of New Deal or Raw Deal for that information.

FDR both collected far less taxes from the rich, while imposing a far more onerous tax burden upon the poor.

It is simply a matter of empirical fact that tax cuts create increased revenue, and that those [Democrats] who have refused to pay attention to that fact have ended up reducing government revenues even as they increased the burdens on the poorest whom they falsely claim to help.

Let’s move on to John F. Kennedy, one of the most popular Democrat presidents ever.  Few realize that he was also a supply-side tax cutter.

Kennedy said:

“It is a paradoxical truth that tax rates are too high and tax revenues are too low and the soundest way to raise the revenues in the long run is to cut the rates now … Cutting taxes now is not to incur a budget deficit, but to achieve the more prosperous, expanding economy which can bring a budget surplus.”

– John F. Kennedy, Nov. 20, 1962, president’s news conference


“Lower rates of taxation will stimulate economic activity and so raise the levels of personal and corporate income as to yield within a few years an increased – not a reduced – flow of revenues to the federal government.”

– John F. Kennedy, Jan. 17, 1963, annual budget message to the Congress, fiscal year 1964

“In today’s economy, fiscal prudence and responsibility call for tax reduction even if it temporarily enlarges the federal deficit – why reducing taxes is the best way open to us to increase revenues.”

– John F. Kennedy, Jan. 21, 1963, annual message to the Congress: “The Economic Report Of The President”


“It is no contradiction – the most important single thing we can do to stimulate investment in today’s economy is to raise consumption by major reduction of individual income tax rates.”

– John F. Kennedy, Jan. 21, 1963, annual message to the Congress: “The Economic Report Of The President”


“Our tax system still siphons out of the private economy too large a share of personal and business purchasing power and reduces the incentive for risk, investment and effort – thereby aborting our recoveries and stifling our national growth rate.”

– John F. Kennedy, Jan. 24, 1963, message to Congress on tax reduction and reform, House Doc. 43, 88th Congress, 1st Session.


“A tax cut means higher family income and higher business profits and a balanced federal budget. Every taxpayer and his family will have more money left over after taxes for a new car, a new home, new conveniences, education and investment. Every businessman can keep a higher percentage of his profits in his cash register or put it to work expanding or improving his business, and as the national income grows, the federal government will ultimately end up with more revenues.”

– John F. Kennedy, Sept. 18, 1963, radio and television address to the nation on tax-reduction bill

Which is to say that modern Democrats are essentially calling one of their greatest presidents a liar when they demonize tax cuts as a means of increasing government revenues.

So let’s move on to Ronald Reagan.  Reagan had two major tax cutting policies implemented: the Economic Recovery Tax Act (ERTA) of 1981, which was retroactive to 1981, and the Tax Reform Act of 1986.

Did Reagan’s tax cuts decrease federal revenues?  Hardly:

We find that 8 of the following 10 years there was a surplus of revenue from 1980, prior to the Reagan tax cuts.  And, following the Tax Reform Act of 1986, there was a MASSIVE INCREASEof revenue.

So Reagan’s tax cuts increased revenue.  But who paid the increased tax revenue?  The poor?  Opponents of the Reagan tax cuts argued that his policy was a giveaway to the rich (ever heard that one before?) because their tax payments would fall.  But that was exactly wrong.  In reality:

“The share of the income tax burden borne by the top 10 percent of taxpayers increased from 48.0 percent in 1981 to 57.2 percent in 1988. Meanwhile, the share of income taxes paid by the bottom 50 percent of taxpayers dropped from 7.5 percent in 1981 to 5.7 percent in 1988.”

So Ronald Reagan a) collected more total revenue, b) collected more revenue from the rich, while c) reducing revenue collected by the bottom half of taxpayers, and d) generated an economic powerhouse that lasted – with only minor hiccups – for nearly three decades.  Pretty good achievement considering that his predecessor was forced to describe his own economy as a “malaise,” suffering due to a “crisis of confidence.” Pretty good considering that President Jimmy Carter responded to a reporter’s question as to what he would do about the problem of inflation by answering, “It would be misleading for me to tell any of you that there is a solution to it.”

Reagan whipped inflation.  Just as he whipped that malaise and that crisis of confidence.

________

The Laffer Curve, Part III: Dynamic Scoring