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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)

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

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

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

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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)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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 […]

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

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

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

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

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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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Open letter to President Obama (Part 117.3)

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Milton Friedman videos and transcripts Part 8 On my blog http://www.thedailyhatch.org I have an extensive list of posts that have both videos and transcripts of MiltonFriedman’s interviews and speeches. Here below is just small list of those and more can be accessed by clicking on “Milton Friedman” on the side of this page or searching […]

Milton Friedman remembered at 100 years from his birth (Part 2)

Testing Milton Friedman – Preview Uploaded by FreeToChooseNetwork on Feb 21, 2012 2012 is the 100th anniversary of Milton Friedman’s birth. His work and ideas continue to make the world a better place. As part of Milton Friedman’s Century, a revival of the ideas featured in the landmark television series Free To Choose are being […]

Milton Friedman believed in liberty (Interview by Charlie Rose of Milton Friedman part 1)

Charlie Rose interview of Milton Friedman My favorite economist: Milton Friedman : A Great Champion of Liberty  by V. Sundaram   Milton Friedman, the Nobel Prize-winning economist who advocated an unfettered free market and had the ear of three US Presidents – Nixon, Ford and Reagan – died last Thursday (16 November, 2006 ) in San Francisco […]

Free or equal? 30 years after Milton Friedman’s Free to Choose (Part 1)

Free or Equal?: Johan Norberg Updates Milton & Rose Friedman’s Free to Choose I got this below from Reason Magazine: Swedish economist Johan Norberg is the host of the new documentary Free or Equal, which retraces and updates the 1980 classic Free to Choose, featuring Milton and Rose Friedman. Like the Friedmans, Norberg travels the globe […]

Reason Magazine’s rightly praises Milton Friedman but makes foolish claim along the way

I must say that I have lots of respect for Reason Magazine and for their admiration of Milton Friedman. However, I do disagree with one phrase below. At the end of this post I will tell you what sentence it is. Uploaded by ReasonTV on Jul 28, 2011 There’s no way to appreciate fully the […]

Video clip:Milton Friedman discusses his view of numerous political figures and policy issues in (Part 1)

Milton Friedman on Hayek’s “Road to Serfdom” 1994 Interview 1 of 2 Uploaded by PenguinProseMedia on Oct 25, 2011 Says Federal Reserve should be abolished, criticizes Keynes. One of Friedman’s best interviews, discussion spans Friedman’s career and his view of numerous political figures and public policy issues. ___________________ Two Lucky People by Milton and Rose Friedman […]

Milton Friedman remembered at 100 years from his birth (Part 1)

What a great man Milton Friedman was. The Legacy of Milton Friedman November 18, 2006 Alexander Tabarrok Great economist by day and crusading public intellectual by night, Milton Friedman was my hero. Friedman’s contributions to economics are profound, the permanent income hypothesis, the resurrection of the quantity theory of money, and his magnum opus with […]

Milton Friedman videos and transcripts Part 7

Milton Friedman videos and transcripts Part 7 On my blog http://www.thedailyhatch.org I have an extensive list of posts that have both videos and transcripts of MiltonFriedman’s interviews and speeches. Here below is just small list of those and more can be accessed by clicking on “Milton Friedman” on the side of this page or searching […]

Transcript and video of Milton Friedman on Bill Clinton and Ronald Reagan (Part 1)

Below is a discussion from Milton Friedman on Bill Clinton and Ronald Reagan. February 10, 1999 | Recorded on February 10, 1999 audio, video, and blogs » uncommon knowledge PRESIDENTIAL REPORT CARD: Milton Friedman on the State of the Union with guest Milton Friedman Milton Friedman, Senior Research Fellow, Hoover Institution and Nobel Laureate in […]

Dan Mitchell’s article on Chili and video clip on Milton Friedman’s influence

Milton Friedman and Chile – The Power of Choice Uploaded by FreeToChooseNetwork on May 13, 2011 In this excerpt from Free To Choose Network’s “The Power of Choice (2006)”, we set the record straight on Milton Friedman’s dealings with Chile — including training the Chicago Boys and his meeting with Augusto Pinochet. Was the tremendous […]

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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I must say that I have lots of respect for Reason Magazine and for their admiration of Milton Friedman. However, I do disagree with one phrase below. At the end of this post I will tell you what sentence it is. Uploaded by ReasonTV on Jul 28, 2011 There’s no way to appreciate fully the […]

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What Jerry Seinfeld’s ‘Black Card’ Can Teach Lawmakers About Debt Limit

17 Reasons the large national debt is a big deal!!!

We got to stop spending so much money and start paying off our national debt or the future of our children and grandchildren will be very sad indeed. Everyone knows that entitlement spending must be cut but it seems we are not brave enough to do it. I have contacted my Congressmen and Senators over and over but nothing is getting done!!! At least there are 66 conservative Republicans in the House that have stood up  and voted against raising the debt ceiling.

Comedian Jerry Seinfeld waits for the next scene to be filmed for an episode of the program “Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee” near the Capitol in Washington on Dec. 6, 2015. All too many lawmakers under the Capitol dome think they have a no-spending-limits credit card of the sort Seinfeld joked about. (Photo: Matt McClain/The Washington Post/Getty Images)

As members of Congress debate the debt limit, some seem to think the government has an American Express “Black Card.”

In a 2018 episode of “Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee,” Jerry Seinfeld explained his version of how the Black Card came to be:

I was waiting for [the crew] to move some cameras, and the crew guy comes up to me, he says, ‘You got the Black Card?’ And I go, ‘No, what’s the Black Card?’ He says, ‘There’s only three in the world. The Sultan of Brunei has one, the president of American Express has one, and I thought you would have the third one.’ Next morning, I call the president of American Express. I go, ‘Is there a Black Card?’ He says, ‘It’s just a rumor. It doesn’t exist.’ He said, ‘But you know what? It’s not a bad idea.’ And so they developed it, and they gave me the first one.

The so-called Black Card—formally, the Centurion Card—is an exclusive, “no spending limit” credit card, available by invite only. While other companies also have their own versions of “no spending limit” credit cards, the reality is that none offers a blank check on spending.

The cards may have no preset spending limit, but they all limit cardholders’ purchasing power based on a rolling assessment of their creditworthiness and ability to repay.

And that makes sense because neither the Sultan of Brunei, nor Jerry Seinfeld, nor American politicians should be given a limitless line of credit.

America’s debt limit exists as a checkpoint, meant to protect Americans from the reckless accumulation of debt in their names, and those of their children and grandchildren. That’s why a majority of Americans oppose raising the debt limit unless policymakers also reduce spending.

Already, the U.S. has accumulated $31.4 trillion in federal debt—the equivalent of $242,000 per household.

If the federal government’s borrowing were subject to the same constraints as ordinary households, and it actually had to repay its borrowing, every household in America would suddenly have two mortgage or rent payments each month, instead of just one. (At $220,000 in 2021, average mortgage debt was slightly lower than each household’s share of the federal debt.)

But unlike ordinary households—and unlike even exclusive Black Card holders—the federal government can simply vote to raise or temporarily waive its debt limits.

Over the past decade, policymakers have frequently given lip service to the debt limit, choosing to “suspend” the debt limit for periods of time, instead of setting dollar limits, and usually failing to include meaningful measures to alter unsustainable federal spending.

The proof is in the pudding in the case against Congress granting itself unlimited spending periods. Over the course of 74 years, from the establishment of the first debt limit in 1939 (an amount equal to $968 billion in today’s dollars) to 2013, policymakers raised the debt limit by about $15.4 trillion.

In 2013, policymakers began the practice of “suspending” the debt limit instead of setting dollar limits and the consequence was $12 trillion in new debt over the following eight years, through 2021. That’s seven times the inflation-adjusted rate of expansion prior to the reckless practice of suspending the debt limit.

And the federal government blew through Democrats’ $2.5 trillion debt-limit increase enacted in December 2021, adding $19,200 in debt per household over the past 13 months.

>>> Combat the Inflation Reduction Act’s Central Planning

Imposing an actual debt limit and enacting meaningful spending reforms is crucial, because if politicians don’t set their own limits, they’ll face the market’s limits.

At some point, investors will become unwilling to continue lending to the U.S. government at reasonable interest rates, and recent years of reckless spending have pushed us closer to that point. The consequences of a market-imposed federal debt limit will be far more severe than the short-term effects of modest fiscal restraints that should accompany any debt-limit increase.

For example, if markets soured on U.S. debt in 2025, balancing the federal budget in that year alone would require policymakers to take an extra $10,000 per household across the U.S.

If, however, policymakers were to agree to meaningful spending reductions and pro-growth policy reforms in exchange for a specified increase in the debt limit, they could help avoid a fiscal crisis and start reducing the second-mortgage equivalent of federal debt that looms over every household in America.

They might even start to get us out of the red—and into the black.

COPYRIGHT 2023 TRIBUNE CONTENT AGENCY LLC

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.

June 17, 2013 at 7:13 am

GO-Debt-Denial-rev_600

Remember the debt? That $17 trillion problem? Some in Washington seem to think it’s gone away.

The Washington Post reported that “the national debt is no longer growing out of control.” Lawmakers and liberal inside-the-Beltway organizations are floating the notion that it’s not a high priority any more.

We beg to differ, so we came up with 17 reasons that $17 trillion in debt is still a big, bad deal.

1. $53,769 – Your share of the national debt.  

As Washington continues to spend more than it can afford, every American will be on the hook for this massive debt burden.

willrogers_450

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2. Personal income will be lower.

The skyrocketing debt could cause families to lose up to $11,000 on their income every year. That’s enough to send the kids to a state college or move to a nicer neighborhood.

3. Fewer jobs and lower salaries.

High government spending with no accountability eliminates opportunities for career advancement, paralyzes job creation, and lowers wages and salaries.

4. Higher interest rates.

Some families and businesses won’t be able to borrow money because of high interest rates on mortgages, car loans, and more – the dream of starting a business could be out of reach.

5. High debt and high spending won’t help the economy.

Journalists should check with both sides before committing pen to paper, especially those at respectable outlets like The Washington Post and The New York Times. A $17 trillion debt only hurts the economy.

6. What economic growth?

High-debt economies similar to America’s current state grew by one-third less  than their low-debt counterparts.

7. Eventually, someone has to pay the nation’s $17 trillion credit card bill, and Washington has nominated your family.

It’s wildly irresponsible to never reduce expenses, yet Washington continues to spend, refusing to acknowledge the repercussions.

>>>Watch this video to see how scary $17 trillion really is for your family.

8. Jeopardizes the stability of Medicare, Social Security, and Medicaid.

Millions of people depend on Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security, but these programs are also the main drivers of the growing debt. Congress has yet to take the steps needed to make these programs affordable and sustainable to preserve benefits for those who need them the most.

9. Washington collects a lot, and then spends a ton. Where are your tax dollars going?

In 2012, Washington collected $2.4 trillion in taxes—more than $20,000 per household. But it wasn’t enough for Washington’s spending habits. The federal government actually spent $3.5 trillion.

>>> Reality check: See where your tax dollars really went.

10. Young people face a diminished future.

College students from all over the country got together in February at a “Millennial Meetup” to talk about how the national debt impacts their generation.

>>>Shorter version: They’re not happy. Watch now.

11. Without cutting spending and reducing the debt, big-government corruption and special interests only get bigger.

The national debt is an uphill battle in a city where politicians too often refuse to relinquish power, to the detriment of America.

12. Harmful effects are permanent.

Astronomical debt lowers incomes and well-being permanently, not just temporarily. A one-time major increase in government debt is typically a permanent addition, and the dragging effects on the economy are long-lasting.

13. The biggest threat to U.S. security.

Even President Obama’s former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff thinks so:

Mullen_450

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14. Makes us more vulnerable to the next economic crisis.

According to the Congressional Budget Office’s 2012 Long-Term Budget Outlook, “growing federal debt also would increase the probability of a sudden fiscal crisis.”

15. Washington racked up $300 billion in more debt in less than four months.

Our nation is on a dangerous fiscal course, and it’s time for lawmakers to steer us out of the coming debt storm.

16. High debt makes America weaker.

Even Britain’s Liam Fox warns America: Fix the debt problem now, or suffer the consequences of less power on the world stage.

17. High debt crowds out the valuable functions of government.

By disregarding the limits on government in the Constitution, Congress thwarts the foundation of our freedoms.

Read the Morning Bell and more en español every day at Heritage Libertad.

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Liam Fox Issues a Warning to America Uploaded by HeritageFoundation on Feb 28, 2012 Britain’s Liam Fox has a warning for America: Fix the debt problem now or suffer the consequences of less power on the world stage. The former U.K. secretary of state for defense visited Heritage to explain why the America’s debt is […]

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Dan Mitchell: Assessing North Carolina’s Fiscal Policy

——-

Assessing North Carolina’s Fiscal Policy

When I first started citing the Tax Foundation’s State Business Tax Climate Index back in 2013, North Carolina was one of the 10 worst states.

In a remarkable turnaround, North Carolina is now one of the 10 best states.

The big improvement is partly because the state joined the flat tax club.

But there were other tax cuts as well, along with some much-needed spending restraint.

Sounds like great news, but you won’t be surprised to learn that not everyone is happy about what’s happened in the Tarheel State.

In a column for the Raleigh News & Observer, Ned Barnett opined yesterday against tax cuts – both the ones that already have occurred and the new ones that the state legislature is considering.

Republican state lawmakers think cutting taxes makes North Carolina more attractive to new businesses, but cutting taxes too much has the opposite effect. …Now, with the General Assembly back in session, they’re looking to cut some more. It’s a reckless path… Since Republicans began aggressively cutting taxes in 2013, the state has lost billions of dollars in revenue. …North Carolina has excess revenue because the state has reduced what it has historically spent as a share of the state economy – a drop from 5.8 percent to 4 percent… The state corporate tax has fallen from 6.9 percent to 2.5 percent and will be phased out by 2030. The personal income tax has been stepped down from a two-tier progressive tax with a top rate of 7.75 percent to a flat tax of 4.75 percent today. Now state Senate leader Phil Berger says the legislature should consider cutting the personal income tax to 2.5 percent.

The most important data cited above is that the burden of state government spending has dropped from 5.8 percent to 4 percent of the state economy.

This upsets Mr. Barnett, but the rest of us should view this as a major triumph for genuine fiscal responsibility.

And by imposing genuine spending restraint, North Carolina lawmakers created the “fiscal space” for meaningful tax cuts.

So why is Mr. Barnett upset? In the column, he complains that some parts of the budget are not increasing as fast as he would like. But he never offers any evidence that the state is suffering economic harm.

I suspect he offered no evidence because he has no evidence.

Or perhaps he offered no evidence because the data shows that he’s wrong.

And that’s exactly what I discovered when I checked the St. Louis Federal Reserve Bank’s per-capita income data. Lo and behold, incomes in North Carolina are growing faster than the national average and faster than the regional average.

The differences are not huge, but it’s nonetheless better to have faster income growth rather than slower income growth.

Some of my more sophisticated friends on the left doubtlessly will point out that states in other regions still have higher overall levels of average income, which is a fair point, but it’s also fair for me to respond by noting that the cost-of-living is generally much lower in North Carolina.

The bottom line is that North Carolina’s better tax policy has the state moving in the right directionwhile high-tax states are moving in the wrong direction.

P.S. North Carolina also is close to being among the 10 best states for educational freedom.

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!!!

——-

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)

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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, […]

Milton Friedman, School Choice Pioneer

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

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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Milton Friedman remembered at 100 years from his birth (Part 4)

I ran across this very interesting article about Milton Friedman from 2002: Friedman: Market offers poor better learningBy Tamara Henry, USA TODAY By Doug Mills, AP President Bush honors influential economist Milton Friedman for his 90th birthday earlier this month. About an economist Name:Milton FriedmanAge: 90Background: Winner of the 1976 Nobel Prize for economic science; […]

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Open letter to President Obama (Part 117.3)

A Taxing Distinction for ObamaCare Published on Jun 28, 2012 by catoinstitutevideo http://www.cato.org/publications/commentary/it-now-falls-congress http://www.cato.org/publications/commentary/taxing-decision http://www.cato-at-liberty.org/supreme-court-unlawfully-rewrites-obamacare-to… http://www.cato-at-liberty.org/congress-its-not-a-tax-scotus-yes-it-is/ The Cato Institute’s Roger Pilon, Ilya Shapiro, Michael F. Cannon, Michael D. Tanner and Trevor Burrus evaluate today’s ruling on ObamaCare at the Supreme Court. Video produced by Caleb O. Brown and Austin Bragg. ____________ President Obama c/o The […]

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Milton Friedman at Hillsdale College 2006 (part 2)

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Milton Friedman remembered at 100 years from his birth (Part 2)

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Milton Friedman believed in liberty (Interview by Charlie Rose of Milton Friedman part 1)

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Dan Mitchell: It’s time to celebrate another victory for school choice!!!

Milton Friedman – Public Schools / Voucher System

Published on May 9, 2012 by

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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Open letter to President Obama (Part 117.3)

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Dan Mitchell: The Solution to Maine’s Fiscal Problems – and a Lesson for the Entire Nation

——-

The Solution to Maine’s Fiscal Problems – and a Lesson for the Entire Nation

When I write about fiscal policy, there are two ever-present themes.

And both of these themes can be found in a comprehensive new report issued by the Maine Policy Institute.

The report provides lawmakers with a detailed analysis of the state’s fiscal status and it shows specific spending reforms that would save money and create “fiscal space” for pro-growth tax reforms.

I realize that readers from most places won’t care very much about some of the Maine-specific data, but the report contains some charts that teach a very important lesson that can be applied in other states, as well as in Washington and other national capitals.

Consider, for instance, this chart showing that Maine is getting in trouble because spending in recent years is growing significantly faster than inflation.

The same is true in Washington, except the problem is far worse.

And in other states. And various cities. And other nations.

In other words, governments at all levels and in almost all places have a hard time complying with fiscal policy’s Golden Rule.

That being said, spending caps are a universal solution to this universal problem. Let’s look at Figure 10 from the report, which shows how a TABOR-style spending cap would have produced very good results for Maine.

Once again, we can take this information and apply it very broadly.

A spending cap is the smart and effective way of dealing with irresponsible fiscal policy at all levels of government.

For instance, Switzerland is well know for its spending cap, known as the debt brake. This approach has yielded very good results for the nation’s finances, but less well know is the fact that many subnational governments in Switzerland’s federalist system have their own versions of a spending cap.

The bottom line is that good fiscal policy is universally applicable. And spending restraint is a necessary precondition for that to happen.

P.S. Some people ask whether a balanced budget amendment would be better than a spending cap. This question gives me an excuse to share one more chart from the study. As you can see from Figure 9, annual tax revenues are very unstable. Sometimes they grow rapidly, sometimes they grow slowly, and sometimes they actually shrink (and the same thing is true in Washington).

This means that a balanced budget requirement is very difficult to enforce and often does not produce good results. During boom years, when revenue is rapidly increasing, politicians have too much leeway to increase spending. And during downturns, when revenue if stagnant or falling, politicians claim that spending restraint would be too difficult and they raise taxes instead.

The advantage of a spending cap is that it targets the real problem of spending (rather than the symptom of red ink). Moreover, politicians are subject to a rule that is much easier to enforce(increasing spending by, say, 2 percent every year is very straightforward compared to the wild swings in spending that occur with a balanced budget rule).

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!!!

——-

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)

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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, […]