Thursday, February 28, 2008

Vouchers & Private Sector Accountability

As stated in the Journal-Sentinel's February 27, 2008 article, "Researchers based at the University of Arkansas said that city property taxes go up for each student who uses a voucher, compared to what would be the case if that student went to MPS, while state income taxes go down, as do property taxes in most of the rest of the state."

The voucher program doesn't produce better educational results, and it also increases homeowners' property taxes. Somebody tell me what voucher schools are good for again?

As we drive around the City avoiding potholes on roads we wish were maintained better, remember - money spent in one place is money that cannot be spent somewhere else.

Do we want better plowing? We better be prepared to hire more plow drivers and buy more equipment. Do we want the potholes fixed? We better be prepared to pay the costs. Nothing in life is free. OR ... We could cut off the voucher program since it achieves nothing better than the public schools, yet costs us more in increased property taxes, and put those savings toward potholes, snow-plowing, and much-needed infrastructure improvements.

The amenities we so often take for granted are the same ones we complain about when they are not perfectly done. We must remember all the areas that our taxes support. If each of us had to individually contract out for our own services, our individual cost would skyrocket. Although, I also understand the tax burden has been placed too heavily on individual homeowners. It's not a matter of taxes being too high. They're not. The services we want and the standard of living we expect in this community cost money. The problem is that the corporate community is shirking their responsibility and not paying their fair share.

Governments are forced to operate on shoestring budgets as it is. And one of the most ironic things is that one of the largest portions of local, city and state budget costs is private contracts. (Not to mention the tax deferments, exemptions, depreciation schedules, and a host of other tax avoidance schemes that corporations use.) Jobs that used to be public (government run) have, for the sake of "competition" and "the market," been outsourced to private firms. And this too is costing us more than it would have if we'd just kept the jobs publicly run.

For further reading:
Privatizing in the Dark
Stop Wasting America's Money on Privatization
Taking The High Road
Highway Privatization
Tax Hell Hoax
Privatize Equals Redistribute

No comments: