Don’t believe the press releases from Universal School Voucher enthusiasts, it wasn’t a winning message in Michigan, Pennsylvania, or Arizona governor-ships and senate seats. All swing states, the GOP needs to win to take bake the presidency and states where a GOP senator or two could protect the country from radical left-wing policies. The GOP should abandon taxpayer funded school choice and focus on empowering parents and not expanding the state. We all make mistakes, and the GOP will be making a big one if they decide to enact universal taxpayer funded school choice policies that will ultimately increase dependency, control, inflation, and ultimately government.
Exit polls show that three main groups vote for Democrats, they are single women, those with advanced degrees and those on Welfare. Those who vote republican are men, married women and those who did not spend extra time in the Marxist indoctrination centers we call schools and colleges. A house divide will not stand, and you cannot defeat an idea by spreading it’s benefits yourself. Marxism is as much about who controls the purse strings and the ideas that are directly taught. In short you can’t defeat the Marxism being taught in the school system, by expanding the Marxist funding to those who’ve opted out of the system. Universal, taxpayer funded, school choice is just taking the “men and married women” category and moving those voters into the “Welfare” category. Corey DeAngelis who is a spokesperson for Universal School Choice often cites Food Stamps as a good comparison for Universal School Choice. Who do those on food stamps generally vote for? Democrats.
Republicans in swing states of Michigan and Arizona ran on universal school choice, and the results were disastrous for the GOP. States where we could have easily picked up or defended Governor-ships and Senate seats were lost. School Choice itself is an idea worth supporting but expanding the welfare state to do so in the form of Universal School Vouchers is not a winning message.
Many proponents of Universal taxpayer funded School Choice bills call Arizona the gold standard. If winning elections is something you’d like to do, then clearly it is gold for democrats, who picked up state-wide seats after enacting the law. It is still early, but some early results showed that less than 1% (about 4000 students) left the public school system while 10,000 joined the public welfare roll. Those signing up were middle class and higher and were already out the Marxist schools. Meanwhile prices for goods and services in Arizona are climbing, because of the “free money” entering the system.
For example, you are a school that has room for 100 students, and you charge $7000 a year in tuition and are generally full. Now that these students each get about $7000 in voucher money, the savvy administration will slowly increase their tuition to $14,000 over the next few years. They know the families get $7000 and they could already afford $7000. I have a friend who is a college President and he said that when he goes to funding and financing meetings with other colleges, they mostly talk about how they can get more government money and how they can use this to raise tuition. This is what will happen to K12 education if the government picks up a good portion of the check through universal taxpayer funded vouchers.
What about the kids, we need to help the kids? Yes, and universal school choice does not help them. You are not helping the kids when you are creating policy that promotes dependency on the government, increases government control on their lives, and makes things in life more expense. If you take the kings coin, you become the kings man. By expanding Marxist funding to the private sector, you are not in fact helping the kids get out of Marxist schools. You are expanding Marxist schools, because Marxism is an economic theory about who should pay for things. If you are embracing government collecting taxes and then using those taxes to pay for private education you aren’t getting kids out of the system, you are putting more of them into it.
Right now, about 10% of students are not in government funded K12 institutions. Universal taxpayer funded school vouchers will drive that number down. So, 10% of America is showing that you don’t need the government to receive an education. Imagine that universal school choice is enacted and now that number is less than 1% of students are dependent on the government for education. These students grow up and become voters. They will vote for UBI, single payer health care, and a host of other welfare programs, because they were educated through welfare. This policy normalized welfare for 99% of the population. Those students will not grow up and vote for conservatives.
We’ve established that universal taxpayer funded school vouchers will create dependency. We are seeing in Arizona prices rising and we’ve seen through similar college programs the cost of college skyrocket and the now student debt is out of control. Inflation resulting from “free money” should be no surprise to us. Next let me establish government control.
First good governance requires oversight. Oversight requires money and power. As a taxpayer and a conservative, we should want good oversight of how our taxes are being used. These Vouchers literally open the door to your home to the government. You might say that the government wouldn’t do that, but it already does in states with more limited vouchers. The laws may be initially passed with limited or no controls, but that will quickly change once the families are dependent on the money and have changed their lifestyle around expecting those funds to be there. Like a frog in boiling water, as the control strings are being attached the participant won’t realize what they’ve done until it is too late.
Ultimately taxpayer funded school vouchers will normalize welfare for everyone, creating a society dependent on the government. This will make it very difficult for conservatives to win elections. Prices will rise, and so more welfare will need to be doled out. Now the voters will be dependent on an expanding government, instead of a limited one. In the name and practice of good governance more and more control will be put on the funding. In the end the government will have expanded it’s control over the people.
The good news is we have true school choice in all 50 states. You can homeschool, send your kids to private school or a government institution. Conservatives should promote policies that lower true costs for families, help them keep more of their money in their own pocket, and encourage private and direct investment in education locally. That is a winning message, not just today, but for our future. The kids are depending on you, they are worth it.