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Thomas Jefferson writes on the issues of his day, and ours.

March 29, 2012

Is it fair to tax the whole population to educate some of its children?

“I think by far the most important bill in our whole code is that for the diffusion of knowledge among the people . . . Let our countrymen know that the people alone can protect us against these evils [tyranny, oppression, etc.] and that the tax which will be paid for this purpose is not more than the thousandth part of what will be paid to kings, priests and nobles who will rise up among us if we leave the people in ignorance.”

–Thomas Jefferson to George Wythe, August 13, 1786

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  1. I personally do not think it is fair that I have no children yet I pay taxes to educate other people’s children. I think they should have a good education but it should be up to the parents to pay for it.

    • Shelly, I think you’re missing the point. By paying to educate ALL of our children, you are ensuring that they will not allow us to fall under the rule of “kings, priests and nobles who will rise up among us if we leave the people in ignorance.” MTV played a big part in our last Presidential election and look where it got us. Instead of being outraged that you have to pay to educate others’ children, shouldn’t your ire be directed at those responsible for educating those children, since they have obviously dropped the ball? You’re paying these people to educate children and instead what you get is indoctrination. Would you be upset if you went to a restaurant, paid for a ribeye, and received salisbury steak?

      • I agree with Chico.

        I no longer have children in public schools, yet I still pay taxes to educate other children. That is not a problem as I would rather have educated people around me than ignorant ones.

    • Educating the general populace is practical as well. Even though YOU may not have kids, you are investing in your own future by paying for the education of other people’s kids. The kids of today will be the workers of tomorrow. Doctors to take care of you, engineers to design your bridges, even reporters to give you the news of the day – these people all need an education to have those jobs.

  2. OBAMA 2012!

  3. I agree with Chico, Rave and Thomas Jefferson. An educated population will keep this country strong. Teach kids about the founding of this country at home if teachers aren’t doing the job and follow-up with a trip to Colonial Williamsburg.

  4. Shelly, please!

    How many people do you interact with daily who have been educated by the taxpayers? Perhaps even yourself. There are many services my tax dollars support which I will never use. As a member of society, I will gladly pay the taxes rather than exist in the alternative.

  5. The current construct of the education system in our country is the problem that needs to be addressed. Without debating the constitutionality of mandatory taxation for the purpose of public education, we need to focus on how the taxes are distributed. First, dismantle the US DOE, and reduce it’s function to a very minimal oversight of the state’s DOE to ensure that each state is providing a public education. Then, let the states handle public education individually. Perhaps one state chooses a centralized public education system and another chooses a more decentralized system. Another state may choose to dramatically limit the state wide role and leave education up to the counties, districts, or whatever division are determined to be reasonable to provide for education, the state performing a minimal oversight role and providing students with direct funding. Then parents (the revenue source, after all) can choose the school based on whatever criteria they have determined.

  6. Jefferson-Hemings DNA Controversy researchers, authors, and confused writers with agendas please click on http://www.tjheritage.org and http://www.jeffersondnastudy.com for the FACTS of this controversy.

    Jefferson and Eston Hemings DNA was found in John Weeks Jefferson, a descendant of Eston whose family always claimed descent from NOT Thomas, but his much younger brother, Randolph Jefferson (A Jefferson uncle or nephew they claim).

    The public is being conned by a foundation and writers who make money claiming Thomas fathered slave children. Please don’t believe them.

    Herb Barger
    Founder, Thomas Jefferson Heritage Society

  7. Teaching American history, government, and economics should be equally as important as instruction in reading, mathematics, and the physical sciences. Unfortunately, the twenty-first century trend is to focus on three and leave off the social sciences.
    I offer the following question for anyone who believes that social studies education is not relevant in today’s society.
    What do we gain when we discover the cure for all cancers or invent a clean, renewable energy source if in the interim we are not educated about our liberties and thus have no vehicle with which to secure those scientific benefits? If the government comes up with a cure for cancer and then rations medical care, taking the market out of the equation, then the people are at the mercy of the government and its bureaucrats to improve their well-being.
    Leave the decisions for the individual pursuit of happiness to the people, and they will act in their own best interest, thereby improving the common wealth.
    Without the proper instruction in history, government, and economics, the people become increasingly dependent on the government. With citizens’ knowledge of their inherent right to self-determination, all will benefit. Thus, the cost of education is justifiably shared by all as all will ultimately benefit from a universal system of eduation, especially one which includes a fair and accurate social studies curriculum.

  8. The more uneducated the population the less say they have in their government. We already have too few people excersising their right to vote.

    I think that is because they don’t know the issues and they aren’t educated enough to know how powerful the masses are.


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