Sunday, August 2, 2009

Clunkers v. Vouchers

Over at Southern Appeal, Alberto Hurtado raises an interesting point:

As a conservative, how do I differentiate between the government giving me money to buy a car vs. the government giving me money to send kids to the school of my choice? Why is the latter but not the former acceptable in a limited-government, conservative orthodoxy?

It's a good question - but I believe the answer, from a conservative point of view, is two-fold:

1) One should only have to pay for education once. There are tax credits for college education, and there should certainly be for private schooling when it is compulsory - in Maryland, it is up through age 16. In some places, the public schools may be on par with the private schools, but I come from a different perspective because I grew up in an area where the public schools were (and still are) absolutely ATROCIOUS.

2) As for Cash for Clunkers, I said below that I 'applaud the stimulating nature of the program, but fear there is something a lot more insidious with it.' I am guessing that from the conservative view that if it were completely altruistic about returning tax money to its original owners, it probably wouldn't be raising too much of a problem. If it is really for the benefit of union makers of American cars and some environmental ideal, then I can see the problem.

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