I agree with Wendy Wagenheim's assessment of school vouchers ("Why Public Money
Shouldn't Go to Private Schools," fall 1998), but for different reasons.
Government should not be in the business of educating our youth. My hard-earned money
is taken from me in the form of sales, federal, state, and property taxes in order to
subsidize the education of people I don't even know. It doesn't matter if vouchers are
used for public or private school tuition.
If my property and sales taxes were lowered, I would voluntarily donate money to a
private school that expounded my beliefsto paraphrase Thomas Jefferson- that government
which governs best governs least.
Wendy Wagenheim decries vouchers as forcing taxpayers to pay to support religious
institutions and someone else's choice of religious education. The key is that vouchers
and tax credits do not support any one religion, or a government-established religion. I
am forced to pay a lot of taxes toward causes I disagree with, such as foreign aid, the
IMF, unemployment "insurance," and the list goes on and on. She talks about
"laundering public funds by passing them through parent's pockets," which is the
most heinous falsehood perpetrated in America today, that the public has any funds it has
not first taken from individuals who have no choice but to pay. Her argument that anyone
who can will abandon public schools only reinforces that they are doing a poor job and no
one should be forced to support them.