Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Theft OK if Booty is for Education

In an article entitled “$100 mill. pulled from Rainy Day Fund”, it is reported that the cash-strapped State of Alabama is delaying sending out tax refund checks because public education is in proration and there is an anticipated shortfall of funds.

WFSA anchorman Bob Howell described the situation aptly in suggesting that taxpayers aren’t getting their refunds yet because education is a higher priority.

Apparently, per the article, “By state law the education system has to be funded before refunds are sent out.”

Let’s review some facts:

· There is a “Rainy Day Fund” for education from which $100 million has been pulled.
· There is apparently much more left in the “Rainy Day Fund.”
· Tax refunds are the money that the State has OVER-COLLECTED from taxpayers.
· OVER-COLLECTED taxes do not belong to the State.

I don’t know about you, but I would suspect that the average taxpayer who is due a “refund” doesn’t have the luxury of a “Rainy Day Fund” from which to operate when money is tight.

By the way, a tax “refund” is no such thing. It is, actually, a “return” of money that never belonged to the State and shouldn’t have been taken out of the taxpayers’ pocket. But Orwellian language manipulation is at work when the document taxpayers send to the government to report how much money they made is referred to as a “tax return”, giving the impression that taxpayers are giving something back to the government, while the government’s return of the taxpayers’ money – which it never should have had – is deemed a “refund”. Go figure.

Conceivably, then, if someone in Alabama state government decides that education had not been properly funded, no taxpayer will receive his “refund.”

There are many indications that public education has taken on a level of importance in our society wholly incommensurate with its actual worth: bloated bureaucracy, teachers’ unions in lock-step with liberal apparatchiks, poor graduation rates, totalitarian control over content. But delayed “refunds” should reveal just how subservient society has become to public education.

Don’t misunderstand. I don’t advocate educational anarchy. But public education is supposed to be a servant of the people. Government is supposed to be a servant of the people. They are not supposed to collude together in thievery against the taxpayer.

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