Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Love lost

There's not much to say about Spitzer's budget that others (namely The Chalkboard) haven't already said, but my own little two cents are "you lost me at the v-word."

Sorry Mr. Spitzer, but vouchers (in the form of tuition tax credits) are a deal breaker for me. You are no longer my favorite new governor.

Tuition tax credits are particularly odious because they follow the Jeannie Allen-ish logic that people who send their kids to private school are paying "double" for their kids' education -- once for tuition and once when they pay their property taxes. The problem with this logic is that it suggests that rather than being a public good that benefits everyone in society equally, whether you send children there or not, public school is a service that you should only have to pay for if you use. I would almost prefer a straight-up voucher program than tuition tax credits.

Prediction: gleeful editorial from the NY Sun tomorrow.

UPDATE: Not quite the rapture I was anticipating, but here's the blurb on vouchers from the NY Sun editorial:
It's all frustrating to friends of real reform, the more so because there is so much admirable in the budget the governor is going to be trying now to get through the same Assembly he has just alienated. The most important, by our lights, is the point of principle he has crossed with his proposal for what can be called a voucher concept that would offer a $1,000 tax deduction to parents who pay tuition at "public and nonpublic schools." It's modest, but it's a start.

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