Abolish Federal Education Spending

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people." — Tenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America

The Federal State has no constitutional authority for involvement in education. This alone should be sufficient reason to abolish the Department of Education and all federal education spending. But there are also two other powerful reasons . . .

  1. Federal education programs don't work. Instead, they actually cause harm.
  2. The Federal State is headed toward bankruptcy and needs to cut spending.

Statist schools don't work because they have no incentive to perform adequately. Unlike businesses in the Voluntary Sector of the economy, Statist schools can't be fired or replaced by the people they supposedly serve. This is the nature of Statism. It constantly compels the masters (citizens) to serve the servants (politicians and bureaucrats). As a result . . .

You're now spending more than twice as much for the Feds to meddle with education as taxpayers did in the 1970's, but student performance hasn't improved.

Instead, costs have soared. For instance . . .

College tuition has increased at twice the rate of inflation. Federal grants and guaranteed loans that were supposed to make education more affordable, have actually increased costs by enabling colleges to raise their prices. The result is that students are now tens of thousands of dollars in debt when they graduate.

This is par for the course for Statist programs. Consider just two other examples of this phenomenon . . .

  • Federal politicians created a host of schemes, like Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, to make housing more affordable, but the result was housing prices that skyrocketed, and then burst, leaving millions of people bankrupt.
  • Other federal schemes like Medicare and Medicaid were supposed to make sick-care more affordable too, but here again the costs have risen far faster than the rate of inflation.

The same thing has happened with education.

We can derive a principle from this . . .

Every time the politicians promise they can make something cheaper by spending more, that "something" becomes more expensive, not less, and we have to carry more debt and pay more taxes on top of it.

This makes the comparison between the Coercive State and the Voluntary Sector very stark.

The Voluntary Sector constantly does more with less, while the Coercive State constantly does less with more. The incentives dictate that it must be this way . . .

  • The Coercive State rewards itself for failure -- the worse schools perform the more money the politicians spend on them. This gives Statist institutions an incentive for incompetence.
  • But businesses and institutions in the Voluntary Sector have to perform well, or consumers reject them. This gives the Voluntary Sector a powerful bias towards competence.

The education of children is too important to be trusted to politicians and bureaucrats. Ultimately, we should have separation of school and state for the same reason that we have separation of church and state. We shouldn't have a monopoly provider of ideas about politics, economics, and history, for the same reason that we don't want a monopoly provider of religious ideas. As a step toward this ultimate goal, we should abolish all federal involvement in schooling.

The Constitution got it right when it failed to authorize a federal role in education. Schools should be managed at the local level, not from the top down. Better yet, schools should work for parents, not for teacher's unions and the local Statist school board. We need consumer centered education, just like we need consumer centered sick-care.

The place to start is at the federal level, where abolishing all federal education spending would cost us nothing, and gain us much. It would bring us in compliance with the Constitution, restore a certain amount of local control to education, and save us about $120 billion a year.

Tell Congress to abolish all federal education spending.

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We provide the first few words of the letter so that Congressional offices will see the most important point right at the start, and so that no one can hijack our system for another purpose. Here's the part we provide . . .

Abolish all federal education spending, including the Department of Education, and all education grants, aid, and loan programs.
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