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Taxpayer subsidies in nonessential matters

By Scott Tibbs, December 6, 2013

In a December 2 letter to the editor, the author asks if I would agree that his "taxes should not be used (unconstitutionally) to subsidize school vouchers for private parochial schools."

Actually, I would agree, and I said so in a February 2011 letter to the editor. Addressing the controversy over funding Planned Parenthood in a March 2005 letter to the editor, I said "these controversies would disappear if the city council would eliminate these subsidies and let us choose for ourselves what charities we will support." There is no need for an admonition to be "consistent."

If it were up to me, there would be no social services funding program at either the city or county level. I certainly do not support vouchers, due to the danger of government meddling in the operations of private schools. Furthermore, I do not want to subsidize schools that teach false religions such as Islam, and if I support tax dollars going to Christian schools my standing to oppose vouchers for a Muslim school is shaky at best.

The best option is for tax dollars to only fund the essential functions of a limited government. For local government, this would include things such as police, fire protection and courts. If government is not involved in vouchers to religious schools or subsidizing private charities (including faith-based charities, an idea George W. Bush foolishly promoted) then we will not be having arguments about where those funds should go.