Friday, January 4, 2013

Everything Should Be Pay As You Go

Yesterday's Yankton Press & Dakotan printed a letter from Dennis J. Muser of Pierre. Mr. Muser contends:
I think that the real question is WHO is responsible for the education of children? The simple answer in three words — PARENTS, PARENTS, PARENTS! The point being, if schools really do need more funding, it is way past time that parents start paying tuition to their public schools rather than relying on the coercive power of government to hit property owners, etc.
 Let's leave aside the little technicality that the South Dakota Constitution mandates "it shall be the duty of the Legislature to establish and maintain a general and uniform system of public schools wherein tuition shall be without charge . . ."

In fact, let's take this suggestion out to its logical conclusion. I'm sick of government using its coercive power to tax gasoline. Let's run everything on a pay as you go system.. Let's put a ticket machine at the end of each driveway and the entrance to every roadway so that drivers pay every time we drive. Drivers can grab a ticket when they enter a roadway and pay when they leave. It doesn't matter if they're driving from their home to the nearest Walmart or from Walla Walla, Washington to Washington DC. Everyone should pay every time he or she drives.

I suppose bicyclists could pay a lower rate because they cause less wear and tear on the road, but with a pay as you use system, they'd have some skin in the game. Right now, they're freeloaders using the public roadways without paying gas taxes that fund roads. They even have the gall to complain if someone driving a 4x4 pickup runs them over. Skin in the game isn't the same as skin on the road. That 4x4 driver pays more for those roads than the bicyclist; he should have the right to drive from center line to shoulder as he sees fit.

People could hire their own private security forces instead of relying on police and fire department. Every individual could hire his or her own health inspector to insure that all the food one consumes is safe. That situation alone might make everyone feel like a king or queen. Didn't they have food tasters in the Middle Ages? Safety and self-esteem in one fell swoop, who could ask for anthing else?

Heck, let's do away with all taxes and rely of tariffs the way the country did for most of the 18th and 19th Centuries. A standing army is only quasi-constitutional anyway.

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