Reprise of the Simple

4 May 2006

College textbooks cost too much. Even timeless books of literature, calculus and basic chemistry cost too much. Move into a study of computer science, microbiology or biomedical engineering and the books, which sometimes take a year or more to get to print, are out of date before they are a professor’s required text, and…they cost too much.Also a story about an angry Hispanic lacrosse player who vanished from a cruise ship during Bush’s low poll numbers

The “simple” in the title of this article refers to this question which you’ve read here before:

How much of an American citizen’s income should be paid to the government in taxes?

Nevermind the debate about what those taxes will be used to pay for. The question is how much is enough? In Memphis, TN we pay almost ten percent in state and local sales tax. We pay city property taxes. We pay county property taxes. We pay for car tags and driver’s licenses. We pay many other taxes.

Send a child to a state-run university and either you or your government subsidize the cost of that education. The only question is a trick, “who pays the greater share of the student’s education cost?” Answer: You paid 100% of the cost. The government has no money it didn’t receive from you.

Readers still with me at this point will enjoy an essay titled Tuition Soars Due to Knowledge Shortfall by Anne Coulter. Though one of her clever, obscure asides, here’s the quote that captures:

The two big topics on CNN last week were (1) high gas prices and (2) the high cost of college tuition. (Also a story about an angry Hispanic lacrosse player who vanished from a cruise ship during Bush’s low poll numbers.)

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