Monday, October 25, 2004

Following the Money

Palm Beach County has a proposal on the ballot for a half-cent sales surtax, that's being promoted as supporting education. I just got a flyer in the mail about it today, and suddenly it all makes sense to me. No, not the tax, but why it's being promoted.

The flyer says that "An independent panel of civic leaders and experts in construction and finance, with no ties to the school district, will ensure accountability, and make sure tax dollars are spent for schools only." Hm. And I wonder who these experts will be? I imagine the construction companies who want the business will have several "experts in construction and finance", and they certainly would want to make sure those dollars are spent "for schools only". Meaning, for building or renovating the schools themselves, not for improving education in any meaningful way.

Not that I particularly support the idea of the government taking my money to pay for somebody else's education, anyway, but I really don't support it being used to build more schools and prisons -- which are remarkably similar institutions, when it comes right down to it.