Wednesday, August 26, 2015

a bad tax credit

One of the axioms of the libertarian credo is that there is no such thing as a bad tax credit.  While some right wing politicians may talk about 'simplifying the tax code' those of us in the freedom movement understand that this is a euphemism for raising taxes.  The myriad exceptions written in to the code represent successful efforts by some to alleviate their tax burden and we should celebrate this achievement whenever it occurs.  There is no such thing as a bad tax credit; so leave it to Justin Trudeau and his merry gang of interventionists at Trudeau for PM headquarters to devise one.

His latest election promise is a tax credit for teachers worth up to $150 a year.  The problem with this credit is that teachers are net tax recipients.  They can't really be said to pay taxes; this is an accounting fiction. In reality the 'taxes' they pay are simply a reduction in their salary. So a reduction in this reduction is in reality a raise.  But teachers are already paid far too much (if you're using Chrome and can't read this link open it in incognito mode).  Even before counting their extremely generous benefits elementary and secondary school teachers make around $70 an hour. And what do we get for these high salaries? Not very much. Terrible teachers are protected vigorously by their union and bureaucracy and waste in public schools is endemic. The principled libertarian solution is both simple and powerful; smash the public school monopoly and the teachers union. Shut down public education, auction off the schools, use the revenue obtained in this manner to pass broad tax reform and let the free market handle education. Then a school which coddled bad teachers would find itself losing out to those which didn't.  Wasteful bureaucracy would also be weeded out because schools which found ways to eliminate waste and bureaucracy would be able to charge lower prices to consumers beating out their less efficient competitors. And parents who decided to home school would no longer have to subsidize the now non existent pubic school system with their taxes; an important development considering the supremacy of one on one education.

No comments:

Post a Comment