Is Cutting Educational Programs Reducing Taxes?

Is Cutting Educational Programs Reducing Taxes?

I recently came across this article on Betsy DeVos from the Washington Post that I found through Marginal Revolution.  I was never sure about the intentions or the reasoning behind a lot of the things Betsy DeVos did.  I heard that she was cutting funds from education along with school programs.  Yes, I also heard that she was literally evil.  I was never able to deeply understand DeVos’s motivations for doing these things.  I always saw the worst and only the worst about Betsy DeVos, and being that there was very little talk about the motivations behind what she was doing, I wasn’t convinced that she was, in a sense, just evil.  I just felt that people weren’t telling me the entire story.  

Just this past week, I watched Milton Friedman’s take on public education in his program Free to Choose.  In it, Friedman advocates for private schooling and schools which are much more controlled by the parents over public education which is controlled by the government.  From what I absorbed from the program, the message stated is that people pay taxes and those taxes pay for public schools where many schools don’t meet a certain standard.

I understand that to some, DeVos is literally just evil.  However, what I want to know is, if what Friedman is saying is correct, then does the cutting of educational programs and educational funding really cut taxes?  This is an honest question.  This isn’t me trying to be condescending or trying to corner people into a place in which they’ll have a difficult time responding.  I’m in every way sincere about wanting to know if DeVos’s motivation is the reduction of taxes.  

If so, in the article it states that Betsy DeVos wants to do the following:

  • Cut 9.2 billion from the Education Department budget.
  • Cut 154 positions from the Education Department.  

Again, I’m being sincere here: those 154 positions in the Education Department, are those people being funded by taxpayer’s money?

I understand that the article in the Washington Post is about Civil Rights programs in education.  I understand that people have different views on Betsy DeVos.  But, at the same time, it was only until the very end of the article that the author, Balingat and Douglas-Gabriel, tack on a quote by Margaret Atkinson, a staffer for Senator Lamar Alexander, “the president and DeVos are right to reduce staff where possible to be better stewards of taxpayers dollars.”  I want to know more about that.  I want people to elaborate on that.  I want to understand the benefits of things because right now we simply focus on the consequences and only the consequences.  In result, the world doesn’t make sense. 

I’m not for or against reducing Civil Rights programs or any educational programs.  What I am against is, when asking why someone does things, someone responds with, ‘because they’re evil.’  I don’t like that.  It feels as if people are not given the entire story.  It feels as if people are being manipulated.  

Alleyway in Biarritz France
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