Thursday, January 3, 2008

Ron Paul

So, doing some Ron Paul reading.

It was talking about he sponsored some bill to give a $1k tax cut for teachers, and a $5k cut for anyone who spent any money on any sort of education expense. I know you would probably be against this as you are against extra cuts, but I think education is a good area to spend money.

Obviously the one child left behind thing is terrible, but that's because it's just a way for the federal government to control an area it has no right to by giving funding then getting that area addicted to the funding then threatening to withdraw funding if they don't comply with insane requests. That is why it's a bad idea to let the fed get involved in those areas (to include insurance), and why it's a bad idea to let the fed have an (basically) unlimited money supply (let the states collect taxes directly, then give some to the fed).

So like I was saying investments in education are always a good idea. I'm in favor of any long term thinking, and education is the ultimate long term thinking. A better educated population is a better population in every area. Even a better educated Taco Bell employee will make a better taco (our number one problem today [poor quality tacos]). So, while I'd guess you'd be against it (maybe not, but seem to be against additional spending, and helping people out in general), I'd propose a GI bill for the whole population type thing. It would follow the same general outline as the GI Bill but adapted somewhat.

First off, let's say $1000 a month, with cost of living allowances. It would be a maximum of 36 months, and you'd get a percentage based on how much of full time you were going (so 2 classes is 50% full time, you get 50%, $500 [you'd also only use half a month, so you'd get 72 months worth in all, but still the same grand total {36k}]). Just like the GI Bill you'd be able to spend it on any expense that would help you get a job, like certifications. Also, like the GI Bill it'd pay the same no matter what your tuition would be. That $1k a month (so about $9k a year), would be the same even if you spent more or less. I think not having to work would help a lot while going to school.

The one major change I would put would be some sort of requirement on grades, I'd say A's and B's, and maybe some partial amount for C's (but it would still count as your whole month). I know they use that ridicules GPA system, and I don't really know what translates to what in it, I think it'd be 3.0, but that may be high. Also I think the GPA is an average (the word average in grade point average gives it away), and that would mean you could do horrible in some classes and still get the money. Instead I would like it where any class you got less than a B in you wouldn't get credit for taking (you still get the credit hours, just not the money). So if you took 4 classes and got 3 B's, an 1 D you'd get paid as if you were only going to school and taking 3 classes, (75% full time, $750).

There'd also have to be some sort of stipulation to pay off school debts if they happened before this. I was actually thinking of a system that would only pay off debt. It may be better because it would be able to only pay people that actually got degrees. And pay more based on how well you did, plus how high a degree you got, (and maybe what field you got it in [quantum physics > African arts]).

Some people would likely complain, if they had just recently paid off their debts. My response to this would be approximately "boo hoo, too bad, so sad", I suspect politicians would respond differently. The answer could be instead to simply pay for degrees, a set amount based on the above factors. I don't really like that, as it would pay out a lot more money, plus it's supposed to help people who couldn't/wouldn't go to school before go to school.

Like I said I suspect you'll oppose this, as it'll increase taxes, and create more bureaucracy (admin costs). It'd also be highly unconstitutional, but it'd be easy enough to implement on a state level. Ignore the help it provides to people, just focus on the return it would provide. Like I said above a more highly educated populace would improve all areas of life, and boost our GDP, thus tax revenue.

One unintended consequence I could foresee, would be that it would increase school costs, plus decrease pay for having a degree. Simple supply and demand says that as more people go to school the price will go up, and as more people have degrees the pay for that will go down. That is ok, as long as it's reasonable. What I don't want is for schools to raise their tuitions to effectively be old tuition + $1000 a month.

Anyway here is some other stuff I found in the Ron Paul article: "Paul charged his fellow legislators with voting for the Patriot Act without reading it first; more than 300 pages long, it was enacted into law less than 24 hours after being introduced. In response to such Congressional actions, Paul introduced "Sunlight Rule" legislation, which would not allow votes on legislation to occur until ten days after its introduction, with the intent of giving lawmakers enough time to read bills before voting on them. The bill requires allotting 72 hours for House members and staff to examine the contents of amendments."

"He proposed legislation to decrease Congressional pay by the rate of inflation."

I'm still reading other stuff, but it's time to go home.

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