Letter: Education is a public good

Published: Sunday, Feb. 16 2014 12:00 a.m. MST

Utah’s SB118, sponsored by Democrat Sen. Pat Jones, would only allow child tax exemptions for two children per family. That concept runs counter to the philosophy on which government programs are built.

Most of the things we need as individuals and families we pay for ourselves. But there are some things that are valuable enough to all of society that we choose to fund them universally through the government. Education is one of these things along with transportation infrastructure, defense, law enforcement and basic safeguards for the poor.

An educated populace has been deemed valuable enough that even those who don’t have children in public schools assist in paying the cost of educating all children. Just as those of us who are law-abiding pay for the police and gainfully employed pay for assistance programs. For years, Jones has been trying to pass a law to limit tax deductions for larger families. That runs counter to the notion that educating the populace is a worthy enough goal for the general populace to pay for it.

If publicly funded education is a worthy expenditure, then it is worth spreading the cost of it evenly over society like we’ve done up until now.

Mark Drennan

Sandy

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