A Superintendent Writes… Voucher Tax Credit or Public Theft – Part 1

In response to the 5/15/15 post, “Senate Bill 4: Voucher Tax Credit or Public Theft,” a LYS Superintendent writes:

Actually, allow me to retort (channeling my inner Samuel Jackson, Pulp Fiction). I think your analysis of SB 4 is a bit off.  I don’t think it’s theft. I think it’s a violation of the Texas constitution.  Here’s how.

The Senate claims the money sent to comptroller for these vouchers is not public money, it is a scholarship.  They think it is more like a donation.  So, the comptroller’s office will then manage this scholarship fund for the businesses that choose to donate.  In my opinion, there’s the point that should be tested in court.

The state is using public funds and resources to manage and distribute money that is not public money, according to the Senate.  That sounds like gifting public funds and resources, a violation of the Texas constitution.

But of course the state’s attorneys will argue the money becomes public funds as soon as it enters the comptroller’s account so the comptroller is actually managing public funds, which is allowed. I think the state’s attorneys would win that argument.  

Which, coming full circle, means the Senate is being dishonest by telling people these are not public funds, and a bit of theft is taking place, as you suggested. 

So, by using a circular argument and using the words of the Senate, I proved you right.  For the Senate to call these non-public funds is a disingenuous argument on their part. A straw man argument if you will.  Sort of like calling the Affordable Health Care Act payments we have to make to the IRS if we fail to purchase health insurance a “penalty,” because it would not have passed had it been called what it is, a tax.

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A Reader Writes… Voucher Tax Credit or Public Theft – Part 2

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