Campaign of Lillian Simmons
for Texas House District 52
For lower taxes and less government
Education and Taxes
Lillian Simmons believes in private schools. When we get a sufficient number of elected officials who believe likewise, then we will be able to promote private schools. In the meanwhile, and as long as most people prefer public schools, then we must support the public schools as best we can.
When we get a group of parents and legislators who are ready, then the way to promote private schools is the way Libertarian Ben Easton proposes in his answers below, simply cut funding to public schools gradually.
Texas House District 48 Candidate Forum
Four candidates are asking for your vote in a special election, Tuesday, January 17, 2006, to fill the unexpired term of State Representative Todd Baxter, who resigned his seat last year.
FOX 7 News State Political Reporter Mike Rosen asked each candidate the same four questions. The questions and the responses of Libertarian candidate Ben Easton are listed below.
1. Should the state put more money into the public school system or is the current funding level adequate?
BEN EASTON (L) - No, the State should NOT put more money into the public school system. In the long-term, I advocate a transfer of control, authority, and funding to the local level ... the extreme local level: the parents of the students. In the immediate future (next year), I would be fine with not increasing funding one penny. Two years from now, I would cut funding 1%; three years hence, I would cut funding 2%, and so on ... slowly weaning the citizens of Texas from the monstrous bureaucracy of government-run education. While this is happening, I would strongly and vocally advocate and encourage the private sector to create free-market solutions to the educational needs of our youth.
2. Do you favor cutting property taxes? If so, how would you make up for the lost revenue?
BEN EASTON (L) - Yes, I favor cutting property taxes, although to be fair, I would be willing to wait one year (see above answer). The lost revenue would be made up by the excitement, the inspiration, and the real economic opportunity - through private investment - triggered by the loosening of the State's grip around the necks of us taxpayers.
3. Do you support a voucher system in which taxpayer money is used to send children to private schools?
BEN EASTON (L) - Yes, I support a voucher system in which taxpayer money is rerouted BACK to the taxpayers! However, I see vouchers as a minor and intermediate step toward the real goal of getting the State out of the education industry. The Free Market can perform wonders, and it is the true engine that has given rise to the most productive nation in the history of the World. A truly free market ALWAYS produces the best products, at the lowest cost, to the most people. Look at other industries as proof if you don't believe me: restaurants, clothing, hardware, automobiles, computers, stereos, etc.
4. At what level should the state fund the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP)?
BEN EASTON (L) - Just as the State has no business being in the education industry, it has no place being in the insurance industry. I believe the insurance industry is so severely regulated (there are such artificial barriers to entry; there are state-mandated coverages and state-mandated formulas) that it cannot do the job of properly insuring citizens to the extent that it could if it were left free to do so. Thus, I would advocate deregulating the insurance industry as a way to provide, in a just, moral, and cost-efficient fashion, individuals and their children various types of insurance.