Culture > Q&A

Active but limited government

"Active but limited government" Continued...

Issue: "Blurred Vision," April 5, 2014

Would teachers unions go for that? Teachers unions don’t want to havethe test. It’s also striking, that at least in some polls, the people most in favor of vouchers are African-Americans, at least between the ages of 25 and 35. Let’s at least have a major test and do what’s best for poorer people. We should certainly correct the injustice where wealthy white suburban folks spend vastly more money per person in their educational system than inner city African-American kinds of communities. 

Would you be in favor of extending vouchers to social service programs? In what areas do you think that would be most effective? Let me start that by saying that I can blame you, or give you the credit to some extent, for my voting for George W. Bush in 2000. 

This is a shock. I genuinely hoped that here we had a Republican who really cared about the poor and would come up with a different set of proposals. I have to say I was disappointed, although I do think President Bush did a great job with his White House faith-based office. I’m delighted whenever we can get private organizations to do more to deal with social needs—poverty and so on.

You don’t see a big role for them, though. As soon as Christians are more willing to be generous, and expand their programs, I am eager to have them take over more of those services. But Christians don’t give enough to do it, and the needs are so vast that it’s totally out of the question in the foreseeable future to have government step back.

I prefer poverty-fighting tax credits to vouchers: With tax credits Washington never gets its hands on the money, and individual taxpayers decide where to send it. What about an across-the-board tax credit of perhaps, 50 percent, for everyone giving to poverty-fighting groups? My first reaction is yes, absolutely. Even with the present system, I’m opposed to President Obama’s wanting to cut off at a certain level the tax deduction for people who give to charitable causes. I think that’s a mistake. We want more private activity, not less.

Marvin Olasky
Marvin Olasky

Marvin is editor in chief of WORLD News Group and the author of more than 20 books, including The Tragedy of American Compassion. Follow Marvin on Twitter @MarvinOlasky.

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