Education and Taxation

, Sarah Carlsruh, Leave a comment

This week’s Conservative Bloggers Briefing at the Heritage Foundation highlighted two hot topics: school choice and taxes.

Virginia Walden-Ford, executive director of the D.C. Black Alliance for Educational Options, spoke to bloggers this Tuesday about the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program, which, she insinuated, the Obama administration would like to end.

This scholarship program, argued Walden-Ford, provides kids the chance to escape the violence at D.C. public schools, adding that “These families come from some of the worst schools in D.C.”

Walden-Ford told bloggers that President Barack Obama said he would protect the kids who are already in the program, but that this did not actually happen. So far scholarships have been revoked for 213 children. Consequently, Walden-Ford has hosted weekly vigils in protest. She made it clear at the briefing “how important this program is to the [student’s] family.” That is exactly why, she said, so many children and parents have been so willing to help her in these efforts.

Walden-Ford hosted a Save School Choice rally on September 30th at the U.S. Capitol. The purpose of the rally, said Walden-Ford, was to show that she and her supporters are going to “fight no matter what.”

Another speaker, staff economist for the Tax Foundation Kail Padgitt, presented his organization’s 2010 State Business Tax Climate Index, a measure of state tax systems. He presented the Foundation’s rankings of each state’s business tax climate. South Dakota came in first place overall, taking the title from Wyoming, which ranked first last year. New Jersey once again had the worst-ranked business tax climate this year, said Padgitt.

A similarity the Tax Foundation saw among the top ten ranked states was that business decisions were not mandated through tax policies. Each of the worst-ranked states had eroded its tax base over time by allowing various credits, deductions and exemptions per requests by special interest groups.

Why does this matter? Padgitt reported that the top-ranking states, the states with the best business tax climates, usually have the most job growth.

Sarah Carlsruh is an intern at the American Journalism Center, a training program run by Accuracy in Media and Accuracy in Academia.