November 22, 2004
Stephens County Tax Commissioner
PO Box 187
Toccoa, GA 30577-1402
Dear Ms. Whitworth:
Enclosed in my check for the amount of $350. This represents the amount owed on my County and State Tax. As to the school tax, it is against my religious beliefs to support a system so vile and corrupt.
As per the Constitution of both the State of Georgia and the United States, we have a Balance of Power principle. It is time that we return to this principle. That principle says that in order to curtail man's natural tendency to abuse power, power must be diffused among the people. This is why we have three official branches of government.
Today the education of our nation's children is determined by a minority of individuals employed by the government. This gives government a disproportional latitude in determining the curriculum taught at its "public" schools. Consequently, it is the government that controls the next generation of voters as well as the next generation of jurors. This power is in direct violation to the principles on which our country was founded.
This is of grave concern to me. Consider these words spoken by Benjamin Franklin:
"A Nation of well informed men who have been taught to know and prize the rights which God has given them cannot be enslaved. It is in the region of ignorance that tyranny begins."
On the Federal level, we have a Constitution that consists of enumerated or listed powers. It was the intention of our forefathers to have limited government; one where specific powers are granted to the Federal Government; any power that is not listed, is not granted. I would ask you to show me where the United States Constitution grants the Federal Government the right to provide educational services, but I realize that this is not your issue being that your position is on the local level. Nor is it your issue or problem that the Federal Government continues to take away funds from me in the form of taxes to provide a service that it was never granted the authority to provide in direct violation to the Constitution.
In addition, I am not willing to commit the Cardinal Sin of Economics; that is, to separate the consumer from his money. Without the ability to "fire" a service provider and take your child to another educator, public or private, there is no accountability. The consumer, the receiver of the goods and services, is essentially powerless to navigate through the turbulent waters of educating their own children. We may write a complex set of code that tries to hold our educators accountable, but none are as effective as the ability to simply allow an inept educational system to go out of business.
Yes, I am aware that in this country we have the political right to send our children wherever we desire. But most of us don't have the economic right. Without the latter, the former right becomes meaningless.
I know that there are a few parents that care enough about their children to place them in private education or in home schools, but they do so at great sacrifices. Not only do they have to pay for their own child's education, but also they are forced to pay for an empty seat(s) in the public school system. This practice is discriminatory and needs to stop.
Moreover, any attempt to "patch the system" and create codes/laws to improve the quality of education is doomed from the start because all codified laws are quantifiable; that is, they are issues of quantity. For example: how many students passed this or that test, how many teachers have advanced educational degrees, etc. All values of any importance, most of all the values which we desire to instill in our children, are issues of quality, not quantity.
I remember quite distinctly from my school days that the greatest factor in determining whether or not I would enjoy a class -- and enjoying a class is a prerequisite to doing well in it -- is whether or not I perceived that the teacher cared about me and how well I learned. Perhaps you can tell me how one would write a code that evaluates the degree in which a teacher cares about a student?
Make no mistake about it; children belong to their parents. Until children start to spring from the loins of government, I will not think otherwise. This is the law of nature and nature's God, the principles on which this country is founded.
Please inform me as soon as our government -- federal, state, & county -- embraces a voucher system or completely removes itself from the business of educating our children and I will dutifully pay my taxes in full.