Do you know that, if you put your child in a child-care center or in a nursery school, you may deduct up to $4,800 a year on your federal income tax, but if you send your child to a private school, you are not permitted to deduct even. one dollar?
The new 1975 Tax Act allows this generous tax deduction of up to $4,800 to working parents who put their young children in some kind of pre-school or baby-sitting facility, but it denies equal treatment to the parents who care for their own children for the first five years of their lives, and then choose to send them to pri vate schools.
Incidentally, it cannot be argued that the tax deduction for child-care out of the home is designed to benefit the poor. A deduc tion is allowed for working parents who have income up to $44,000 a year, and a couple with that kind of income is not poor by any standard.
Present law is thus highly discriminatory in forcing all Ameri can taxpayers to subsidize a public policy which provides cash in centives to lure children out of the home when they are under age five, but forces them o t of private schools and into public schools when they are over age five. This inconsistent policy rewards parents who do not want to take care of their own children, while putting a double financial load on parents who voluntarily relieve the state of the burden of providing schooling for their children.
Senator James Buckley and Congressman James Delaney have proposed a solution to remedy this unfair treatment — a bill to amend the Internal Revenue Code by allowing a tax deduction of up to $1,000 for each person whose tuition at a private school or college is paid by a taxpayer.
This bill will eliminate the present elements of discrimination, and it will save money for everyone. It will ease the financial burden on p blic schools, on private schools, and especially on the taxpayers. It will restore a freedom of parental choice in schools that will be beneficial for educational standards.
American parents seem to do a pretty good job of selecting their homes, their jobs, their automobiles, and their food. They should be given the freedom of choice to select schools for their children.
Most of all, the Buckley-Delaney bill will give us the oppor tunity to seek out alternative solutions to the current problems of the ten-year decline in scholastic achievement tests, the lack of moral training, and the rising crime and vandalism in the schools.
Economically, letting the taxpayers themselves spend their own money is the most efficient way to help parents. Any sort of govern mental aid always costs much more. A citizen may pay three dollars in taxes for every dollar of benefits he receives.
But there is a much more serious disadvantage of government spending than its finanpial cost: control of the minds of our chil dren. Letting parents spend their own money and choose their own schools is the only way to do an end run around the low academic standards, the mind control programs, the pornographic textbooks, and the atheistic ideology that are enforced on our children in public schools.