A Smorgasbord of New Taxes

Trillions of dollars in new taxes are coming soon; here’s what to expect..

A Smorgasbord of New Taxes

By: George Noga – September 19, 2021

Hold on to your wallet! The House Ways and Means Committee has begun marking up the whopping $3.5 trillion (really $5+ trillion) infrastructure bill, expected to be enacted into law later this year via the reconciliation process. Not only will your taxes skyrocket, but some of the biggest increases may be retroactive to the beginning of this year. Following are some of the tax increases democrats are seriously considering.

  • Increasing the top marginal income tax rate to 39.6%
  • Raising the corporate tax rate to 28% – a 33% increase
  • Eliminating the step up in basis at death – more on this infra
  • Doubling the capital gains tax to 43.4%
  • Capping Section 1031 like-kind exchanges
  • A plethora of new taxes on energy companies
  • Border tax on carbon – raising prices of many imported goods
  • Taxing carried interest for the first time ever
  • Removing all caps from the payroll tax
  • Taxing unrealized capital gains each year
  • Applying the payroll tax to investment income

New taxes will be paid by ordinary Americans

President Biden vowed not to increase taxes for Americans earning less than $400,000. The naked truth is that the trillions in higher taxes will be paid by the middle class. Economists universally agree the burden of corporate taxes falls on shareholders, employees and consumers and not on companies. In August, the Joint Committee on Taxation estimated the middle class would pay 98.4% of the increased corporate taxes.

Indeed, nearly all the tax increases listed supra will be paid by the middle class. When asked why he robbed banks, Willie Sutton replied, “Because that’s where the money is.” And so it is with taxation in America. Progressives must rob – err tax – the middle class because that’s where the money is. They demagogue the wealthy in order to beguile ordinary Americans into accepting what they would not otherwise tolerate.

Progressives prefer class warfare to raising revenue

The main objective of taxation is to raise revenue and in an efficient manner. Biden has proposed doubling the capital gains tax rate to 43.4%. This would be an effective rate above 50% when adding state taxes. The CBO estimates the revenue-maximizing rate for the capital gains tax is 28% – most economists believe it is 20% to 24%. The CBO found for each 1 percentage point tax increase, there is a 1.2 point decrease in sales of assets subject to the tax. Raising the tax to 43.4% costs the government money; instead of raising revenue, the tax is hemorrhaging tax dollars. There is only one logical explanation: democrat ideology prefers class warfare that divides Americans.

The capital gains tax is arguably the unfairest tax of all because: (1) it often is double taxation such as gains previously taxed at the corporate level; (2) most gains result from inflation and are not indexed; (3) gains and losses are asymmetrical; loss deductions are limited to $3,000 per year whereas gains are unlimited; (4) it is a tax on investment that harms productivity and wage growth; and (5) taxpayers holding onto assets too long results in misallocation of resources damaging the entire economy.

The estate tax is back – and with a terrible vengeance

Just when you believed estates of less than $11.7 million were safe, democrats have found a back door to tax estate assets above $1 million – and it is a cruel and virulent tax. Democrats accomplish this by eliminating the step-up in basis at death for all gains in excess of $1 million and then taxing them as a capital gain in the year of death.

Consider the example of a farmer who bought land in 1950 for $250,000 and then dies in 2022 with the land valued at $4 million. The farmer’s heirs would be required to pay capital gains tax on $2,750,000 (the sale price of $4 million less the original basis of $250,000 and less the $1 million exemption) at 43.4%, or a tax of $1.2 million. Based on BLS data, $250,000 in 1950 would be $3 million in 2022 when adjusted for inflation. Perniciously, the entire tax of $1.2 million is attributable to phantom income from inflation. This tax will devastate family-owned farms, ranches and businesses.


The Biden tax increases will fall on the middle class as they always must. Family businesses will become extinct. Social Security and Medicare will exhaust their reserves. The deficit will accelerate its death spiral. But those aren’t the worst things that will happen. The out-of-control national debt is (by far) the biggest threat to our national security, which is why we have a government in the first place.

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Next: The 140th birthday of the greatest social thinker of the 20th century.

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The best way to minimize inequality . . . Privatize Social Security Immediately

Private Social Security benefits everyone at all times – even when markets melt down.

The best way to minimize inequality . . .

Privatize Social Security Immediately

By: George Noga – September 12, 2021

With one stroke, government could virtually eliminate wealth inequality and most income inequality. Economists calculate the current Social Security program yields about 1% per year and when the beneficiary dies his/her heirs get absolutely nothing. In recent decades, private accounts invested in balanced index funds have returned 7% net of inflation; moreover, when the beneficiary dies the heirs inherit a fortune.

To illustrate, $100,000 compounded at 1% for 35 years results in

$140,000; compounded at 7%, it yields over one million dollars.

George W. Bush proposed privatization but progressives demagogued it mercilessly. Barack Obama said, “If Bush had his way, millions of Americans would have had their Social Security tied to the stock market; their nest eggs would have disappeared before their eyes.” Obama demonstrated his economic ignorance. Forbes magazine published a study by the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) written by a former commissioner of the Social Security Administration; the study proved that privatization is beneficial even if initiated right before the stock market plummets by 54% as in 2007-2009.

Under the Bush plan, only workers under age 55 were eligible for private accounts and no retiree could possibly have lost money. The absolute worst case in the AEI study was for a worker who started a private account in 1990 at age 53. That worker would have received benefits seven-tenths of one percent less that Social Security. However, the worker would still have come out way ahead because he owned the account. Even when markets melt down 54% at the worst possible time, private accounts are better.

American Birthright Accounts

The best plan is to replace Social Security with America Birthright Accounts or ABAs. We at MLLG invented the ABA concept and published it in in our posts of 5/20/18 and 6/17/18. These are easily available on our website: Following is a summary of American Birthright Accounts as we first proposed them three years ago.

Government creates a tax-free ABA at birth for every child born in America and funds it for $5,000. Each year until retirement, government adds $500. The account is professionally invested in a diversified portfolio of global index funds. Since 1930 markets have increased 7% yearly net of inflation and despite meltdowns. When the ABA beneficiary is age 65, the account exceeds $1 million and generates $6,000+ per month tax-free and in today’s dollars. A retired couple, both with ABAs, receives $150,000 per year tax-free and would have $2+ million to bequeath to heirs.

American Birthright Accounts make every American a millionaire

ABAs are affordable. There were 3.6 million births in the USA in 2020 – about 3.5 million net of early mortality. This equates to an annual cost of $17.5 billion for the initial $5,000 and $1.75 billion for the $500 per year. The average cost for the first 10 years is $25 billion per year; in year 11 the cost is $35 billion and increases by $1.75 billion every year thereafter. This is less than one-half of one percent of the budget.

Private Social Security and ABAs Minimize Inequality

Creating ABA accounts, or even privatizing Social Security, would go far in eliminating inequality in America. It would make all Americans stakeholders in our market economy. Private accounts succeed due to the power of markets whereas Social Security fails because of the evils of government. Progressives oppose making everyone rich because it would eliminate their dependence on government.

ABAs would cost $250 billion over the first 10 years and easily would fit into the infrastructure bills now proposed by progressives. It would cost a mere 5.5% of the $4.5 trillion and it would give an entirely new meaning to “Born in the USA“.

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Our next post is about all the new taxes in your future – thanks to Biden.
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MLLG Labor Day 2021 Special Posting . . . Capitalism Contains a Self-Destruct Gene

The cardinal rule for parasites is never to kill the host.

MLLG Labor Day 2021 Special Posting . . .

Capitalism Contains a Self-Destruct Gene

By: George Noga – September 5, 2021

Labor Day rightfully honors labor, but there also should be a day set aside to honor capital, which greatly enhances the productivity and value of labor. Throughout history, man’s labors have resulted only in grinding poverty, but when capital alloys with labor great wealth is produced. Unfortunately, capitalism is self-destructing.

Karl Marx 170 years ago wrote that capitalism contained the seeds of its own destruction. He thought competition would become destructive and exploited workers would rise up to create a classless society. Marx was right about capitalism but for the wrong reason. A century ago, economist Joseph Schumpeter also posited capitalism would self destruct. Schumpeter believed the success of capitalism contained the seeds of its ultimate destruction. Schumpeter was right and for the right reason.

Schumpeter: “Capitalism cannot survive . . . its very success undermines the institutions which protect it and creates conditions in which it cannot survive.”

Not only has Schumpeter been proven right, his rationale was accurate. He reasoned that: (1) capitalism would create enormous wealth; (2) the wealth thusly created would enable many more people to become educated; (3) it would spawn a large intellectual class that made its living attacking the system of private property and freedom necessary for its own existence; and (4) people educated by such progressives would vote for liberal welfare states, leading to the demise of capitalism. BINGO!

Just how bad is it? Nearly half of US adults now say they prefer socialism to capitalism. A poll asked if respondents had a favorable view of capitalism or socialism. A majority of Democrats favored socialism; in fact, Democrats in every age group, gender and race preferred socialism. Millennials preferred socialism by nearly a 50% margin and 60% said they would rather live under socialism than capitalism. Perhaps those folks should spend their next vacation in Venezuela, Cuba or North Korea.

Capitalism has created a cornucopia of wealth; extreme poverty is nearly eradicated and every metric of human well being is improving. However, the demise of capitalism will usher in a dark age and destroy all those blessings along with our liberty. When Schumpeter’s prediction reaches fruition, it will drag the entire planet into a lengthy and unspeakable Orwellian torpor where all men lead lives of quiet desperation. Nowhere is it written that liberty must survive. Of the 120 billion humans that have trod this earth since time began, fewer than 1% have lived their lives in liberty.

We have written often about whether or not the success of capitalism truly sows the seeds of its own destruction. Up until now, we have not answered that question. With much regret, we now must conclude that capitalism will indeed be destroyed by its own success. Somewhere, Joseph Schumpeter must be thinking that he told us so.

The cardinal rule of parasites is never to kill the host – but that is precisely what is happening today as progressive parasites are murdering their capitalist hosts.

Our next post is about the privatization of Social Security.
More Liberty Less Government – –

30th Anniversary of School Choice in America – Part V Welcome to This Failed Government School

This post is a letter public school principals should be required to send annually to all parents.

30th Anniversary of School Choice in America – Part V

Welcome to This Failed Government School

By: George Noga – August 29, 2021

Dear Parents:

As principal of the government school your child will attend, there are some hard truths I must tell you. This school has failed for many years, but it never will close. Most of our teachers graduated in the bottom deciles of their class; they are marking time until their mega-pensions begin; however, a few harbor delusions of adequacy.

I can’t fire bad teachers due to the public sector unions which exert Herculean efforts defending the worst teachers, even those who pose an imminent danger to your child. I can however get a few placed in rubber rooms where they draw full pay and benefits for doing nothing, but at least they can do no further harm. If there should be a pandemic or other emergency, we will immediately shut down the school and hold your child hostage until we shake down and extort everything we possibly can.

Our unionized teachers bargain for work rules at your child’s expense; that’s why our school day begins at zero dark thirty, even though that is detrimental to learning. Always remember that government schools are a jobs program for adults; your child is an afterthought. Our teachers and staff are anti-competitive government workers who oppose pay based on merit or results; they are overpaid for what they produce. Our problem is not just a few bad apples, but that the barrel contains mostly bad apples.

Regardless of your family’s religion or values, we indoctrinate your child in a secular religion that is pro-government, anti-business and politically correct. We scare the bejesus out of your child about the environment and climate change. We teach your child Critical Race Theory, i.e. America is a racist country and the only thing that matters is your child’s race. We teach America was founded in 1619 when slavery was introduced. We encourage your child to question the gender that was assigned at birth.

Perish any thought about escaping this failed school; you have no choice. Your family must be low-income because no children of affluent families (who have choices) will attend this school. School choice may be the civil rights issue of our time, but our teachers will stand in the schoolhouse door if necessary to stop your child from escaping. We are unaccountable to parents, but live in constant fear that if you had a free choice your child would escape the clutches of our government monopoly.

Most students at this school are minority. Even though we know it is systemic racism, we force children of color to attend this failed government school. We throw poor black and brown kids under the school bus with an assist from the NAACP, public sector unions and the Democratic Party. These groups each made a devil’s bargain with teachers unions. They support public sector unions over your child in exchange for campaign funding and votes – despite the great harm this inflicts on your child.

By the time your child leaves this school, he/she will be several grade levels behind. It is not about money. We spend nearly as much per pupil as the most elite private schools in our area, but the spending is wasted on a gaggle of administrators and union inflated salaries. We are lucky if half the money ever sees the inside of a classroom. We have a constant police presence and metal detectors reminiscent of prisons. Nonetheless, we cannot promise your child will be safe here. To the contrary, violence is endemic and our school is a petri dish for every possible dysfunction and social pathology. It is good if your child plays sports as we value that above education.

Graduation is a testament to perseverance, not learning. Your child won’t be able to attend college – even community college – without extensive remedial work. Your child will be ill prepared for any desirable job. Any awards or honors your child receives at this school are cruel hoaxes intended to beguile you into believing learning actually is taking place. Even if your child becomes our valedictorian, don’t get your hopes up. None of the past several valedictorians here was accepted at any university.

I did not sugarcoat what you and your child can expect here. If you ever have any complaints, I will listen politely but nothing will change because I am not accountable to you. Welcome to this failed government school.

Next: Capitalism’s success has sown the seeds of its own destruction

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30th Anniversary of School Choice in America – Part IV Teachers In America Are Overpaid – Not Underpaid

Teachers claim to be underpaid; all the evidence points in the opposite direction.

30th Anniversary of School Choice in America – Part IV

Teachers In America Are Overpaid – Not Underpaid

By: George Noga – August 22, 2021

If you missed the prequel (July 25) or any of the prior posts in this series, they are easily viewed here on our website: www.mllg.usNext week is the must-read series finale: a letter every government school should be required to send to all parents each year.

It is possible that at some time in the distant past (50-60 years ago), teachers truly were underpaid. This belief has persisted to the present, no doubt with much encouragement from teachers. Nonetheless, all the available evidence (which is presented in this post) leads to the opposite conclusion, i.e. teachers in America today are overpaid.

Every child in America should be entitled to a voucher to attend a school chosen by his/her parents. Teachers should be paid based on merit as determined by free markets and not by tenure or public sector unions.

Compelling Evidence Proves Government Teachers Are Overpaid

Objective Surveys: The BLS (Bureau of Labor Statistics) shows no underpayment. Forbes magazine listed the 25 most underpaid jobs in America; teaching was not among them. The same is true of every other job survey that has been published.

Public Sector Unions: Teacher pay is determined by bargaining between public sector unions and governments which have symbiotic relationships. Teachers are paid via tax dollars, not free markets. No scient person can believe that, after decades of highly coercive union bargaining, teachers (and only teachers) somehow are underpaid.

Private School Pay: If unionized government school teachers truly were underpaid, we should expect to see teachers in private schools earning more. Instead, nonreligious private school teachers earn 15% to 20% less than their public school counterparts.

Logic: No other job in America has been so consistently asserted to be underpaid. Such an imbalance simply cannot persist for many decades in a market economy.

Post-teaching Pay: When teachers leave to accept non-teaching jobs, their pay does not increase; this is a prima facia case they were not underpaid while teaching.

Benefits: Teachers receive guaranteed lifetime employment (they cannot be fired), lifetime health care for their family, uber-generous pensions and lots of vacation and holidays. When factoring in these benefits, their total compensation skyrockets.

Overpaid Government Workers: Study upon study shows public sector workers are compensated about 25% more for the same work compared to the private sector. Since teachers are government workers, it is logical they are overpaid by the same amount.

Apples to Apples: Teachers (who should know better) use false pay comparisons. They disingenuously compare those with STEM degrees who graduated in the upper deciles of their class to teachers with education degrees mostly from the lower deciles.

Not Merit Based: Teacher pay is based on tenure – not on merit or on any objective metric of job performance. In fact, basing pay on results or merit is anathema to teachers. Union rules reward the worst teachers at the expense of the best ones.

Lingering myths about low teacher pay are fueled by elites, liberal media, pubic sector unions and government. Outstanding teachers undoubtedly are underpaid; however, all objective data and logic leads inexorably to the conclusion that teachers in America today (taken in the aggregate) are overpaid by somewhere between 15% and 25%.

Whatever you do – don’t miss the series finale next week!
More Liberty Less Government – –

30th Anniversary of School Choice in America – Part III

Accountability of Private vs. Government Schools

By: George Noga – August 15, 2021

Accountability is the go-to argument of those opposed to school choice.

30th Anniversary of School Choice in America – Part III

Accountability of Private vs. Government Schools

By: George Noga – August 15, 2021

Since the founding of the school choice movement 30 years ago, opponents in government, unions and the media have tested many arguments against vouchers. They first claimed private voucher schools could be used as witches covens or Ku Klux Klan klaverns. When that failed, they argued vouchers would drain funds from public schools – even though per pupil funding actually is increased. Next, they asserted religious voucher schools are anti-LGBTQ. When that failed, they screeched private schools are unaccountable and that has been their go-to mantra ever since. In this post we contrast accountability of private schools versus government schools.

Accountability in the Private Sector

Private sector businesses compete to provide accountability to consumers; there is no such thing as an unaccountable free market. Von Mises said it best, “Markets are a daily plebiscite in which every penny confers the right to vote”. The private sector is accountable from the bottom up, with consumers exercising control directly by what they buy. Consumers register their choices about one specific product at a time.

Markets, including for private schools, deliver safety, quality and value in many ways. The primary method is branding; when you buy an Apple computer, the company’s reputation is on the line. Another method is franchising; when you eat at Olive Garden, you know what to expect. A third method is independent rating services like Consumer Reports, BBB and Underwriter’s Laboratories. Another powerful method is social media and online ratings, where even a few lousy reviews can torpedo any business.

A good example of market accountability is Uber. With Uber, consumers get location, name, photo, driver rating, fare and arrival time. They get a spotless car, prepay via credit card, get an email receipt and rate the driver. Uber drivers are solicitous of the customer’s comfort and safety; many even offer complimentary bottled water.

Government Accountability (Oxymoron Alert)

Government (including public schools) doesn’t compete and is accountable to the consumer (voter) only indirectly and infrequently. Government schools do not have branding, franchising or independent ratings and are oblivious to social media. To the limited extent it may exist, accountability is from the top down. Consumers can exercise limited control only through the political process once every four years. Voters must select among candidates with positions on numerous issues; they cannot register a choice about any one product or service. Further, in many jurisdictions accountability is impossible due to political dominance by interest groups or voting blocks.

Let’s contrast Uber with government-regulated taxis. With taxis you get no information about location, the driver, fare or arrival time. What you do get is an unkempt driver with poor English who drives aggressively. The taxi has a musty odor, blares obscene music and costs triple Uber – and no credit cards accepted. Complaints are futile. Which is more accountable, the private sector (Uber) or government (taxis)?

In one school district (Providence, RI) with 25,000 students, an independent review found peeling lead paint, brown water, leaking sewage, rats, frigid temperatures, classroom chaos, bullying, no discipline and rampant violence. Only 5% of students were at grade level. And they spent $18,000 per student – 50% above the national average. These horrors have been going on for decades with no accountability.

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Private schools are immediately and directly accountable. If parents are unhappy for any reason (educational quality, cost, safety, values), they can switch to another school; if enough parents are unhappy, the school must improve or go out of business. Contrast this with the Providence, RI schools which have failed for decades, will continue to fail and will never close. If Providence parents are unhappy, they cannot change schools. Complaining to elected officials is pointless because one party (Democratic) controls all elections. How much of that kind of accountability do you want?

The next time you hear voucher schools are unaccountable, remember the parents of Providence, Rhode Island. Teachers unions, government and media claim they want to regulate voucher schools to make them accountable to politicians who will promptly turn them into the same veritable hell holes parents are desperately trying to escape.

Next week in Part IV we take on the issue of teacher pay.
More Liberty Less Government – –

30th Anniversary of School Choice in America – Part II Pandemic Exposes Appalling Behavior of Teachers Unions

Government schools are jobs programs for adults; children are mere afterthoughts.

30th Anniversary of School Choice in America – Part II

Pandemic Exposes Appalling Behavior of Teachers Unions

By: George Noga – August 8, 2021

During the pandemic teachers unions and government apparatchiks shut down public schools. They shamelessly held children hostage to shake down and to extort every conceivable benefit possible. Their greed may come back to haunt them as their contemptible behavior revealed their true nature to a great many Americans.

It has been crystal clear for well over a year that there is no basis in science for failing to resume traditional classroom teaching. Children are highly unlikely to get Covid or to pass it on. Per the CDC, “There is scant evidence of significant virus transmission among grade school age children.” Schools in Europe, Japan and other places demonstrated schools could safely reopen with proper protocols. Catholic schools in the USA, with over 1.6 million students, stayed open through the pandemic providing yet further evidence that schools could safely remain open for in-person learning.

Teachers in government schools and their unions didn’t care about the horrors that resulted from their greed and disregard for the children entrusted to them. There was at least a year of lost learning that never will be recovered. There was widespread depression and increased family pathologies. There was lost earnings as many parents could no longer work and were forced to remain home to care for children. Meanwhile, unionized teachers went on vacation in a flagrant display of selfishness and contempt.

Parents Lose Faith in Government Schools

The avarice of teachers unions is coming back to bite them. Government schools have been failing for many decades, but the pandemic brought this into sharp focus for many parents. They have lost faith in the public system and are deserting it in droves. Private schools and home schooling both report skyrocketing increases in enrollments, as do Catholic schools. Many more parents are searching for alternatives.

50 school choice bills have been introduced this year in 30 states.

Meanwhile, the failure of government schools to open has led to astounding advances in school choice throughout America. West Virginia just enacted its first educational savings account; Georgia is increasing its voucher program; South Dakota expanded its tax credit vouchers. Arizona, Indiana and Florida are in the process of expanding school choice. Altogether, 50 school choice bills have been introduced in 30 states.

The pandemic unleashed tectonic forces; one can viscerally feel the ground shifting beneath support for government schools run by and for educrats and public sector unions as jobs programs for adults – the children be damned. Thanks to lessons learned in the pandemic, a rapidly expanding cohort of Americans now wants to end the evils wrought by the monopoly of government schools and public sector unions.

Although the pandemic inflicted great harm, it may have hastened the day when every child in America will have the ability to attend the school chosen by his/her family.

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Next is part III in the series – Accountability and School Choice.

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30th Anniversary of School Choice in America – Introduction and Universal School Choice

Every child in America deserves educational choice; the money must follow the child.

30th Anniversary of School Choice in America

Introduction and Universal School Choice

By: George Noga – August 1, 2021

This month is the 30th anniversary of Patrick Rooney’s founding of the school choice movement in America. In observance and celebration, we present a six-part (counting the prequel) series dissecting critical issues pertaining to educational choice. This post presents a summary of each part. First however, a few words about teachers.

This series is highly critical (perhaps even brutal) toward teachers in government schools and their unions. We unapologetically call them as we see them. Nonetheless, we are mindful many readers and/or family members teach in government schools. There are 3.5 million K-12 teachers in America; many are excellent – like those related to our readers. It would be wrong however to ascribe the problems with our schools to “just a few bad apples” when, in reality, the barrel contains mostly bad apples.

Our goal is for every child in America to receive a government voucher sufficient to attend the K-12 school chosen by his/her family – including private, public, religious, home and virtual.

30th Anniversary of School Choice – Summary

School Choice Movement in America (Prequel – July 25): This was published last week; if you missed it, please read it on our website: That post presented the history of the school choice movement in the USA and Florida. Yours truly founded the Florida movement in 1994; today, it provides educational choice scholarships each year to 103,000 children from low-income families at a cost of $700 million. I also served on a national board that started private voucher programs in 100 US cities.

School choice is the civil rights issue of our age. Forcing children of color

to attend failed government schools is the worst systemic racism extant.

Covid Unmasks Teachers Unions (Part II – August 8): The pandemic opened a window for Americans to see teachers in government schools and their unions for what they really are. Teachers shutting down schools unwittingly put support for school choice on steroids, as parents lost all faith in government schools and public sector unions.

Accountability and School Choice (Part III – August 15): We once and for all demolish the myth that private schools are not accountable. Free markets always are accountable and government accountability is an oxymoron. The most potent force on earth is a consumer armed with a free choice. Private schools are accountable through branding, franchising and social media, where even a few bad reviews can sink any business.

Shattering Myths About Teacher Pay (Part IV – August 22): This post provides compelling reasons why the shibboleth that teachers are underpaid is false. The facts show teachers are overpaid by about 15%-25%. Teacher pay should be determined by markets based on merit, not by public sector unions based on tenure.

Welcome to this Failed Government School (Part V – August 29): The not-to-be-missed finale in our series is a letter the principal of every government school should be required to send to parents of students prior to the start of each new school year.

Next on August 8th – How Covid unmasked teachers unions.

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I Was Present at the Creation of the . . . School Choice Movement in America

“Mother, I have to go to school today; my teachers are counting on me.”

I Was Present at the Creation of the . . .

School Choice Movement in America

By: George Noga – July 25, 2021

August is “Back to School” month for MLLG; we will publish a multi-part series on school choice throughout the entire month for which today’s posting is a prequel.

Next month marks the 30th anniversary of the school choice movement, which began in 1991 when the late J. Patrick Rooney used his own money to fund a private voucher program in Indianapolis for children from poor families. It was an instant success. The Wall Street Journal published a glowing front page story in 1993 which led to others starting similar programs in Milwaukee and San Antonio later that year.

I was in Hawaii vacationing with my family in the summer of 1993 when I read the WSJ article. My first thought was, “I can do that too“. I was not wealthy enough to fund the program by myself and would need to raise money. Fortunately, I was well positioned to shake the money tree by virtue of owning an investment firm that had some of the wealthiest people in our area as clients and also due to my erstwhile fund raising for local arts organizations while serving as head of the Orlando Opera.

I had raised enough (including $50,000 from Betsy DeVos of the Orlando Magic Youth Foundation) by the end of 1993 to fund 250 scholarships. I decided to begin in time for the 1994 school year and our Orlando program thus became the fourth one in the USA. To get the word out, we ran an ad in the Sunday paper and distributed applications at predominantly black churches. We had no idea what response to expect.

The first week after our ad, I was expecting 10-20 applications and would have been ecstatic with 50. Two days after our ad appeared, we received 250 applications and they flooded in until there were 2,500. We awarded scholarships by lottery with only 1 in 10 applicants selected. We urgently needed to raise money to help more kids.

Jeb Bush, the keynote speaker at our inaugural banquet, came up afterward and asked me if he could help. He committed a day of his time to help raise money and we soon spent a day meeting with business leaders throughout our area. Later, Jeb was able to get a corporate tax credit scholarship bill though the legislature, which provided money to foundations such as ours. The organization I founded in 1994, now called Step Up for Students, last year awarded 103,000 scholarships for $700 million to enable children from low-income families to escape failed government schools. Wow!

Because of the astounding success of our efforts in Orlando, I was invited to join the board of Children First America, the leading school choice organization in the USA. The board included Patrick Rooney, John Walton, Betsy DeVos and Ted Forstmann. During the years I served on this board, we raised many millions of dollars and were instrumental in starting private scholarship programs in over 100 American cities and our efforts led to 33 states (today) enacting educational choice voucher programs.

Each year in Orlando, we held a picnic for the scholarship children and their families. Near the end of the picnics, we invited parents, who wished to do so, to step up to the mic and share their personal journey. The stories we heard were heart rending. The scholarships truly changed countless lives. I recall one such story in particular.

One of our scholarships went to a middle school boy who had been in constant trouble at his government school. His mother told us he hated going to school and often feigned illness to avoid going. One morning, a few months after he began attending his new school, he awoke sick with a 102 degree temperature. Nonetheless, he insisted on going to school. Taken aback, his mother asked why he wanted to go. He replied, “Mother, I have to go to school today; my teachers are counting on me.”

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For the entire month of August, we address educational issues.

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MLLG Special: The Camouflaged Nexus Of . . . Climate Change, Critical Race Theory and the Spending Crisis

There is a hidden connection among climate change, race and the spending crisis.

MLLG Special: The Camouflaged Nexus Of . . .

Climate Change, Critical Race Theory and the Spending Crisis

By: George Noga – July 18, 2021

Three mega-issues changing America are linked in ways not well understood. Climate change is regarded, including by President Biden, as an existential issue in the literal sense and not the philosophical sense of mankind’s search for meaning. The spending crisis will change America forever and Critical Race Theory has become an accepted part of pedagogy in schools, universities and workplaces throughout America.

The common denominator of these three issues is socialism along with its misanthropic stepchildren: communism, progressivism, and liberalism. In each case, unreconstructed socialists are the driving force behind the cause. They are working in tandem toward the same goal – whether or not they coordinate their efforts. They receive financing and succor from a coterie of camp followers and useful idiots including progressive groups, academia, public sector labor unions, teachers, media, government bureaucrats, NGOs, entertainment, organized religion, social media – and even sports and business.

Climate Change and Socialism

After the fall of the Berlin Wall and the collapse of communism, die-hard Marxists were homeless. They decided to pursue their goals via a back door by taking over the environmental (and later, climate change) movement. They simply cloaked their anti-capitalist agenda in green language and became watermelon environmentalists, i.e. green on the outside but red on the inside. Patrick Moore, a founder of Greenpeace, said, “Following the collapse of communism, Marxists hijacked the (climate change) movement. Their far left agenda is about socialism, not ecology or (climate).”

Critical Race Theory (“CRT”) and Socialism

Marxism is based on class conflict and the belief that workers would seize the means of production and create a utopian socialist society. However, socialist-style regimes proved dismal failures, murdering over 100 million of their own people. The human carnage and economic toll were so great even die-hard Marxists couldn’t hide from it. Moreover, Marxists came to understand workers in the USA, Western Europe, Japan and many other places never would buy into the notion of class struggle.

Just as Marxists knew they needed a back door (environmentalism and climate change) to achieve their goal, they also recognized they needed an alternative to class struggle. They decided to substitute race (and ethnic) struggle for class struggle and BINGO, Critical Race Theory was created. Masters of maskirovka, commies decided on the euphemism “equity” as their mantra. By equity they mean an end to private property and redistribution of everything according to race. There would be no individual rights, only group rights. At its core, Critical Race Theory is virulent socialism.

Spending Crisis, Modern Monetary Theory (“MMT”) and Socialism

Most groups pushing for MMT and massive spending, debt and deficits are socialist. Once again, they are seeking a back door to socialism. Progressives understand Americans will not accept socialism under normal circumstances; therefore, they must create an emergency serious enough to beguile Americans into accepting the hitherto unacceptable. Thus, we have a spending crisis that will result in horrors so frightening people will accept anything – especially if they are promised it is only temporary. The spending crisis is yet another back door to a socialist United States of America.

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There you have it – the nexus of climate change, CRT and spending; they all represent back doors to socialism. The leaders of these movements know full well what they are doing but are few in number. They must rely on camp followers and useful idiots, i.e. clueless liberals besotted with feel-good progressive bromides and good intentions.

We must stand up to these assaults on our liberty and way of life. That requires the courage to speak the truth and to withstand the slings and arrows directed at you by elitist mobs. But courage begets courage and a majority is one person with courage.

Next on July 25th – The school choice movement in America.
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