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1998 Ron Paul Chapter 37

Education In America Is Facing Crisis

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22 April 1998


The SPEAKER pro tempore. Under a previous order of the House, the gentleman from Texas (Mr. PAUL) is recognized for 5 minutes.

(Mr. PAUL asked and was given permission to revise and extend his remarks.)

1998 Ron Paul 37:1
Mr. PAUL. Mr. Speaker, education in this country is facing a crisis. If we look at our schools carefully, we find out that there are a lot of drugs in our schools, actually murders occur in our schools, rape occurs in our schools, it is infested with teenage pregnancies. There is total disrespect for authority in many of our schools, and there is no good record to show that the academic progress is being made that is necessary.

1998 Ron Paul 37:2
The President happens to believe that if we have national testing, this will solve all our problems. And now he is addressing these very, very serious problems that we have in our schools with saying that if we can only get these kids not to smoke a cigarette, maybe we are going to solve these educational problems.

1998 Ron Paul 37:3
I would say that he is going in the wrong directions. These are serious problems and we must do something, but pretending that we are going to crack down on kids testing a cigarette, as bad as it is, is not going to solve our problems.

1998 Ron Paul 37:4
I have a couple suggestions to make on what we can do to improve the educational system. I have a bill that I introduced recently. It is H.R. 3626. It is called the Agriculture Education Freedom Act. This is a bill I think everybody in this body could support.

1998 Ron Paul 37:5
What it does, it takes away taxation on any youngster who makes some money at one of these 4H or Future Farmers of America fairs. When they sell their livestock, believe it or not, we go and tax them. Just think of this. The kids are out there trying to do something for themselves, earn some money, save some money and go to school; and what do we do as a Congress, we pick on the kids, we go and we tax these kids.

1998 Ron Paul 37:6
I talked to a youngster just this past weekend in the farm community in my district, and he told me he just sold an animal for $1,200 and he has to give $340 to the U.S. Government. Now, what are we doing, trying to destroy the incentive for these youngsters assuming some responsibility for themselves? Instead, what do we do? We say the only way a youngster could ever go to college is if we give them a grant, if we give them a scholarship, if we give them a student loan. And what is the record on payment on student loans? Not very good. A lot of them walk away.

1998 Ron Paul 37:7
There is also the principle of it. Why should the Federal Government be involved in this educational process? And besides, the other question is, if we give scholarships and low-interest loans to people who go to college, what we are doing is making the people who do not get to go to college pay for that education, which to me does not seem fair. It seems like that the advantage goes to the individual who gets to go to college, and the people who do not get to go to college should not have to subsidize them.

1998 Ron Paul 37:8
I think it is unfair it pick on these kids. I think it is time that we quit taxing any youngster who makes some money at a 4H fair or Future Farmers of America fair where they are selling their livestock and trying to earn money to go to college.

1998 Ron Paul 37:9
I think it is proper to say that they should have no taxation without representation. They are not even old enough to vote, and here we are taxing them. I mean that is not fair.

1998 Ron Paul 37:10
So I am hoping that I get a lot of cosponsors for this bill, because there sure are a lot of youngsters around the country trying to assume responsibility for themselves.

1998 Ron Paul 37:11
I do not believe for 1 minute the President’s approach that we are going to assume that every kid is going to grow up to be a smoke fiend, and if we do not do something quickly, we are going to have them developing all these bad habits; at the same time, we see the deterioration of the public educational system.

1998 Ron Paul 37:12
Also, I would like to mention very briefly another piece of legislation that would deal with this educational crisis. The Federal Government has been involved in our public schools for several decades. There is no evidence to show that, as we increase the funding and increase the bureaucracy, that there has been any improvement in education. Quite to the contrary, the exact opposite has happened.

1998 Ron Paul 37:13
So I would say there is a very good practical case. I know the constitutional argument does not mean much. But the practical case is there is no evidence that what we have done so far has been helpful.

1998 Ron Paul 37:14
I have another piece of legislation that would give $3,000 tax credit to every family for every child that they want to educate by themselves. So if they would spend any money on their child, whether they are in school or out of school, in private school, at home schooling, they would get this $3,000 credit. I hope my colleagues will take a look at these two pieces of legislation.
Note:

1998 Ron Paul 37:8 I think it is unfair it pick on these kids. perhaps should be, I think it is unfair it picks on these kids. or perhaps I think it is unfair to pick on these kids.

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