Let's hope Kind was joking when he talked about the alleged benefit of "one billionaire" leaving his or her money to the government: "I'm a big fan of education; I think more money should be poured into education. I think the environment is a mess and is spiraling downward. And I think our tax situation, you know we are in debt a lot. But I tell you, you cut off one billionaire, and he might be able to cover everything. If that billionaire were to die and leave his money to the government, all our problems may be solved."
Just "one billionaire"? Add up the net worth of Forbes' top 10 richest Americans. Their total net worth comes to $291 billion. The current projected annual deficit is $1.5 trillion -- five times the combined net worth of the 10 richest Americans. More money in education? Outside of Switzerland, the United States spends more money on K-12 than any other OECD country.
In 1985, a federal judge in Kansas City ordered the school district to close what he called an "appalling" gap in the quality of urban schools compared to that of suburban schools. Fox's John Stossel wrote: "The bureaucrats renovated school buildings, adding enormous gyms, an Olympic swimming pool, a robotics lab, TV studios, a zoo, a planetarium and a wildlife sanctuary. They added intense instruction in foreign languages. They spent so much money that when they decided to bring more white kids to the city's schools, they didn't have to resort to busing. Instead, they paid for 120 taxis. Taxis!
"What did spending billions more accomplish? The schools got worse. In 2000, 15 years and $2 billion later, the Kansas City school district failed 11 performance standards and lost its academic accreditation for the first time in the district's history."
Kind is not a stupid man. He graduated from Northwestern, where he studied pre-law. He is, of course, entitled to an opinion. But then so is actor Brad Pitt, who once refreshingly said: "You shouldn't speak until you know what you're talking about. Reporters ask me what I feel China should do about Tibet. Who cares what I think China should do? I'm a f--king actor! They hand me a script. I act. I'm here for entertainment. Basically, when you whittle everything away, I'm a grown man who puts on makeup."
And that's a wrap.