Wow. Lots of opinions on this I see. That's good!

You know, one way to eliminate deficit spending and fund lots of things is to a) legalize drugs and b) legalize prostitution. Both of these distasteful pastimes take place regardless of whether or not you approve of them, and cost society billions each year in law enforcement, prisons, and myriads of other fees. if these activities were legalized, regulated, and taxed, their usage would NOT increase (at least in my opinion), and society would not dissolve into anarchy (again, the opinion of the poster), but we WOULD create an enormous revenue stream. How much money does the state currently collect from gambling (lottery, casinos)? What about legalizing and regulating/taxing other forms of gambling (sports for example)? The packaging and marketing/branding has already been done for marijuana, so turning it on would not take very long, and if people are willing to pay $8 for a pack of cancer, imagine what they'd pay for a pack of legal pot? I know that I'm stomping around blindfolded in a mine field with cleats on, but I really do believe in user fees, and to be honest, I'm glad that the fees for schools are shifting to the students (bus fees, book fees, sports fees, you name it). I don't know why education for free is viewed as a right - it's a privilege, and asking people who send their kids to private school (let's not even bring up WHY they might do that over sending them to public school) to also pay taxes to send my kid to school for free just doesn't seem right, or fair.

Of course some of the points I'm making are exaggerated and inflammatory, but what we're doing now doesn't seem fair to either to well-off or the less well-off. Just because someone makes a lot of money doesn't mean it's reasonable to tax them until they bleed. Believe it or not, many high income people actually work VERY hard for that money, and deserve to keep what they earn (there's that Republican in me comin' out again!). I'm with Alan on this one - I'm sick of paying taxes (real estate or other), and would love to have a more balanced approach to funding "public" things like schools, including (horrors) user fees.

-C