Having paid for pre-K (and two years of nursery school before that) out of my own pocket to the tune of around $15 grand a year (in 2008 dollars), I understand not only its necessity, but why we must subsidize it for those who can’t afford it—a class I regard as including myself.
So, of course I support universal Pre-K.
That being said, I have trouble understanding why the Mayor just doesn’t pull a George Aiken and declare victory and go home. He forced the Governor to fund Pre-K before a drop of sweat was shed; why now go for blood?
Though it doesn’t bother me much, I have no particular desire to raise taxes just for the sake of raising taxes, even if it’s only on the rich. Further, I consider it a rebuttable presumption that anything that calls itself a “dedicated tax” is a fraud.
If the Mayor thinks we need more revenue overall, let him say so; I’d probably not oppose that. If the Mayor wants to reform taxes, by placing more of the burden on the rich and reducing it someplace else (my choice would be “taxation by summons”) I’d probably help bang the drum for the crusade.
But a dedicated tax, even when someone else is putting up the money, is not a cause I’m going to expend any energy supporting.
Still, the emptiness of the arguments being raised against the mayor’s plan makes them as substantive as the hole in a bagel.