By: Sarah Hannan
Growing up as a conservative, I was encouraged to vote no on every tax (a half-cent sales tax comes to mind) because I was taught that it was the responsibility of churches to help the poor, not the government. However, churches can only do so much and others will only do so much. The need is too great.
Being a recipient of federal financial aid (as well as numerous Pensacola State and privately funded scholarships) has enabled me to go back to school for my degree in Health Information Technology.
Yes, I could have taken out student loans, but is it a good thing to graduate straight into debt? That may work if you’re going to medical school and can pay it back quickly, but for some, even one extra monthly payment would remain a financial strain.
I recently had the opportunity to travel to Tallahassee with my Corsair group for a Q&A session with Michael Brawer and Sandy Ray of the Association of Florida Colleges. It was at this little conference I learned that landline taxes help fund things like new buildings and tutoring programs. Though business landlines are still in use, residential landlines are phasing out, and so the question is where will the money come from in the future?
I learned that day that you don’t realize how open your mind can be until you put yourself in someone else’s shoes, or rather, you find yourself wearing those shoes. I also learned that not all taxes, minus defense spending and infrastructure-building, are bad—just like not all lobbyists are bad. Investing in one’s community through public and private funding makes the world a better place for everyone.
Education is one of the best ways out of poverty, for the more we know, the better choices we will make.