In a speech earlier today, President Obama asserted, “We will not cut education," and implied that doing so would be “reckless” and “irresponsible." The president’s heartening remark, however, comes as education funding is taking a massive hit at the state and local levels in most states, including New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Florida, and, yes, Wisconsin. The damage will likely last for many years.
In all the debate about what to cut and how deeply, there seems to be an assumption that an increase in revenue for education – to avert these massive cuts - is not an option. Although there are exceptions, very few Democratic governors are supporting tax increases to make up their states’ shortfalls, while Republicans governors are, of course, adamantly opposed.
Among many members of both parties, the presumption seems to be that raising revenue is simply a non-starter, because the American people are unwilling to pay more.
I’m not so sure. There is some evidence to suggest that this assumption deserves a second look.