|Issue of the Day Posts Tagged ‘Spending’|
With the new school year upon us, it’s a good time to consider the quality and cost of the education provided by our local public school systems. One way to quantify the quality and cost of their education is to look at spending and performance, but by no means is this the only method. The top spending states are Vermont, New York, and New Jersey, according to the Census Bureau, at a rate of $14,000-16,000 per student, which is $6,000 more than the national average for 2006-2007 school years. Proponents of spending more suggest that it should lead to higher educational attainment. However, in 2004 the Manhattan Institute evaluated all 50 states and Washington D.C. and concluded that for the money, New Jersey students significantly under-preformed. In fact, the Hoover Institute stated that it was one of the lowest performing states in its region.
Looking at the historic performance on the SAT and spending over the last 30 years, the same assumptions should apply to the entire student population, yet that’s not the case. From 1980 to 2007, the amount of spending per student has risen nearly fourfold to approximately $10,000. During that time, verbal scores of both females and males remained steady and math scores gained only 20 points.
The Release of the 2008 Internal Revenue Service Data Book details many aspects of the fiscal intake of the Federal Government, including information about returns filed, tax collections, enforcement, taxpayer assistance, the IRS budget and workforce. During the fiscal year (Oct. 1, 2007-Sept. 30, 2008) of 2008, the IRS collected more than $2.3 trillion in taxes and processed over 250 million returns. $270.4 billion was distributed through the stimulus payments. Overall, the IRS spent an average of $0.41 to collect each $100 of tax revenue; that is $94.3 million. This number is actually down since the advent of the electronic filing system, of those filed, 101 million or 58% of individual tax returns were filed electronically.
The amount of tax revenue in current dollars has just recovered its stride from the deep tax cuts—its recent low point of 1.66 trillion in 2003—that the Bush Administration imposed. The percentage of tax returns examined by the IRS has actually increased and stayed steady since 2006 at an examination rate of 1% per year. However, with the new spending by both Presidents Bush and Obama, the increased tax revenue will not meet spending for the eighth year in a row.