Tuesday, February 16, 2010

An Idea So Crazy, I Can't Believe Rick Perry Didn't Think of It First

Perhaps you've heard of the proposal in the Utah state legislature to eliminate the mandatory 12th grade. Seniors just screw around anyway, right? Also, I'm sure if that happened, senioritis wouldn't just transfer to the 11th grade or anything. Also, large numbers of teenagers hanging around with nothing to do has never caused any problems in society or anything.

Obviously we can make fun of these wackos in any number of ways. But let's take this proposal seriously for a minute. Because it now represents a serious policy idea in the conservative world. If you went back 40 years and suggested that much of the current Republican agenda would be mainstream and that even the Democrats would have adopted much of it, you'd have been laughed out of the room. Since Americans don't want to pay taxes under any circumstances and they also don't want big deficits (except for the military of course. Support our troops!!!!11!!11), we can expect crazier and crazier cuts to domestic programs. Cut the 12th grade? Eliminate all busing for high schoolers? Why not!

Of course, this isn't going to pass. The same laziness and greed that makes us not want to pay taxes makes us not want to deal with the consequences of not paying taxes either, particularly when that means we have to figure out what to do with our kids. But don't be surprised to see similar ideas pop up around the conservative blogosphere and filtering into Republican politics and mainstream political discourse in coming years.