Nuance: Wendy Davis says her top priority as governor will be, er, the children

“Investing” in them, that is.  As MKH quipped last month, Davis is all about furnishing The Children with cradle to grave government benefits, provided they’re fortunate enough make it to the cradle before the grave:

Davis’ tweet may seem to betray a ghoulish lack of self awareness in light of her late-term abortion zealotry.  To be fair, though, she doesn’t believe sixth-month, pain-capable unborn children qualify as people.  But once they’re out of the womb (one assumes that’s her cut-off, though one never knows with extremists), it’s time for the State to spend, spend, spend on ’em.  This attitude underscores two points about Texas Democrats’ leading nominee for governor:  First, she’s wildly out of step with her state and the broader American public on abortion.  Hell, she’s wildly out of step with the French public on abortion. Second, beyond her late-term abortion claim to fame, she’s just another run-of-the-mill tax and spend liberal.  To wit, Davis has taken to complaining about Texas’ relatively low per-pupil state education expenditures, as if that statistic is somehow dispositive:

A state senator opposed to a proposal intended to enable some children to attend private schools with government aid asserted that Texas already has a hard time keeping pace with other states. Wendy Davis, D-Fort Worth, told Sen. Dan Patrick, R-Houston, during an April 9, 2013, committee meeting that “we in the state of Texas are 49th in the country in what we are doing to support our per-pupil investment in education in the state.” She added that she prefers to prioritize putting dollars into the public schools.

So she’s grousing about comparatively low per-student spending levels within the context of opposing school choice legislation, natch.   It would seem Wendy Davis’ enthusiasm for “choice” doesn’t extend far beyond fetal dismemberment.  Why help empower poor kids to escape failing government schools when one could simply dump more taxpayer money into said failing government schools? Her implied logic here is that less spending must equal worse results, a common statist fallacy.  If Davis bothered to divert her attention from championing infanticide to study up on her state’s educational performance versus, say, California’s, she might discover a few confounding facts:

And then there is the puzzle of Texas. Per pupil spending in the Lone Star State is in the neighborhood of California’s, clocking in at 44th nationwide by the measure of Education Week. And yet, students in California are vastly outperformed by their peers in Texas — the nation’s second-largest state, whose demographics closely mirror those of California. (In both states, for instance, Latino students have recently become a majority population in the schools.) Eighth-graders in Texas rank 10th nationally in mathematics; their counterparts in California are at the bottom of the heap, just above Mississippi and Alabama, at 49th.

Why, it’s almost as if punitive taxation and endless spending do not automatically translate into better policy outcomes.  Weird, right?   In any case, Davis is likely to lose her gubernatorial bid next year, after which she may have some free time on her hands.  Coming soon(ish) to a vacated time-slot near you?


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