As you know, the past two editions of this series have focused upon ways the federal government can reduce its borrowing and spending – which has led us directly into inflation and maybe even a recession. The first column discussed how and why the Bureau of Indian Affairs should be abolished, and the second how FEMA should be seriously reduced in size and involvement in national emergencies. This edition focuses upon the Department of Education, and why it should be abolished.

During the 1950s and into the middle 1960s I was in public schools here in California and, by and large, they were quite good. So I grew up being partial to public schools. But when my youngest son was in school here in Newport Beach my wife and I were so concerned about the quality of the public schools in our area that we enrolled him in private schools. What was the difference over time? It all started with politics! In his election campaign for President in 1976, Jimmy Carter courted the support of the National Education Association, which was the largest labor union in the United States, by promising that if he was elected he would create a new Cabinet-level federal Department of Education. And when he was elected he made good on his promise.

Of course, you can search the Constitution of the United States in vain for any authority for the federal government to be involved in education whatsoever, but it has been dictating policy by threatening to withhold federal funds from public schools all over the country ever since that time. And, as we all regretfully know, money talks. But ask yourself the question: who is in a better position to know where and how children should be educated, the federal government or their parents? I have never heard anyone answer that question by saying the government. Nevertheless, the budget for fiscal year 2022 for the United States Department of Education was $235.74 Billion! Yes, in today’s world public schools, at least in some poorer communities, should receive some needed grants and student loans from the federal government. But we do not need, nor should we want, to have a federal Department of Education dictating policy and curricula! And the continuingly lowered student test scores we have seen since 1976, as overseen by the DEA, are further proof! For example, only 41 percent(!) of the students in the Los Angeles “Unified” School District read at a proficient level. As such, the DEA should/must be eliminated, not only as a cost-saving measure, but to regain more local control and positive results in our public schools!

Thought for the week: There are four seasons in a person’s life: In the first you believe in Santa Claus; in the second you don’t believe in Santa Claus; in the third you are Santa Claus; and in the fourth you look like Santa Claus.

Judge Jim Gray (Ret.) Superior Court of Orange County, California 2012 Libertarian Candidate for Vice President

Please listen to our radio show entitled All Rise! The Libertarian Way with Judge Jim Gray as we discuss timely ssues and show how they will be addressed more beneficially by employing Libertarian values and approaches. The series has concluded, but you can still hear any edition On Demand at And, by the way, these 2 Paragraphs columns are now on my website at, Facebook and LinkedIn at judgejimgray, Twitter at judgejamesgray, and wordpress at Please visit these sites for past editions, and do your part to spread the word about the importance of Liberty. In addition, my new book with the same title as my radio show is now available at, as is my wife Grace’s and my new novel centered about School Choice entitled 2030 KIDS: We are the Rising Heroes of the Planet. Please read and discuss them with your friends, and send in a review.