Misconceptions From the MSBA
The MSBA blog is at it again, bashing the Show-Me Institute I mean, writing about "religion." What these posts have to do with religion, I have no idea. Unless it’s that in their theology, the Show-Me Institute is the devil. Today they link to a report that characterizes SMI as a "conservative" think tank and describes the political causes that some board members have contributed to.
To set the record straight, the Show-Me Institute is nonpartisan, and does not support or oppose any political campaigns or candidates. We just write about sound public policy. When our board members, donors, or staff support any campaigns, they do that in their capacities as private citizens. And from what I’ve heard in casual conversations at the office, we hold diverse views on a number of issues. The first talk SMI gives to new employees is that your personal political opinions have nothing to do with the Show-Me Institute and don’t belong on the blog. Even when we write about policy, every post is accompanied by that big disclaimer at the top of the page.
Are we "conservative"? No. We promote market solutions for Missouri public policy, not political agendas. Try searching for the word "conservative" on our website. Nothing comes up.
Now that I’ve addressed the most egregious misinformation in the post, I’ll turn to the only point they made about parental choice, that it subsidizes private schools. The best answer I can find is a quote from an editorial on the Friedman Foundation website:
Some people say they object to giving state money to private entities like schools. But of course this is done all the time, and for good reasons. Government pays private parties all the time to achieve public purposes — pell grants for students, Medicare, mental health services, highway construction, support for parents via tax deductions for children.
I think it’s a pretty good editorial, though I can’t speak for everyone at SMI.