You want a big idea, Texas? Stop being so damn ignorant. Invest seriously in education: early childhood, community colleges, junior colleges, vocational institutes, universities. Our politicians are actually debating whether to make kindergarten mandatory. Kindergarten? Hell, we should start there and also allow any Texan to get two years of higher ed at the taxpayers’ expense. The state’s return on investment for early childhood education is $8 for every $1 invested, and every additional year of education raises one’s salary by 10 percent. Texans would be smarter and richer, and Texas would be a lot more prosperous and a lot less nescient.

Begala, who was raised in Missouri City, Texas, is a CNN political analyst.

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