Paying taxes to fund public education is not unlike stopping to purchasing bullets on the way to your appointment with the firing squad. In either case, it just isn't going to end well for you.
The first big cut we should make is to University of California system. Before you start worrying about having enough skilled workers for this wonderful high-tech economy that is rapidly disappearing, consider first the likelihood of those companies having the need for swarms of UC graduates who have just earned their degree in political correctness, white male hating, Latino superiority theory, or global-warming-is-the-truth-because-we-say-it-is-ology.
In truth, most of the US's colleges and universities are infested with leftist propagandists, but it is the ones financed by public money that I particularly object to. It's not that I think that the leftist viewpoint should be excluded, it is that they should not exist in a vacuum, as is now the case, unfettered by any serious critique or debate. The UC system in particular has become a tax payer financed leftist-nutcase propaganda spewing machine.
Corporations are the enemy, is the prevailing wisdom coming from our esteemed thinkers of higher thoughts. (South Park captured this phenomenon in an episode called Die Hippie Die.) The corporations are evil, man, - Oooh the corporations. Big Oil and Big Tobacco and Big Food and Big Corporations are the enemy. I am not claiming that all corporations are ethically pristine, they have power, and power corrupts - but at the same time they are not the embodiment of evil and the only thing worse than having lots of corporations is not having them.
The hostility towards those who make a profit has spread to the minds of another group living in a vacuum, those of our politicians who then transform that hostility into laws - laws that have real-world implications and quite often achieve their goal of damaging corporations.
It seems to me that when academics and politicians think of business, they picture something akin to the black smoke monster from the TV series "Lost". This is, however, not an accurate picture of a real corporation.
Your typical corporation is a physical building with walls, doors, windows and usually a large parking lot where people (let's call them employees) can park their cars for the day, during which they enter said building and perform various activities (let's call that work) for which they receive a specified amount of money (let's call this specified amount of money wages or salary). The funny thing about the wages or salaries earned by the employees is that part of it regularly disappears before the employees ever see it.
Instead of being paid to those who earn it, it is sent directly to the politicians who then spend it as quickly as they can, and one of the things they spend it on is "higher education". The same "higher education" that spends its time and resources convincing our young people and politicians that corporations are evil.
Now that we are reaping what they have sown and our economy disintegrates before our very eyes, it is only fair that higher education should share in the bounty of the harvest.