The idea of the Endowment Tax proposed by Jay Gonzalez, candidate for Governor, claims a right to make private institutions support public institutions. Some historical background could prove useful. The tax would actually be a reversal from when public money went to support private institutions. The two schools that would pay the greatest endowment tax, Harvard and MIT, depended on public support. In colonial times the legislature dedicated the lion’s share of state tax revenue in 1635 and 1636 to pay for the founding of Harvard. It then allocated the fares of the Charlestown ferry for support. Over decades all state residents were taxed to support the Congregational Church which in turn supported its seminary, Harvard. Similarly, our legislature sold newly created land in the Back Bay to construct the first buildings of MIT. The very name of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology is a legacy of the close relationship, funding and otherwise, between the public and MIT. Given this history can we ask not only Harvard and MIT but all colleges to be affected by the Endowment tax to go back into their histories and discover how much all of them have received from the public. Perhaps they may find some of the broad communal spirit which guided their founding.