August 21, 2003

CA Talks Back

I posted earlier about CA, Prop 13 and the failing education system. It took me a while to respond to the comment left there so I wanted to post my thoughts where someone might see them

Here are Beerzie Boy's comments on some of my post (which he references):

-- The public schools are not failing due to a shortage of funds, but because of a shortage of quality.

Sorry. You're wrong. It's both. I live here and have many friends who work in the system.

-- I don't see a need for increased property taxes, but a reduction in irresponsible spending.

We need both. I am a taxpayer here in the Golden State and my taxes aren't that bad. Besides, one person's "irresponsible" is another one's "essential."

-- The level of quality won't change by throwing more cash at it.

Ah, Republicans. Why does this never apply to NASA or the Pentagon?

Posted by Beerzie Boy at August 19, 2003 12:44 PM

And here is my response:.
I lived there also and had friends in the system. Just one of the complaints I heard/hear from them, over and over, was about the inordinate number of 'administrators' who did nothing but collect their six-figure salaries and whine about the lack of funding. You could easily take out layers of dead weight to save money and have no ill effect on the system. Not claiming that Arizona Public Schools are any better, BTW.

I was also a taxpayer in the Golden State, and my taxes were that bad. Congratulations to you on, apparently, finding and using the loopholes. That doesn't change the fact that what should be one of the richest states in the nation based on the natural and business resources, is in the dumper. They try to make up the lost ground by taxing the citizens into oblivion (or moving) then continue to spend like drunk, white-trash lottery winners.

NASA is not a subject I'm likely to argue. I believe it served an important purpose in our past, not sure that that is still the case. I know that there is still a lot of fantastic and important research going on - but I don't see why that shouldn't all be private sector.

Pentagon - different all together. Though the workers are, without a doubt, underpaid - no one claims they would do a better job if their salaries were higher, just that we could keep them off food stamps. Where the money goes (rumors of $35,000 coffee pots aside) is weaponry. You don't buy a Bunker Blaster with a free replacement guarantee, you use it once and it is gone. And, the higher tech our weaponry, the lower the loss of life - on both sides of the conflict.

"Provide for the common defence" is in the Constitution. "Provide public education" is not, let's give the private sector a chance. That could be Charter schools, vouchers, private firms taking over running the public schools using the current budget (improve the educational performance and whatever you don't spend is profit). So many possibilities

There is no quick fix, success won't come overnight. Until people look for an answer other than raising taxes nothing will change.

Posted by Vox at August 21, 2003 08:35 PM | politics