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Re: “Dare to Say, 'Tax the Rich'

The time has come to start the discussion on raising revenue. For 25 years we have methodically lowered taxes using as a promise that lowering taxes will boost the economy, employment will rise, the economy will boom and the increased economic activity will make up for the short term loss in revenue. But....after 25 years of this it is time for a reality check. Guess what? IT DOESN'T WORK!!!. Instead our state is in an endless cycle of fiscal crisis and, sadly, our greatest resource our kids have born the brunt.
We need to start, at least, to reversing this death spiral, yes we need to raise taxes.
Now consider our choices: Raise income and corporate taxes, raise the property tax or raise sales taxes.
Already our State sales tax is the 11th highest in the nation while our property and income taxes are 5th and 6th from the bottom. Sales tax is generally considered repressive in that it disproportionately impact the poor. So there you have the sad data, read it and weep. Yes we need to raise both income and property taxes. Time to start the discussion. David is right on.

23 likes, 11 dislikes
Posted by Michael S. Ellegood on 04/19/2017 at 11:40 AM

Re: “Dare to Say, 'Tax the Rich'

Let's make some educated guesses about what "support public education" may mean to Democratic Party candidates, based on what kinds of governance and policy our local establishment Democrats have been seen supporting and / or endorsing:

Increase funding to public school districts without taking the trouble to ensure that even the most basic financial transparency and accountability protocols are in place. Look the other way when funds end up pooling in the pockets of overpaid central administrators while classrooms and teachers go begging. Outsource part of your teaching workforce, reducing their pay and destroying their ability to qualify for benefits, which will worsen your existing teacher supply problem and further degrade teaching and learning conditions in classrooms, especially in schools that serve primarily low-SES families. Then, when you campaign for re-election, don't forget to repeatedly state that you firmly oppose outsourcing, while receiving large campaign donations from an executive in the company to which labor has been outsourced. Do nothing to effectively prevent the spread of crap curricula and toxic, mindless multiple choice tests. Then slam the door shut and lock it. Never NEVER tolerate any policy that would allow a non-plutocrat family to remove their children from the mismanaged disaster of an "educational" institution created by a persistent, reform-proof, entrenched and toxic combination of ignorance, cronyism and negligence.

Sorry. Not voting for Garcia or Farley or ANY candidate who is part of the network that is responsible for what some of our large institutions of public "education" (?) have become in Southern Arizona. And, for the millionth time: our schools have become this way NOT just through under-funding. They have become this way also by decades of tolerating and / or encouraging and rewarding egregious mismanagement. We certainly don't need more of THAT, and elevated to state-level, not just local, office.

13 likes, 22 dislikes
Posted by Define more terms and put forward better candidates. on 04/19/2017 at 9:53 AM

Re: “Dare to Say, 'Tax the Rich'

The government is not in the business of improving lives. If they were they would fix the potholes. Their promises and their lies are much much bigger than that.

10 likes, 18 dislikes
Posted by Sandra P on 04/19/2017 at 9:22 AM

Re: “Dare to Say, 'Tax the Rich'

Let me guess. In the Democratic Party dictionary:

--Annual income of 0-$20K per year = poor

--Annual income of $20K - $40K per year = middle class

--Income between $40K per year and the level of income it takes to be a MAJOR Democratic Paty campaign donor = "THE WEALTHY!!!" Tax the hell out of them and if they want to send their kids to college, make them indenture themselves and their kids to the banks to do it.

--Special class never to be discussed: the truly wealthy who fund campaigns. Let them off the hook for everything, always.

The devil is in the details, David. The Democratic Party has been complicit to such a degree with the financial "industry," no plan that omits what is meant by terms like "closing loopholes," "the rich," "the middle class" means anything. We've seen far too many "plans" concocted behind closed doors and sold to constituents who work for a living that sound like they'll defend our interests and don't actually end up doing so.

12 likes, 18 dislikes
Posted by Yup, always make them define their terms. on 04/19/2017 at 8:49 AM

Re: “RIP, Author and Activist Kathryn Ferguson

Kathryn was my dance instructor for 4 years. She was a beautiful person inside and out. We didn't agree on some things but She believed in what she did. She helped young women feel confident about themselves through dance. She was fun to be with and had stories to tell. She was a great film producer and a top advocate for humanity. She will be greatly missed in the belly dance community amongst other areas she participated in. I'm proud to have known a women of her stature and call her friend.

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by Vi Saxon on 04/19/2017 at 7:35 AM

Re: “Dare to Say, 'Tax the Rich'

Define "Rich".

12 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by Gandalf the Concerned on 04/19/2017 at 7:18 AM

Re: “Dare to Say, 'Tax the Rich'

Smart thoughts David. I have been thinking along these same lines. But, I offer this back. Closing loopholes IS about increasing taxes on the wealthy and maybe a great first step? The second step is that government, more properly funded, can help improve people's lives. Then, the people would be more willing to trust government with more of their hard-earned dollars.

26 likes, 10 dislikes
Posted by Linda Lyon on 04/19/2017 at 6:22 AM

Re: “Dare to Say, 'Tax the Rich'

I heard the former democratic treasurer from California say that unless their party figures out that it isn't about increasing taxes but running things responsibly that they will lose. He said California is on the brink of bankruptcy and "the rich" are leaving the state. He said the majority of the programs are bloated and should be trimmed to save the state from disaster.

10 likes, 19 dislikes
Posted by Doug Martin on 04/19/2017 at 6:19 AM

Re: “Dare to Say, 'Tax the Rich'

Same old same old. Can't you guys come up with one new idea?

6 likes, 28 dislikes
Posted by Debbi L on 04/19/2017 at 5:51 AM

Re: “Cinema Clips: Life

Can't wait!

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by jlm713 on 04/18/2017 at 6:08 PM

Re: “Second Chance Cupcakes

I agree with a second chance but not a fifth Kate Hyde.

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by Nhoj Htims on 04/18/2017 at 9:51 AM

Re: “Second Chance Cupcakes

Thank you for the jobs creation aimed at folks with a past record. Everyone deserves a second chance!

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by Etak Edyh on 04/17/2017 at 8:54 PM

Re: “The Joy, the Suffering, the Poetry

TransMAN, when I interview anyone who identifies as transgender or genderqueer, I ask them how they want me to do the pronouns. I used the pronouns TC said s/he is comfortable with.

6 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by Aztlán Mari on 04/17/2017 at 2:30 PM

Re: “Favoring the 8 Percent, Ignoring the 92 Percent

Nope, it's not about that. Not in the Catholic and Independent schools in Southern Arizona with which I have direct experience. It's about trying to provide a sound and humane education to as broad a band of students as possible in a context where not many people can afford to pay the tuition.

If you think that TUSD is free of the kinds of dealings for which you express distaste, you simply have not been paying attention to what's going on in the district. Try going on the Arizona Daily Star website and typing "TUSD" into the search bar. Read every article published on the district during the last 4 years, keeping in mind that even that atrocious record is selective, and cannot include all the report-worthy things that have taken place.

The Democratic Party in Southern Arizona has not, in my opinion, been an effective defender of what public schools can and should be. They inadvisably excuse way too much mismanagement and they are partly complicit in the overall educational disaster this state has become.

6 likes, 9 dislikes
Posted by Lifeboats are not ideal, but the ship is sinking. on 04/17/2017 at 12:09 PM

Re: “Favoring the 8 Percent, Ignoring the 92 Percent

Republicans work on the principle of " the camel getting it's nose into the tent," first . From that small vantage point they have figured out how to take over an entire system and bend it to their way or the highway. Don't trust a Republican conservative whenever they say it's being done for the good of everyone because that is a bold face lie. Republicans only work for certain constituents and that has been proven over and over but many American voters are so mentally inept that they are oblivious to everything political unless there is a single sentence mantra they can yell at Democrats to express their dubious outrage. When you stand for nothing how could you possibly be offended by anything other than the myths made up in your mind.

19 likes, 7 dislikes
Posted by Beneal Good on 04/17/2017 at 12:05 PM

Re: “Favoring the 8 Percent, Ignoring the 92 Percent

There will never be enough money to steal from our children and give to the illegals. But that's all about to change.

4 likes, 19 dislikes
Posted by What, Again on 04/17/2017 at 12:04 PM

Re: “Favoring the 8 Percent, Ignoring the 92 Percent

Don't kid us, you know as well as I do, it doesn't have jack anything to do with the students or education or private vs. public - it's all about our state legislators being on the boards and having wives running the software companies, and the lot of them getting rich on our tax money. Pardon me while I go vomit...

19 likes, 7 dislikes
Posted by desertrat on 04/17/2017 at 11:00 AM

Re: “Favoring the 8 Percent, Ignoring the 92 Percent

I wrote recently in response to another one of your comments, Betts, that vouchers were "lifeboat" policy. They are not meant to save the sinking ships, i.e. TUSD and other districts like it that serve low SES populations. They are meant to get people off of them. It's a damage control method-of-last resort policy solution, but is there another viable policy solution to the problems of districts like TUSD in this state? If so, I don't see it. If the Republicans under-fund, under-regulate, and fail to effectively oversee public institutions of education and the Democrats buy into shoddy funding mechanisms like Prop 123 and promote governance candidates who applaud public education administrators for mismanaging the schools and misapplying the sadly limited funds available (or voluntarily giving them back to taxpayers or wasting them on inflated legal fees), students do need to get out. You yourself have, year after year admirably identified problems, courageously spoken about them publicly, and run for the TUSD Board three times. Nothing has changed. The normal mechanisms of democratic control are not working the way they should in this district. People who know effective public education systems in other states would tell you that so many of the variables that keep these systems functioning well are missing in a situation like TUSD's, I doubt they would recommend that students whose needs are not being met remain in the district's classrooms.

You wrote a good comment recently on TUSD's tendency to "solve" the problem of malfunctioning principals by giving them central admin jobs with high salaries. You asked if this is how the district ends up with central administrators who don't have kids' best interests at heart. The answer is yes, it is ONE of the ways. But there are others, and I'm sure you know a few of them. While advocates like you identify and try to chip away without notable success at the many ways that dysfunction and incompetence perpetuate themselves decade after decade, should kids who could exit using vouchers remain in place in malfunctioning schools because, in theory, public schools are a good idea and in other states with more responsible politicians on both sides of the aisle, public schools are able to meet students' needs?

There are high functioning Catholic and Independent schools in Southern Arizona where seats go unfilled because people can't afford to pay for them. You state without citing evidence that charters and privates are no better than publics. Of the studies that I've read that purport to show that, none of them have methodologies that could not easily be picked apart. Some are trying to get at the truth, others have been thrown together to support a particular political agenda that is tied to political machines connected with one of our two major parties. Meanwhile, I have seen with my own eyes schools that unquestionably ARE better than the schools I've seen in TUSD, schools with excellent methods and highly qualified teachers in every classroom where spaces are available and could be filled if more need-based scholarships were funded. It's the Democratic Party that is shrieking about how horrible it is that legislation has just been passed that will enable a few more students to fill those seats and exit a public system where the Party has flatly refused to ask for sound management. So yes, it's the Democratic Party that needs to explain why it would be better to keep students locked into the malfunctioning system they continue to insist is the best system in which to educate all children under a certain income level. (The plutocrats, of course, will continue to do as they wish, and neither major party would dare to suggest otherwise when both D and R campaign funding depends on their largesse.)

Sorry. Some of us don't see small movements in the right direction for some students as something that should be decried as a disaster. Keep me posted on how you're doing with solving all the problems both Rs and Ds have created in the public education system in this state. In the absence of significant system-wide improvement, I find I'm not in a place where damage control and lifeboats look like something we should be trying to block.

6 likes, 17 dislikes
Posted by Lifeboats are not ideal, but the ship is sinking. on 04/17/2017 at 10:01 AM

Re: “Favoring the 8 Percent, Ignoring the 92 Percent

That has nothing to do with their reason for existing. They fight political fraud and waste. Most of which has been brought to the public schools by greedy politicians.

3 likes, 14 dislikes
Posted by Concerned Mom on 04/17/2017 at 9:16 AM

Re: “Favoring the 8 Percent, Ignoring the 92 Percent

Wow the comments on this thread are amazing for taking on straw dogs of their own creation. It isn't any political party's responsibility to show anything about public education: the Dems who mismanage are no better or worse than the Republicans that run the state and so drastically underfund our public schools--80% of the school-going population--and then continually find ways to cut up the ever-shrinking pie so that its funds can be shunted to charters. Yeah, charters and private schools that supposedly will now be able to help the lower SES population--except that they don't. Charters do not show up as any better than public schools in academic terms, and private schools don't either--and the famed vouchers have been shown to only help those who can almost pay for the school year themselves--hardly the poorest of the poor that commenters seem to keep advocating for.

To the extent that our public education system has become a political football, our kids have suffered. In fact, let us not forget that the Dems and the Republicans together voted for Prop 123, that will guarantee that there are less public school monies long into the future. And apparently in the meantime, even that small amount that is supposed to go to help the 80% will be diverted. If we looked at this in another country we would be able to see it as effectively offering less and less to more and more students. Instead we make up benefits to "choice" that fit neatly into the pocket of ALEC and the Goldwater Institute and in general do little to benefit who those groups promise will be benefitted. I mean honestly, when was the last time those two organizations championed ANYthing for the poor?

19 likes, 7 dislikes
Posted by Betts Putnam-Hidalgo on 04/17/2017 at 8:05 AM

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