Michael S. Ellegood 
Member since May 6, 2014


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Re: “Libertarians on Public ["Government"] Schools, From Milton Friedman to the Koch Brothers to UA and ASU: an Incomplete History

Thank you David for this concise, well written background on how we got where we are. A couple of additional thoughts might be considered:
1. We already have school choice here in Arizona, we pioneered it and, for better or worse, it's here to stay. But should it be at the expense of our community run public schools?
2. The Koch's are in it for the long game. They have shown time and again both their patience and their fortitude, so this battle that we are in over school privatization isn't going to be over soon. Prepare for a long war.
3. This whole move toward vouchers was promoted by Milton Friedman; judging only from his quotes, he was anti-government and quite libertarian in his philosophy. Is this really where we want to go?
4. The purpose of a business is to generate profit, do we really want to turn our kid education over to profiteers who will put profit ahead of our children and our future? How are private prisons working out?

56 likes, 7 dislikes
Posted by Michael S. Ellegood on 01/03/2018 at 1:36 PM

Re: “It's Going to Be an Education Election in Arizona

I just finished evaluating County teachers requests for $500 classroom mini-grants funded by a local foundation. I was shocked at what many were asking for. Chairs, Chrome books, books, paper and classroom supplies all of which should be funded by our schools. Those who say "money is not the problem" has their heads somewhere dark. Money is the problem since the legislature took school money back in 08 and used it to fund other stuff including tax cuts.
Lack of education funding is at the root of Arizona's school funding crisis. Make no mistake!

69 likes, 10 dislikes
Posted by Michael S. Ellegood on 12/08/2017 at 8:34 AM

Re: “Guest Opinion

While I agree with most of the points made, Hank glosses over some of the key issues. Our elected leadership has deliberately, irresponsibly, and unsustainably cut taxes every year since 1992. This has led us to an annual fiscal crisis. Our legislature lacking the guts to do the obvious have resorted to gimmicks, fund raids and other "tricks" to make things look nice. It is a sham and needs to be called out.
With regard to his notion that we should consider bed, tourist and related tax increases to fund our schools, I would suggest that it is our job and our responsibility to educate our kids. Tourists and so forth can be part of the solution but the root cause of the issue is that we have been unwilling to tax ourselves appropriately to educate our kids.
Two thoughts in passing, Public education is a constitutional responsibility; by continuing this fiscal madness of annual tax cuts we are giving our kids a huge debt without the resources to meet it.
Bottom line: we need to raise taxes, we need to do it now, we need to raise income and property taxes (they are among the lowest in the nation) and, yes Hank, we need to make sure the legislature can't sweep them.

27 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Michael S. Ellegood on 11/24/2017 at 6:32 PM

Re: “Business Leaders Say, Raise Taxes to Fund Schools

You touch on it, David, but the issue deserves more emphasis. Every time we bring up school funding, someone walks out Prop 301 and calls for a sales tax increase. Arizona already has one of the high sales tax rates in the nation, in fact, 11th from the top. We have the lowest property and income taxes, 5th and 6th from the bottom. Ducey and his predecessors claimed lowering income taxes would drive the economy, it has not. So, yes we need more money in education, but we need to raise revenue, an increase in income tax makes more sense that again increasing the sales tax.

9 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Michael S. Ellegood on 09/18/2017 at 8:59 AM

Re: “Can Voters Defeat the Vouchers-For-All Law?

If and when this thing gets on the ballot, expect millions of dollars from the pro-voucher movement to pour into the State to defeat it. That said, I hope the people prevail!

42 likes, 8 dislikes
Posted by Michael S. Ellegood on 05/22/2017 at 8:36 AM

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.

37 likes, 12 dislikes
Posted by Michael S. Ellegood on 04/19/2017 at 11:40 AM

Re: “Increasing Teacher Salaries: Isn't That Econ 101 Stuff?

Politicians, educators, economists and pundits alike can navel gaze and pontificate all day and night but the reality is:
1. Arizona has grossly underfunded education.
2. This issue is, pure and simple, a lack of resources at the State level because of 25 years worth of unsustainable and irresponsible tax cuts.
3. The only way out of this is to raise revenue, that means tax increases and the elimination of tax credits but these are not possible in the current political climate.


69 likes, 44 dislikes
Posted by Michael S. Ellegood on 01/26/2017 at 9:45 AM

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