Thursday, March 3, 2011

Gladiators Return to the Legislative Arena

Will REAL issues be fought with long-needed resolutions or is it staged entertainment as The United Federation of Wrestling?

by Peter Stern

While the intentions of our legislators may often be worthy and well-intended or not, the ongoing chaos and unintelligent resolutions being strewn at Public Education is merely another handful of placebo Band-Aids being placed upon one of our ongoing critical issues. It is time for the State to assume its constitutional responsibility to all children by providing REAL budget tax dollars for a quality Public Education program.

A question: What good is a Rainy Day Fund if it rains but is never used for urgent issues?

Answer: It makes the State look good on paper.

It is also time to replace the archaic and irresponsible property tax system that continues to increase yearly and hurts hardworking and hardly working homeowners, accelerating the existing high rate of foreclosures. Homeowners still throw away 80 percent of their property tax dollars to a failing Public Education. One decade ago the State provided up to 80 percent of the budget for Public Education, while today the State pays approximately 20 percent, as it continues to search ways to pay less for the education of our children by diverting more of its responsibility onto local government, who then places the burden on homeowners via escalating property taxes.

There is much to do this legislative session but nothing will get accomplished unless Senators and House Representatives honestly and objectively meet our critical issues head-on and make REAL attempts to resolve them, not merely to divert various taxes via slush funds to other interests and to divert the State's constitutional responsibilities onto local governments via manipulation and loopholes of our current laws.

We may only hope that this year legislators are up to the task, feel the need to develop positive outcomes and will cease previously employed political games stopping the exploitation of tax dollars for corporate and other special interest financial objectives. Blatant disregard of the majority cannot continue as it has for decades. Our leaders need to get smarter and less greedy.

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