Blog Junky
a group blog for the political omnivore (objective and equitable)

Saturday, March 08, 2003  

xxxxx's question:
With current aid/bribe at $30+ billion to allow troops to work from Turkey in the event of war. And with all of us living in a state that is shamefully unable to fund adequate public education . . . is there any price that's too high to pay for an Iraq war?


If I thought there was any chance that the money would go to our schools instead of Turkey (or to build another aircraft carrier), or to prop up taxpayer rip-offs like PERS or acupuncture treatment under the Oregon Health plan, I would definitely be in favor of giving it to the states.

My recollection is that less than 10% of Oregon's education money comes from the Feds.

The bulk of state and property taxes go to education.

How Oregon ended up in this mess.

Most citizens have bought the fiction that Oregon taxes are too high (census data shows that only 5 other states spend less to state and local taxes than Oregonians and it is likely that those states don't have to maintain a huge port).

The idea that money spent on war takes away money we would spend on education is a strawman: Oregon schools are Oregon's problem and a result of Oregon voter priorities and Oregon not spending enough on school infrastructure. That's shameful.

If teachers and other public employees are willing to give back some of the PERS benefits that:
- suck out $789/student from the schools annually
- feature an 18.5% employer contribution
- guarantee 8% return irregardless of investment performance
- kick in benefits at ridiculously low ages
- pay, with Social Security, more than actual salary
- allow them to double dip (work FT while collecting benefits)
I would be willing to pay more into the current education system. That being said, education of my children is MY job and it will get done whatever Oregon or Bush does.

A vote for state and/or property tax increases would result in more money for schools. Why not raise state and property taxes and support a federal tax cut? Doesn't that accomplish, in a legal, realistic, common sense way the same as the Turkey-billions-for-schools idea? Of course, that would be ignoring the increasing national deficit and the fact that Oregon would likely throw the money at things other than actual education of children.

posted by Calvin | 8:42 AM

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