Thursday, February 25, 2021
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Snark: 1% Lifting Heavy Taxes

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Okay, this was not intended as a snark, it just struck me as inadvertantly as possibly being one. When I saw this "adorable" video of a 3-year-old doing her chore (being forced to bring her dinner dish to the kitchen counter), I somehow thought of the Uber-wealthy, being asked to shoulder their fair share of taxes.... "OOOoooh! It's SOOoooo heavy. We just can't lift that burden!" Just being asked, no matter how nicely, makes them so tired; how mean we are even to ask.

the “Teacher Organ Program” – a creative way of school financing

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Anyone around schools has seen the desperate lengths to which educators and parents are now going attempting to maintain programs, both academic and extra-curricular.

While at the Save Our Schools March and National Call to Action last weekend, I encountered a woman who had had a biting letter published in a local newspaper.  I have her permission to publish it in its entirety, which I will do.  We cannot, however, link to or in any way directly reference the publication in which it appeared.  I do want to offer that publication kudoes for having the courage to print the letter, which I now present to you:

Thinking outside the box

The problem with school financing is that we haven't gotten creative enough. While in college, my son earned $100 each month by donating plasma. If a bloodmobile could be deployed monthly to each public school, its staff could pump in an extra $30,000 to $40,000 annually. ["Senate approves budget with big cuts to education," NWTuesday, April 19.]

For "frills" like music, art and PE, we would need to be more creative. Establishing a Teacher Organ Program (T.O.P.) could be a win-win.

Here's how: For every organ a teacher donates, wealthy philanthropists interested in education reform make a tax-deductible donation to the school.

Just picture - smiling teachers in hospital gowns with their principals displaying $50,000 checks while thankful recipients of a lifesaving kidney look on. This would give "Race to the T.O.P." a whole new meaning!

With moves the Legislature is making, principals could utilize organ harvesting as a viable funding stream into the foreseeable future. Without due process, a principal could rate a few veteran teachers unsatisfactory, moving them to the top of the layoff list. This would make room for new teachers who still had both kidneys intact!

While I realize this proposal wouldn't address the entire shortfall, in today's climate, it feels like the type of out-of-the-box thinking that just might fly.

- Sandra L. Hunt, Seattle

Is George Allen More Liberal Than Jon Huntsman?

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Here I was, thinking that former Obama Administration official - not to mention former supporter (or is he still?) of taking action on climate change, former supporter (or is he still?) of an "individual mandate," etc. - Jon Huntsman was by far the most reasonable, moderate, sane, maybe even liberal Republican among the field of extremists currently running.  But now, I'm confused: supposedly liberal Republican Huntsman is embracing the Ryan Plan to dismantle Medicare (and guarantee deficits for decades to come), while supposedly conservative Republican George Allen won't say where he stands, exactly, on the Ryan Plan.

Of course, George Allen was also the one who voted 96% of the time with George W. Bush, including wildly irresponsible measures that turned budget surpluses into (massive) deficits. Allen also voted to grow government tremendously, not that we progressives have a problem with that, generally speaking.  Still, it's puzzling. Perhaps George Allen's actually the liberal, and Jon Huntsman's the conservative?  Or perhaps neither is a true conservative, but both are simply pandering to whatever they think voters want to hear?  Anyone have any better theories? Thanks.

P.S. This was mostly snark/tongue-in-cheek, just in case anyone thought I meant that George Allen might be liberal, progressive, or sane in any way.  To the contrary, the guy's a cowardly Republican hackazoid, bigot, ignoramus, and career politician, nothing more.