Archive for November 9th, 2012

November 9, 2012

A Modest Proposal for Saving Our Schools

By Tom McClintock

The multi-million dollar campaign paid by starving teachers’ unions has finally placed our sadly neglected schools at the center of the budget debate.

Across California, children are bringing home notes warning of dire consequences if Gov. Schwarzenegger’s scorched earth budget is approved – a budget that slashes Proposition 98 public school spending from $42.2 billion this year all the way down to $44.7 billion next year. That should be proof enough that our math programs are suffering.

As a public school parent, I have given this crisis a great deal of thought and have a modest suggestion to help weather these dark days.

Maybe – as a temporary measure only – we should spend our school dollars on our schools. I realize that this is a radical departure from current practice, but desperate times require desperate measures.

The Governor proposed spending $10,084 per student from all sources. Devoting all of this money to the classroom would require turning tens of thousands of school bureaucrats, consultants, advisors and specialists onto the streets with no means of support or marketable job skills, something that no enlightened social democracy should allow.

So I will begin by excluding from this discussion the entire budget of the State Department of Education, as well as the pension system, debt service, special education, child care, nutrition programs and adult education. I also propose setting aside $3 billion to pay an additional 30,000 school bureaucrats $100,000-per-year (roughly the population of Monterey) with the proviso that they stay away from the classroom and pay their own hotel bills at conferences.

This leaves a mere $6,937 per student, which, for the duration of the funding crisis, I propose devoting to the classroom.

To illustrate how we might scrape by at this subsistence level, let’s use a hypothetical school of 180 students with only $1.2 million to get through the year.

We have all seen the pictures of filthy bathrooms, leaky roofs, peeling paint and crumbling plaster to which our children have been condemned. I propose that we rescue them from this squalor by leasing out luxury commercial office space. Our school will need 4,800 square feet for five classrooms (the sixth class is gym). At $33 per foot, an annual lease will cost $158,400.

This will provide executive washrooms, around-the-clock janitorial service, wall-to-wall carpeting, utilities and music in the elevators. We’ll also need new desks to preserve the professional ambiance.

Next, we’ll need to hire five teachers – but not just any teachers. I propose hiring only associate professors from the California State University at their level of pay. Since university professors generally assign more reading, we’ll need 12 of the latest edition, hardcover books for each student at an average $75 per book, plus an extra $5 to have the student’s name engraved in gold leaf on the cover.

Since our conventional gym classes haven’t stemmed the childhood obesity epidemic, I propose replacing them with an annual membership at a private health club for $39.95 per month. This would provide our children with a trained and courteous staff of nutrition and fitness counselors, aerobics classes and the latest in cardiovascular training technology.

Finally, we’ll hire an $80,000 administrator with a $40,000 secretary because – well, I don’t know exactly why, but we always have.

Our bare-bones budget comes to this:

5 classrooms $158,400
150 Desks @ $130 $19,500
180 annual health club memberships @ $480 $86,400
2,160 textbooks @ $80 $172,800
5 C.S.U. Associate Professors @ $67,093 $335,465
1 Administrator $80,000
1 Secretary $40,000
24% faculty and staff benefits $109,312
Offices, expenses and insurance $30,000
TOTAL $1,031,877

This budget leaves a razor-thin reserve of just $216,703 or $1,204 per pupil, which can pay for necessities like paper, pencils, personal computers and extra-curricular travel. After all, what’s the point of taking four years of French if you can’t see Paris in the spring?

The school I have just described is the school we’re paying for. Maybe it’s time to ask why it’s not the school we’re getting.

Other, wiser, governors have made the prudent decision not to ask such embarrassing questions of the education-industrial complex because it makes them very angry. Apparently the unions believe that with enough of a beating, Gov. Schwarzenegger will see things the same way.

Perhaps. But there’s an old saying that you can’t fill a broken bucket by pouring more water into it. Maybe it’s time to fix the bucket.

November 9, 2012

HOUSE GOP – YOU HAVE TWO YEARS TO LIVE – America now has a government run by gangsters

An Open Letter to the Incoming Republican House Members of the 113th Congress

Written by Dr. Jack Wheeler
Friday, 09 November 2012

Dear GOP House Members and Members-Elect –

Congratulations to you all for surviving the absurd calamity of November 6th.  You need to know what’s in store for you.

To put it bluntly, you have two years to live.  Politically live as the House Majority, that is.  You are going to be demonized and destroyed by the Chicago Gangsters who run the White House and the prostitutes of the CorruptMedia.  Your chances of retaining your majority in 2014 are 0%.

The question is:   what are you going to do with these two years?  Realize that the political outcome will be the same no matter what you do.  While many of you may individually survive and be reelected in 2014, collectively your majority will be gone and you’ll all be just minority schmucks.

So if you plan to cringe, compromise, and cooperate with the gangsters just to be reelected as a minority schmuck, why not just quit now, resign and collect your pension – rather than continue a charade in order to keep your perks of power for a little while longer, and all that while you’ll have to look into the mirror every morning and see a coward?

Why not, then, see someone of courage in that mirror instead?  There is a power that only you – a majority of members of the House – have that neither the Senate, the President nor any of his agencies, nor even the Supreme Court has.  If you choose to exercise it, you will be feared and respected, instead of being Obama’s poodles.

But far more importantly, you will have done your patriotic duty to protect your country from the lethal damage Obama is poised to inflict upon it.

The power the House Majority uniquely has is the Other Golden Rule:   He who has the gold, makes the rules. Article I Section 7 of the Constitution states it very clearly and without ambiguity: “All Bills for raising Revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives.”

The President with his Executive Orders and multitude of agencies and departments, Harry Reid’s Senate, the Supreme Court, no part of the vast US Federal Government has the Constitutional authority to spend a dime that you don’t give them.   You all, of course, know this.  What is required of you now is to act on it.

The day after the Catastrophe of November 6, Harry Reid loudly proclaimed that the Federal Government will soon require the debt ceiling raised another $2.4 trillion – and that when the time comes to do so, “We’ll raise it.”

The question to ask Mr. Reid is:   “What do you mean ‘we,’ kemosabe?” Harry and every other Senator has no say in the matter.  If you, the House Majority do not vote to raise the debt ceiling, it is not raised, no matter what temper tantrums Harry or the President have or threats they make.

Right now, as you read this, your children and grandchildren – in fact, every single American under 18 – is saddled with over $216,000 of federal debt they will be expected to pay off.  They can’t, they won’t, and it is immoral in the extreme to expect them to. Their debt has to be defaulted upon.  The way to start is to refuse to raise the debt ceiling.

Just to be clear – when I say you have two years left to live politically, that’s a best case scenario.   Unless you roll over and become Obama’s poodles, being a Republican Congressman will be the most dangerous job in America.

You will get death threats, so many you’ll lose count, and there may well be actual attempts on your life.  The CorruptMedia will oppo-research every hidden nook and cranny of your life to smear and expose whatever dirt they can find on you.

You must understand that America now has a government run by gangsters – by crooks, thieves, looters, and thugs who will be utterly ruthless in ruining you if you try to be in their way.  Putin’s Russia, Chavez’s Venezuela, has come to America.

So if you don’t have the courage to band together and stand up to them, quit now. They can’t spend money you don’t give them.  They will do whatever it takes, legal or illegal, to force you to give it to them.

If you can’t say No to raising the debt ceiling, if you can’t Defund Obamacare and the EPA and Obama’s Executive Orders, if you can’t refuse to appropriate money for more Food Stamps and Obama’s crony capitalist subsidies, quit now.

But if you can say No, if you can Defund, then you will be heroes to at least half of America, the half that stands for honesty, decency, and protecting our children’s future.  Make us proud or be gone.  This is your chance to be heroes – or to be schmucks.  Make these next two years the time you live up to the character and courage of America’s Founders.

Right now, history has chosen you to be America’s only hope to avoid her falling into destitution and tyranny.   Live up to it.  It will take more courage than you ever thought it possible for you to have.  Reach inside for the best within you.  America’s future depends on it.  The weight of history is on your shoulders.  Stand up straight and accept the burden.

Jack Wheeler
Editor, To The Point
tothepointnews.com

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