Saturday, March 01, 2014

Penny Wise ...

(Cartoon by John McPherson and found here.  Click on image to enlarge.)

So, the Great Recession is over.  More people are working which means more taxes are coming into state coffers.  You'd think that in our rational society this would mean states would ease up on the cut-backs in social services and education.  You would, unfortunately, be wrong.

Here are some of the sad details:

Schools have always had to fight for more funding, but Noble Prentis [Elementary School's]  problems were exacerbated during the recession when state budget cuts left schools, like many other public services, foundering. Now, the state's general fund revenues are up $150 million since 2008, but Kansas officials are in no hurry to restore spending cuts the economic downturn made necessary.

It's not just Kansas. Conservative legislators committed to the idea that smaller government works best are passing tax cuts that they say help stimulate the economy. They are moving to make recession-era budget cuts permanent.

Even some Democratic governors, stung by the painful cutbacks of the economic downturn, are hoping to rebuild reserves: Gov. Jerry Brown has proposed that California's surplus go to a rainy day fund, while his fellow Democrats are calling for the state to restore services. ...

"Some states are choosing to make reduced services the new normal," said Michael Leachman, director of state fiscal research at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.  [Emphasis added]

Hey!  No biggie.  Pack those kids into the classroom.  The bright ones will rise to the occasion.  The rest, ah well, them's the breaks.  Besides, this whole idea of a free public education is passé.  

I grow old, I grow old.
I shall wear my trousers rolled.

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