Monday, August 20, 2012

SATX Council and Mayors Seek To Fleece Taxpayers Through Pre-K Scam

Over the past several months, politicians in Georgia publicly lobbied voting taxpayers for support for a rise in taxes to support a complete waste of money called TSPLOST. TSPLOST was a poorly designed plan to increase public transportation using old and failing technology, among other services. The proposed means to cover the costs was through an increase in sales taxes. The research demonstrated that the project would never bring in enough revenue to cover the maintenance costs, much less the daily labor costs and the initial construction costs. By and large, the citizens of Georgia voted against the TSPLOST Referendum.

The city council of San Antonio, TX should have paid attention to the outcome of that referendum. The Mayor of San Antonio should have followed that whole debacle in Georgia. The seven former mayors of San Antonio who have endorsed a current proposal to raise city sales taxes to support a program that may (and probably will not) assist a small demographic should have followed Georgia's TSPLOST political drama. Those in the above named current or former public offices are seeking to do the same in San Antonio, TX.

San Antonio's latest proposal, due to go to the election polls in referendum for ratification, has one point of heart-string-pulling emotive argumentation supporting it that the TSPLOST debacle didn't. The pending San Antonio proposed fleecing has the argument "It's For The Kids!".

Like most proposals done by politicians and teachers' unions in the past two decades, the "For The Kids" argument actually translates to "For the Unions" and "Let's Fleece The Taxpayers to Line Our Pockets".

The proposal is to raise the city's sales taxes what appears to be a meager 1/8th of a percent. While that doesn't seem like much, it adds up over the course of the year just in paying utility bills and purchasing sundry items. It creates a greater tax burden on those making just enough to not qualify for state and federal handouts. It will also induce a greater propensity to save among those who make more, therefore actually retarding or stagnating the local economy. Obviously, these local politicians need to go back and repeat Economics 101 and 102.

The detractors enumerated so far are before the intended purpose for the tax hike is even discussed.

"It's For The Kids!"

No it isn't. However, that is the argument that will be presented.

The tax hike is an effort to increase local funding in order to expand the city's pre-kindergarten program. Currently, according to the City of San Antonio, there are about 5,700 3 and 4 year old kids that are eligible for pre-k programs that are not engaged in them full-time. About 3,400 of those attend half-day programs.

The city assumes that the lack of participation in their early government-sponsored socialist indoctrination programs is that parents cannot afford to send their kids to the schools that already provide those programs. The kids that are not enrolled are not enrolled by parental choice. Increasing the funding and bumping the average wages for what amount to government provided daycare services to $70,000 a year will not increase participation.

You have not misread that figure. The proposal is to provide additional pre-k babysitters to cover that 5,700 estimated number of kids at an average annual salary and benefits package of approximately $70,000 per year. Currently, the average elementary (K-8) teacher's salary is $48,863 a year, not counting benefits, which bumps the whole package to $70,477 funded by taxpayers. (Starting pay is approximately $34,000 salary for an entry level position, not counting the $21,585 in benefits, making the starting entry-level teacher's FULL salary and compensation over $55,000 a year for a simple Bachelor of Arts degree). 

The city's study failed to look into why many of these children are not enrolled. First, it does not take into account the number of them that are here illegally or are "anchor-babies".  Parents have to prove citizenship (or resident alien status) in order to register their children. So, if either the parents or the kids are here illegally, they cannot be enrolled in the first place (without committing ID theft and defrauding the government).

Another demographic the study fails to consider is the number of children that enrolled in some form of private, free-enterprise program. I was unable to find those numbers or statistics. However, the city's study does not even address that demographic. It automatically assumes that parents would prefer the taxpayer provided services.

Given the current employment market and economic conditions, more and more families are choosing to have one of the parents home-school the children to some degree. This can be anywhere from supplementing education with classes and activities done at home to full-home-school programs. The city's study fails to include that demographic.

While those schools that provide half-day programs may claim they cannot afford to provide full-day programs under the current budget, the question concerning how much of their retirement and health insurance they are willing to pay out of pocket comes to mind. If they truly wanted to provide these services "For The Kids", why not do so budgeting the pay and benefits packages at $35k-$40k a year with the taxpayer employees matching their retirement and benefit funds? No, they don't care about the kids.

The city's fact-sheet for the proposal even states that the whole program is fascist in nature. There will be a "corporation" established or appointed by the city council, under the direction of the city council, that will administrate and oversee the program. For those who failed basic civics, that is the very definition of fascism. Fascism is a form of socialism. If you failed history as well, you are reminded that Hitler and Mussolini employed national socialism and fascism. Is that the type of oligarchic tyranny the citizens of San Antonio want? Think about this. Who stands to gain from this corporation? The city council members, the  socialist Mayor, and the former mayors that endorse this program (as well as the teachers' union administrators).   

2,300 kids who need 100% plus 3,400 kids who need 50%, according to the study, equates to 4,000 full time scholarships. $31M equates $7,750 per student that could be vouchers towards parental school-choice options for these kids, per year, instead of lining the pockets of politicians, unions and their cronies. Or, in other words, that's $7,750 per new child enrolled in a full-time program that these oligarchs wish to steal from tax-payers.

Another argument against the tax-hike revolves around the federal "Head Start" funds. This is one area where I will support the tax hike. Constitutionally, federal money and federal authority does not cover local education. Those "Head Start" funds already violate the 10th Amendment. It is a state and municipal responsibility to cover public education. However, those funds are already being illegally distributed, already fleecing US Taxpayers.

The 14th Amendment of the US Constitution comes to mind concerning this tax. It will tax those who do not have children eligible for pre-K programs in order to support that extremely small demographic. It brings up questions of "fair and equal treatment". Why should a 40 year old with no children pay for somebody's 4 year old to attend an indoctrination program?

Within the city's study, on their "fact sheet" is a blatant lie. The lie is that "enrollment will be free of charge". No it will not. It will be paid for by taxpayers. While those within an enumerated list of alleged "underprivileged" qualifiers may be exempt from paying enrollment fees, somebody is covering the costs -- the working, self-sustaining, self-providing average tax-paying citizen will be paying for what is, legally, an optional program. (Next the city will pass a truancy law making attendance mandatory in order to justify the necessity for the $31,000,000 tax bill).

In the cases of those parents that prefer private schooling or home-schooling, will they get a rebate or refund for their "fair share" of the funds? How about those parents whose kids are beyond pre-K age? Will they get a rebate, since they don't qualify for the program? What about taxpayers with no kids?

Basic home economics teaches high school kids the common sense lesson that paying for something you do not use is a waste of money. That is what this increased sales tax for 2,300 kids amounts to -- paying for something that most likely will not be used.  It is just like Georgia's TSPLOST referendum.