Sunday, May 8, 2011

We May Be In Huge Trouble ---

I held a discussion with an intelligent, astute, extremely well-read individual yesterday that, no doubt about it, just "blew my mind".  The topic?  Public education.  I was not aware, until yesterday, that the primary reason why K-12 public schools are in such dire financial straits is because of "illegal immigration".  And, that these illegal immigrants from Mexico, pay no taxes, contribute nothing to society and if they would just go back to Mexico our schools,  our medical support system and in fact our whole economy would be much better off. 

The logic he used was more students create more costs and if the costs would go down then the amount of revenue would then cover the costs of the public schools.  My background is deeply steeped in public education finance and in public education in general and in the last few years in private education as well.  No amount of discussion about "cost per student", revenue limits (State of California don't you know) and lack of a tax base would shake this person to re-think his position.  No amount of GE and Oil Co. tax breaks would move this person around the corner.  See, he had read about a supreme court decision that mandated free public education for all -- including the children of illegal immigrants. His position was that if the feds wanted to mandate that then let the feds pay for it. 

Now, here is my real point.  The facts about public education, about our economy, about the tax base, about immigrants having for about ever generally worked harder, longer, and pay more in taxes per dollar earned would shake this notion.  My grandmother was an "illegal immigrant".  She came from her home country to the United States when she was 13.  Yep, she lied about her age and got in.  She, my grandfather, my dad, and all my aunts and uncles worked as hard as anyone, fought in the same wars, held the same patriotism as any other "American".  But these facts were of no value.  The fact that the tax base has been eroded by the constant need for Republicans to buy votes from their corporate constituents to stay in office and each time when revenue drops services are cut it is because of too many services, not the need for increasing revenue.

This person has bought into the great Republican lie hook, line and sinker!  What troubles me more than anything is that this is not some ill-read, poorly educated, blindly following oaf, this is a smart, intelligent, incredibly well-read person who can think on his feet and with the best of them.

All I can say is, we may be in HUGE trouble in our country.