Saint Louise sales tax increase survey essentially rigged to foster a ‘positive’ response
It is very easy to word a survey to bias results. Such is the case with the local tax-hike poll done in December, 2011. In the Dispatch story, “Survey says: tax hike for ER OK,” some spokeswoman reports there is support for a tax hike among likely voters.
I was one of those surveyed. Whether my answers were counted, I do not know, since I hung up on them after the second question.
To the first question, would I support it, I said no. The second question asked if I would be more or less likely to support it given something about funds staying local. I had to choose more or less; there was no “same” option. Being less likely to support it knowing funds stay local is ludicrous, so the respondent is pretty much forced to respond “more likely” to that second question. This can easily be interpreted as support for the tax hike, which is a lie. So at that point, I hung up.
I have nothing against Saint Louise Hospital, except that the monkey who was taking that poll was dumb enough to call me back a minute later; my phone company can personally thank her for the extra $5 a month I now pay them for caller ID. I do have something against ANY tax hike, especially while, every year, my take-home pay decreases and my expenses increase.
Only a total moron would even consider giving anything more to this state or any public entity therein.
Alan Viarengo, Gilroy
Don’t try logic or reality on the conservatives – most of the complainers are on the dole
Logic dictates that one making a claim has the facts to support it. Logic and reality are intertwined and generally congruent. Politics and logic are not congruent regarding tea partiers, conservatives, and libertarians.
At town hall meetings one often heard, “Government needs to keep its hands off my Medicare.” Though receiving government benefits, conservatives miss the disconnect between saying one thing publicly and hypocritically accepting government benefits privately. A 2008 Cornell Research Institute study of 1,400 Americans when asked if they received government benefits, 57 percent said “no.” When asked if they ever participated in one of the 20-plus federal entitlement or assistance programs, 94 percent of the deniers listed one program with the average being four.
A 2010 Indiana University analysis of Gallup’s 10 most conservative states shows that they receive about 21 percent of their income via government benefits, while the ten most liberal states receive only 17 percent. While red state voters elect politicians who advocate for smaller, less intrusive government, they silently accept the generosity of the government to keep them alive.
Logic and reality.
National health care passed despite protestations from right wing, conservative and newly minted tea partiers. “Requiring people to pay for health care is unconstitutional,” screamed the town hallers. ObamaCare (which requires an individual to purchase insurance, thus a mandate by the government) is a violation of constitutional rights in their opinion.
What conservatives don’t say publicly is that the individual health care mandate signed into law was developed by the ultraconservative right-wing think tank, the Heritage Foundation in the 1980’s. Gov. Mitt Romney modeled his Massachusetts’s mandated health care program after the Heritage Foundation’s design. These same folks are now calling their own private-sector driven health care plan unconstitutional and proclaiming it a left wing take-over of national health care, socialized medicine, and soon-to-be downfall of the greatest health care system on the planet. The current World Health Organization’s ranking lists the U.S. at 37th, below Costa Rica and above Slovenia.
Logic and reality.
Conservatives and libertarians decry the immense deficits attributed to Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, CHIP and Veteran’s Affairs. Individual states pay taxes to the federal government and receive them back in return to carry out programs. The Tax Foundation, Census Bureau and Bureau of Labor Statistics compile the movement of these funds to and from the federal government.
The data show: politically red states receive more money from the feds for government benefits than they pay into it. Fully 86 percent of the states voting for McCain received, on average, $1.46 for every dollar sent to the feds. Democratic states that supported Obama received $1.16 per dollar going to the federal government.
While the voters in red states vote for politicians who proclaim small government policies and an end to socialism-based entitlements, they eagerly walk to the entitlement trough for their socialism fix. The greater the dependence on the federal dollar paying for government benefits, the greater the support for Republican candidates.
Logic and reality.
Dale Morejón, Gilroy
Budget shackles on local school districts attributable to unions and state interference
As is happening in many communities in California, Gilroy is experiencing the classic budget battle exercise between school boards and local unions.
Faced with revenue reductions, the school board is forced to look at the largest cost, salaries and benefits. The union produces a list of many programs and expenditures that can be cut, but even if all were adopted, do not come close to having the same impact has adjusting personnel expenses for all employees.
To be clear, more or even continuing existing furlough days, cutting positions, and eliminating great programs is not the answer and is repulsive to this father of three in the public school system who is a former school board member and is married to an public school educator in a family of four public school teachers. Kids need more days in school, not less, and educators need to have full-time, well-paying jobs in order to attract high quality people to the profession.
This battle needs to be fought in Sacramento with the end result being more money flowing to the local school districts and control of where they are spent in the hands of the elected school board, with fewer programs dictated by out-of-touch legislators who have been bought by out-of-district union-bosses who have no interest in the outcome for the children.
There is plenty of money spent on education in California in total, but by the time it filters down to the school districts like Gilroy Unified, about 3/8 of it has been absorbed by the costs of state and county agencies, and there is a great deal of money that the board has no control over (“categoricals”). Finally, there is much money spent on ineffective teachers and administrators because the union bosses in Sacramento have made it nearly impossible or expensive to fire them. This must be fixed.
The public has the responsibility to elect responsible board members who will make the right decisions once empowered with more control of funding.
Similarly, the public should elect the right legislator that worries more about the outcome of a child’s school year than the next contribution to his or her re-election campaign from Sacramento-based union interests.
Robert E. Bernosky, candidate for state Assembly, Hollister