Election day is upon us, so--whatever your political affiliation-- don't forget to exercise your right to vote!
I will be working the polls at the elementary school where I teach for a couple of hours tomorrow afternoon. I will be campaigning on behalf of Board of Education candidates and against a Tax Referenda question on the ballot. I typically don't do this because I don't happen to live in the county where I teach and I've always felt that it would be somewhat hypocritical for me to campaign on tax issues when I don't pay tax in that jurisdiction. This year, things are a little different. There are a lot of new voters who have recently registered and they may not be very savvy on local government affairs. Unfortunately, I've seen first hand how some of these property tax limiting legislation can totally ruin a school system. I began my teaching career in another neighboring county which passed such legislation. After six years of teaching I, along with about 500 others, got laid off. To make things worse, this happened just after DH and I had bought our house with the 18% mortgage interest rate! Can you tell that was in the early 80's? Hard to believe we paid rates like that, but we did. It was a scary time because it was a time of teacher gluts unlike now when we have a national teacher shortage. Things got pretty bad--so much so that we almost lost our house. But looking outside of my own little world--the school system went straight down the crapper! By the time they laid us off, they had been in a 5 year decline due to lack of funding. It literally got to the point where parents were stealing reams of paper from their government jobs to bring to the teachers to use at school because we just didn't have any. Things continued to get worse and my friends who remained in that school system told me that getting laid off was the best thing that ever happened to me. What does that tell you!
I'll never understand how American citizens don't make the connection between taxes and public services. They scream for lower taxes but they don't want cuts in services. And those of us who provide some of the services perpetuate the problem by continuing to do what we do--including hours and hours of unpaid overtime--because we care for the kids. If we decide that we can't continue to provide the same level of service when our pay is cut or we lose benefits, we are made into the bad guy!
Dear Government--Taxes are bad. Please lower our taxes. And while you're at it, please find us jobs, provide us with health insurance, bail out our sub prime mortgage and give us grants so that our kids can go to college. That is the bill of goods that people will buy. There is just no logic in it. Now I don't love paying taxes, but I understand the necessity and I understand that when the money is used wisely, it can make our society better. Other democracies pay much higher percentages of taxes--but then they get health insurance, retirement, child care, college education etc. etc. Wow! You can't tell me that the standard of living in such a place isn't better for everyone!
Here's to hope!
I'm planning on bringing my ongoing Petal Edge Scarf with me to knit in line at the polls just in case it's a long wait!
Let's hope that tomorrow night we are toasting a victory rather than chugging shots over a defeat! I suspect that it may be Wednesday before we will even know the outcome.
Thankfully, our days are numbered for the following!
Bushism of the day:
"A lot of times in politics you have people look you in the eye and tell you what's not on their mind." --George W. Bush, Sochi, Russia, April 6, 2008
Kitty Cam: Mikey would like to offer a nonpartisan message.
Cosmo, on the other hand, isn't so nonpartisan.
I guess you could call him a Democat!