Archive Opinion The Orion

Public schools need help

August 1, 2004

I have spent my entire life in the California public education system.

Please save your apologies. I’ve heard enough from my professors and from my high school teachers. It’s the same old story: “It’s not your fault you suck, but we’re going to make you better.”

While my education was being sewn back together, there was a need for our children to be educated and politicians needed a good sound byte or two for their re-election. And thusly, “No Child Left Behind” was born. Unfortunately, for this to work, we need a couple of billion dollars that doesn’t exist, even though in 2000 we had a surplus. I keep hearing we’re “turning the corner,” but it looks like the only corner we’ve turned is a 180 to the economic crapper.

In order to understand this better, we need to take a trip in the WABAC machine to a time when we had more money. On June 7, 2001, three months prior to Sept. 11, President Bush signed a $1.35 trillion dollar tax cut with The Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act.

Then the Great Presidential Excuse happened. I call it an excuse, because it’s the rationale for our sagging economy, a net loss in jobs (for the first time since the Great Depression) and Iraq.

Skip ahead to 2003 and you can find a $98 billion tax cut signed on January 7. Well, it cut $98 billion in 2003 and will cut $690 billion of tax income for the federal government in the next 10 years. This cut was the first cut we have ever had when we were at war.

It doesn’t take the sharpest person to realize if you cut the flow of money coming in (taxes) and you raise the amount of spending, it won’t be good.

According to, the U.S. national debt is nearly $7.4 trillion. That’s $7,400 billion. The average family share in this debt is $117,066. The average US household income was $43,318 in 2003, according to the Economic Policy Institute. That’s almost one third of our spending!

This means we’ve managed to not only dump a record surplus, but fall into record debt.

This falls along the typical partisan lines. Democrats are tax, then spend. Republicans are cut tax, then spend, then cut programs for lack of funding (of course this doesn’t mean either side spends their money wisely).

Somehow, we’re going to take another couple of billion dollars and help our schools. Thanks to George W. Bush throwing money he couldn’t throw and the Democrats rolling over and playing dead at the sight of tax cuts, we don’t have a couple of billion dollars to spare. Eventually, “No Child Left Behind” will be quietly taken out back with a newly legalized AK-47.

But if this is so obvious and so (War on Terror) blatant, why hasn’t the media (gay marriage) figured this out? For some reason (terror alert: orange) they’ve been distracted (amendment to ban gay marriage) from (Vietnam) the iss-(Swift Boat Veterans For Truth)-ues.

The only thing we know is this administration has nothing to do with these distractions.