Monday, December 15, 2008

Duane Tron: When we're all equal there won't be any wedge! When everyone is poor together the rules change across the board.

From Duane Tron, December 13, 2008
Subject: Re: So...just where are school boards going to get $$ for House Bill 315's STRS hc funding if the state cuts an additional 25% of their funding?
Just welcome them to the "New America," to 'Reality 101.' The facts are everyone is going to face cuts and lifestyle changes during the next 30-50 years. I have indicated many times during the past six years that things are going to get really bad in this country. Yes, I first called attention to the economic meltdown we are facing six years ago. Reflect back on some of my predictions and writings from then. Go back and read some of my early correspondence on economic issues. I was announcing we were in the beginning of a severe recession six years ago. I was dismissed as a "know nothing" by most. I predicted the housing crisis, and subsequent meltdown, in 2004. It started in California in 2003, and I knew we were just at the tip of the iceberg because of shaky loan policies put into place starting in 1998. Gee, I would feel really bad for all of the people except we've been bearing the brunt of sacrifice for at least six years through our STRS health insurance premiums.
FYI. The school districts have already been notified how much Governor Strickland will be cutting their state funding. Right now the number's at around 19-20 percent. That will definitely crimp quite a few budgets. Now actives will get to experience what we all experienced over the years, when we were active, when we often went two and three years without any pay increases. They will get to experience what most of us in poorer districts experienced when we had years when we didn't even get our step increases. I welcome them to the "New World" order of things to come.
This is a price we pay as a society when we keep electing the same corrupt politicians and sending them to DC, and our state capitals, year after year. This is the price we pay for trusting the Democrats and Republicans to do what is right on our behalves. As citizens we have sat idly and ignorantly by and ignored the politicians who have been plundering our economy for the past 30 years. Does it sound familiar? Heck, it sounds like what happened to all of us through OUR own STRS doesn't it? We allowed this culture of greed and corruption to breed, and go unchecked for decades, as long as everyone seemed to be enjoying the fruits of the 'good times,' now didn't we? In a Representative Democracy we have no one to blame except ourselves. When we keep electing the same crooked, and corrupt, politicians time and time again, and allowing them to run through OUR money without a whimper, who is at fault? Just asking!
It's belt tightening time and things are going to get much worse before they get better. No informed, or enlightened, group of politicians can allow millions of good paying jobs to be exported to other countries and then wonder why there isn't enough capital to pay the bills. I've been smart enough to understand that when you export millions of jobs it erodes the tax base across the country, the tax base essential to maintaining our economic infrastructure. This isn't 'rocket science!' It's simple 'common sense,' for which most of our leaders are totally devoid and clueless!
The writer of the following article refers to possible cuts to education if it comes to pass. If it comes to pass? Heck, it isn't a question of whether it's going to come to pass but just a matter of how much the cuts will impact public schools, and other services, across Ohio, and the nation for that matter. Governor Strickland does NOT have any choice but to make the cuts. Where will Ohio get the money to prevent such cuts? Our tax bases have been so severely crippled during the past few years that there isn't way to recover the losses apart from passing huge tax increases on those who still have jobs and income! This isn't likely to happen! Why? It's impossible to regenerate any economy if you heap huge tax increases on business, industry, and individuals.
I'm going to say something here and once again there are going to be people slam me for not knowing what I'm talking about. Recession? Recession? Naw, I'm telling you we are sliding into the Big 'D' word, a "Depression." Actual unemployment across this country stands at approximately 11-13%. The government is very dishonest when reporting unemployment figures. How do I know this? They only count those who are drawing unemployment at a given time. Unemployment doesn't run indefinitely now does it? It varies from state to state and when people no longer qualify for unemployment benefits they drop off of the official radar screen. What I'm saying is those who no longer draw unemployment, and don't have jobs, aren't included in the count. The Fed is saying the national average of unemployment is running at about 6.8% and Ohio is running at about 7%. I'm saying that if we count all of the people who no longer draw unemployment, and don't have jobs, the actual number is probably closer to 11%. At the worst point of the Great Depression the unemployment rate ran at about 15.8% and the entire population of the United States at that time was about 123 million. The present population of the USA is above 300 million. That is a really big difference in the numbers of people being impacted now versus then. I predict we've reached a stage where all of the residents, all of the Congressmen, and all of the CEO's aren't going to be able to put Humpty Dumpty back together again, and any time soon!
Folks, you heard it right here. The Big 'D' word! I suggest people go back to using the good old mattress to hide what money they have! The people running things have become so enamored, so engrossed, with the culture of privilege and entitlement; with greed, power, and corruption nothing will change until everything hits rock bottom. The Fed gave billions to AIG and they were, and still are, sending CEO's to top spas and resorts for personal retreats. The Fed has provided banks with billions and most are still paying huge bonuses and salaries to the top fat cat CEOs. A few have been gradually moving away from this culture in the face of ongoing criticism in the media. Just stop and reflect in what I'm saying. We've become a culture where we pay pathetic, and piss ant, actresses and actors 50 million dollars or more to star in some pretend movie. We pay athletes tens of millions of dollars to go out and play games, and this doesn't include any commercial endorsements or TV and radio advertisements or shows. We have lotteries that promise hundreds of millions of dollars if we just buy the winning ticket. We have TV shows where people can win a million dollars for getting answers right. Heck, in Illinois all you have to do is get elected governor and you can make millions of dollars by selling political favors to the highest bidders! Illinois is an equal opportunity state of corruption. The former Republican governor is doing time in prison on corruption charges and the current Democrat governor is going to go to prison for corruption. Heck, maybe they can place them in the same cell, do you think? Now that is truly bipartisan corruption isn't it??? You can kind of get the idea? And you wonder why we're in the mess we find ourselves?? Go look in the mirror and ask yourself another silly question!
The pharma companies should love this. They'll all be selling a lot of Prozac and other drugs in the future won't they?? John asks about driving a wedge between actives and retirees? John, it's just a matter of them being brought down to the level at which we retirees have already been operating. When we're all equal there won't be any wedge! When everyone is poor together the rules change across the board. At least that's what I experienced at the end of the Great Depression! My take for what it's worth! Oh! HB 315 is going to be dead in the water, a non-issue! FYI.
Mr. T
From John Curry, December 13, 2008
Subject: So...just where are school boards going to get $$ for House Bill 315's STRS hc funding if the state cuts an additional 25% of their funding?
Do you ever think that actives might just have to shoulder more than half of the 5% as required in House Bill 315? After all, they are gainfully employed and many are getting a bargain on their current board subsidized healthcare premiums....if fact, some educators currently pay no health insurance premiums as it is totally subsidized by their boards.
Would this idea "drive a wedge" between actives and retirees? I hope not and it shouldn't. HB 315 hasn't a snowball's chance in (you know where) of passing (as written) with the current and future economic problems that public schools are facing and will face. I'm not trying to shoulder the burden on the actives but, reality bites, doesn't it? John
Proposed Cut Gets Bad Marks From Schools
Friday, Dec 12, 2008 - 02:14 PM Updated: 03:36 PM
By Laurie Omness
COLUMBUS, Ohio -- It’s a worst-case scenario: the state cutting an additional 25 percent from the funds given to school districts on a per-pupil basis.
But administrators at Ohio schools are turning pale at the possibility of losing an estimated $800 per pupil if this situation would come to pass.
Cutbacks of an additional 25 percent to all state-funded programs were raised as a possibility by Governor Strickland.
School officials from Central Ohio told NBC 4’s Tacoma Newsome that if a further 25 percent cut comes to pass, they would be deeply hurt.
Worthington Schools Treasurer Jeff McCuen said that system would lose $7 million.
South-Western City School District said it is already running lean, below state per-pupil averages.
In Reynoldsburg, where the state supplies 51 percent of the overall budget, there is a local levy on the ballot. But if these cuts go in, officials say, they’ll have to find another $6 million in cuts -- even if the state doesn’t go as far as they fear they may need to in order to balance the budget.
Stay tuned to NBC 4 and refresh for the latest news and information.
Larry KehresMount Union Collge
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