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Sunday, May 11, 2008

Representative Kate Knuth and the DFL Look to Further Screw Up Education (and More!)

Why stop with the economy? Fresh from her last self-serving press release that outlined the game plan for how liberals/socialists in the legislature intend to cripple the Minnesota economy in the name of the environment, Representative Knuth has an opinion piece in this week's Sun Focus that is little more than an infomercial for an insidious scheme by the DFL to wrest "education" from local control and make it easier to fund the liberal/socialist agenda at both the state and local levels of government.

I won't attempt to fisk Knuth's bilge in its entirety (though I encourage anyone to do it for themselves for amusement purposes). Suffice it to say that it contains the usual convoluted illogic and touch-feely liberal buzzwords common to most DFL talking points. Please do read the whole piece for yourself (linked above) after waiting at least an hour after eating (and have a barf bag handy just in case) to see just how incompetently we in HD50B are represented. Knuth clearly places the interests of the DFL far ahead of those of her constituents. Whether this is intentional or a reflection of the naivete and gullibility of our young legislatorette is irrelevant - either way she does not represent the interests of her constituents and needs to be voted out of office.

Newsflash! Knuth and the DFL, the people primarily responsible for screwing up the public education system, advocate spending more of your money on education! One might correctly say "well, who wouldn't have seen that coming?". The point of this post is that the "reforms" referenced in Knuth's piece reach far beyond the arena of educational funding. Folks, the education component Knuth's blather focuses on is just the tip of a much more onerous iceberg.

Knuth starts out her "it's for the children" regurgitation of DFL talking points with a stretch of the truth, if not a bald-faced lie (my emphasis added):
Much of the recent news coming out of the Legislature this session has centered on the state's nearly $1 billion budget deficit, and efforts to close that gap. Early in budget discussions, there was clear agreement on all sides that any budget balancing bill would not include school budget cuts, since schools across the state are still trying to recover from cuts made during the last state budget deficit.
Minnesota spends well over 40% of its pork-laden huge budget on "education" and, at least in my lifetime, has never spent less on education than from a previous year. Clearly Knuth either doesn't understand baseline budgeting or she is willfully attempting to mislead her constituents with nonsense about budget "cuts".

After additional nausea inducing "for the children" setup verbiage, our educational crusader springs the crux of the DFL scheme to pick your pocket with increased voracity (again, emphasis added):
That's why the House budget-balancing proposal includes a one-time school funding increase for 2009. While not a comprehensive education funding solution, the proposal offers short-term relief to help struggling schools keep their heads above water and lays a foundation for real education funding reform next session.
This is the introductory paragraph that starts the sales pitch for "Socialized Education". Clearly the liberals and socialists in the legislature are out to wrest away the few remaining vestiges of local control and accountability in education.

If these clowns get their way education funding will be taken over entirely by the state. This push is a result of the increasing resistance by local taxpayers to approve school levys and people catching on to how broken the public education system is. The higher the level of government is that controls a given entity, the harder it is for the people to influence it, and at the same time the easier it is for bureaucrats to run it whatever the hell way they want.

For some who don't thoroughly think it through state funding of education may sound like a good idea. Liberals like to promote the "we're all in this together" and "it promotes fairness" arguments to shift control to the state where they see a much larger pot of money with fewer strings attached to its spending. The problem is, aside from loss of what little remaining local control there is in education, that it opens the door to increased government spending and regulation at both the state and local levels. This will come about through the multi-faceted "funding reform" legislation that will be implemented ostensibly to "fix" education (the meaning of "fix" being closer to what gets done to a dog or cat at the veterinarian than to the concept of "to repair").

The result of this nefarious DFL scheme/scam will be that educational spending can and will be rammed through the legislature (using various legislative camouflage mechanisms if necessary) without hassle of voter approval or "vote NO on the levy" campaigns. This will be yet another huge windfall to the Education Minnesota and education unions who will express their appreciation by continuing to funnel copious amounts of money into DFL campaign coffers to keep their gravy train on track. But, as in all infomercials, wait! There's more!

Another component of the linking of educational funding reform to (bogus) property tax relief (i.e. that Knuth claims in her piece to "significantly moderate skyrocketing property taxes") is a provision to make property taxes "progressive". This is a euphemistic way of stating that the amount one pays in property taxes will be tied to their "ability to pay" in addition to the assessed value of their property! If you have an IQ greater than your shoe size this should scare various excretory substances out of you. This is nothing more than yet another big government redistribution of wealth scheme.

Our elected representatives (at least the liberals and socialists that control the DFL and, unfortunately, too many RINO Republicans) are clearly navigating us down the proverbial road to serfdom. Under this repulsively socialist plan the owner of a property who happens to be "rich" (as determined via the nebulous open-ended definition by the government) would be "asked" to pay much more in property taxes than the owner of a virtually identical property who happens to less lucky in life's lottery. As in many socialist schemes the government would pick winners and losers in the taxation "fairness" arena.

The ugly tentacles of this legislation would also parasitically imbed in local government. The clear intent of this legislation is to mollify many of those who currently are some of the most vocal opponents of excessive local government spending (e.g. low income and retirees on fixed incomes). By virtue of their property taxes being "capped" this demographic theoretically will be less likely to make trouble at local Truth-in-Taxation hearings. I can already hear local big spenders like New Brighton Mayor Larson lecturing from on high that a proposed increase in spending won't impact low and fixed income citizens because the state has effectively "capped" their property taxes.

Meanwhile city and county government would then be more free to knee-cap the "rich" residents to finance their out-of-control spending. Those protected by the property tax cap typically don't pay much in income taxes (relative to "the rich") anyway, so the burden of the increased spending at both the local level (via increased property taxes) and for education at the state level (via income taxes) will fall disproportionately on "the rich".

The bottom line of this much longer than originally intended post is that the DFL controlled legislature is a menace to our wealth and freedom. Representative Knuth's opinion piece, as silly and shallow as it is, is merely the beginning of the sales pitches the DFL will make to get themselves re-elected this fall to get another two-year free reign to implement their nefarious agenda. In spite of the title ("Comprehensive education reform needed for success") of the piece the agenda has little to do with improving education and a lot to do with attaining hegemonic control of our lives by liberals and socialists. Couple this education and tax "reform" scheme with the proposals for socialized medicine and a "green" command-and-control economy and the case is clearly made that it is in our best interests that the socialist DFL majority be driven from office.

We in District 50B can do our part by seeing through the transparent "she cares so much" posturing of Representative Knuth and elect Lori Grivna to represent us as well as to take away a seat from the DFL.

Dump Kate in '08!

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Blogger Force50 said...

Jason Lewis uses this analalogy to explain the folly of "ability to pay." If you go into a store to buy a loaf of bread, you would pay a lower price if you make a lower income, and a higher price if you make a higher income. Outrageous as it sounds, that is the sort of thing the the DLFers have in mind to level the playing field on just about anyting they can legislate. If this continues the productive will no longer be able to live in the state and will leave. That will leave supplicants who have their hands out wanting something from government, and government workers with overstuffed pay and benefits, but no one left to actually pay the bills. A recipe for disaster.

5/12/2008 12:20 PM  
Blogger Mark Heuring said...

Kate really doesn't understand how the world works. In particular, she doesn't understand that the most important part of having a lot of money is that it gives a person options. Rich, talented people are always in demand and if Kate and her DFL pals think that such people are simply going to sit there and let the DFL take huge portions of their income, I've got two words for her - Sioux Falls.

5/12/2008 8:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey, but on a positive note, Rep Knuth isn't one of those RINO Republicans that we are teaching lessons to.

5/13/2008 12:46 PM  
Blogger Thrifty Scot said...

Piggy backing on what Mark said, this was my favorite part of her sales pitch:

Along with funding reform, we're also looking at ways to provide real accountability in terms of school performance with a revamped school report card. Unlike the one-dimensional report card that was discontinued because it was used to punish schools, the new report card better identifies areas where students are succeeding and where improvements are needed. It provides a clear picture of student performance expectations and how well schools actually meet those expectations. Elements of the revised report card will chart individual student growth over time, determine how schools compare to others, track completion of rigorous coursework to predict college success and establish a gauge of how students perceive their schools in terms of school safety and engagement.

Two things:

1) If government schools were actually doing their jobs, wouldn't they already be tracking these metrics?

2) What happens if schools don't meet expectations, given the findings of the tracking data? What are the consequences for failure and refusal to change?

I can tell you what those consequences will be - even greater levels of funding.

Knuth doesn't know a damn thing about the consequences of failure - she's never worked in an environment where refusal to adapt results in extinction. In her sheltered world, failure simply reflects an absence of sufficient grant money or taxpayer funding.

Death focuses the mind better than anything else - American auto makers got their act together only after the Japanese kick their butts. Without the threat of competition, government schools will never truly excel at educating students. They have little motivation to do so.

5/14/2008 11:51 AM  

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