Thursday, June 2, 2011

SAY NO to the Ackerman bailout

Today, City Council goes back in chambers to approve massive tax hikes to plug a $75-100M gap in the School District budget, which will cut full day kindergarten and transportation for students.

While we all want the best for our children, I can't help feel that we're being held up at gunpoint.  The writing has been on the wall for the School District of Philadelphia for many years.  Middle-class citizens are leaving the city in droves (200,000 whites have left Philadelphia since 1990, most of which cite poor schools an crime as why). 

This morning, our Mayor appeared on Fox 29's Good Day Philadelphia to make his case for tax hikes to save school programs. The anchors tried to ask Mayor Nutter some hard questions, but the important questions were skirted but not directly asked - questions like:

  • Why isn't there an Inspector General or fiscal monitor for the school district? 
  • Why isn't Arlene Ackerman (who personally made $350K plus bonuses last year), who literally played the race card on that very channel a month ago when challenged by a state rep on spending; being held accountable for poor fiscal responsibility (and job performance)?
  • How was Ackerman, with poor performance and a $45,000 credit card scandal in her prior position as the San Francisco Schools Chancellor, hired in Philadelphia in the first place?
  • Most importantly, how can you justify RAISING taxes for the few, good Philadelphians who honestly pay all their taxes when you still haven't reformed the Sheriff's Office, City Council, and other agencies to ensure that taxation is equally enforced and everyone's taxes are collected in our city?
As hard as it is to deal with the consequences of reforming our school district, the only responsible thing to do as citizens and taxpayers is to call your council members TODAY and SAY NO on any tax increase that will bail out the waste, fraud, and abuse-ridden School District of Philadelphia without controls and monitors to reform the corrupt district.
As history shows us, you cannot fix a broken system by throwing more money at it.  If you keep alienating our taxpaying citizens while failing to enforce taxation for other citizens; you will institute a system of inequality and government reliance (welfare state) that I personally saw in Washington, DC (who literally drove the middle-class and business sector to suburban Virginia and Maryland).

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