How to save education in SC

Contributed by Michael Gass

Lower taxes. If we don’t regulate business, if we simply stay out of their business, the market will handle itself. That is what the Republican Party has pushed for decades. In South Carolina, the reality is that lower taxes means less revenue to pay for services. Instead of “handling itself”, letting corporations run amok has led to higher unemployment, higher rates for products and services while receiving less, and a system that has almost crashed the nation due to greed. And, it’s no different in South Carolina. South Carolina faces almost a billion dollar shortfall in this year’s budget.

Gov. Nikki Haley stated during her campaign that she wishes to eliminate all personal and corporate income taxes in South Carolina. She also stated that she dreams of the day business people run our government. These two items are not separate issues. In order to drive services into privatization, you must first starve the funding of these services until they fail. Only then can these programs be deemed failures and handed over to privatization by business. What services are being starved in South Carolina? Education. Health Care. Prisons. Those are the big three.

In Pennsylvania, some juvenile prison systems already run off of a “for profit” model. The more kids that are put into the system the more money the higher the profit for the company. The natural result of this was corruption. Two Pennsylvania judges were indicted on charges that they funneled kids into the system while receiving kickbacks from the company totaling millions of dollars.

As we being mandating health care coverage, the health insurance providers are promised an influx of tens of millions in new clients that will bring hundreds of millions, if not billions, in profit. Yet, the insurance policies are junk. These policies cover less and less while the rates continually increase. Worse, what services are covered under a policy are routinely being denied by these companies as they try to get out paying for them.

This is the “for profit” business model – make money any way possible no matter who is hurt.

Next is education. We already see colleges pushing tuition hikes every year while financial support gets cut. What do people believe will happen once public education is strangled and becomes privatized? The politician’s say they will provide “vouchers” to help people pay for education. Is this the same financial support the GOP wants to cut for colleges in the form of Pell Grants? Is this the same financial support the GOP wants to get rid of for prescriptions, Medicaid, and Medicare? As we have already seen, the promise is to help if only they can privatize. Then, they work to end that financial help forcing the public to pay the entire bill. So, what happens with public education?

Well, at first, the government will provide “vouchers” so people can afford to put their children into the first grade at the “school of their choice”. That sounds wonderful. And, it will be until you and your child are invested in that school. Until the voucher program is deemed too expensive to fund. Until the tuition hikes by the private school make it impossible for the parents to afford the yearly tuition of their child’s education. Until, suddenly, you simply cannot afford to get your child an education.

The politician’s PROMISE us this will not happen. Not THIS time. Except, broken promises are the hallmark of government. The military PROMISED veterans who retired free health care for life – well, that was until it became too costly. That promise was broken. Active-duty military were PROMISED free health care if they serve – until that, too, became too costly and they were placed under Tri-Care, as well. That promise was broken. Update the G.I. Bill so our newest veterans can get an education and transition to civilian life? Sorry, the GOP worked to try and deny it because that might be an incentive for people to leave our military. Help provide veteran benefits? Sorry, the GOP hates that idea – it costs too much.

So, if you can’t afford to educate your children so they can get into a good job, guess what, there is always the military! The GOP loves having a large military. They don’t want to fund any program to HELP the military, active duty or veteran, but, they sure do love having poor people have no other option.

Gov. Nikki Haley is having secret meetings on where to cut the budget. Where do you think the cuts are going to made? Meetings are kept secret for a reason – people won’t like it. So, you just do it without the public knowing. You slash every service you want to make fail so that it can be pushed into privatization. You make promises that it will be different THIS time knowing that the day will come when that promise is broken. When you can’t afford for your children, or grandchildren, to get an education – when the voucher promise is broken – what will you do then? What future will THEY have, or, better, what future do Republican’s see for your child that you cannot afford to get educated?

Your taxes can go to Boeing or big oil companies in subsidies so they can make more money. They can be sent to countries abroad to prop up dictators we support. But, spend your tax dollars to fund health care? That’s socialism! Fund schools? The teachers aren’t doing their jobs! Help veterans and active duty military? Sorry, Wall Street needs the money more than they do.

The Republican’s have a budget problem and their answer? “I don’t have any satisfactory answers.” That is what one South Carolina legislator said when asked by a reporter by the Associated Press. Of course they have no answers. They are working TO make these services fail. You cannot have an answer to fix the problem when you are working this hard to MAKE it a problem.

When you, as Governor, DREAM of the day business people run our government, when everything is privatized, when the day will come when any promise you or others made will be broken, surely somebody will speak up, right? The military retiree’s had their promise broken. The active duty military had their promise broken. You think they won’t do it with your children or grandchildren?

Really? Here was the GOP response to a kid that spoke up when the GOP wanted to cut SCHIP. They went after him and his family with a vengeance. Guess what they will do when YOU speak up when they break their promise and you can’t afford to educate your child. That is what they do – attack, smear, denigrate. YOU will become THEM for no other reason than the fact that, suddenly, it is YOU that is impacted by their decisions.


One Comment to “How to save education in SC”

  1. Maybe we have just to many services?

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