Anti-Obama letters were hypocritical and lacking facts
The Canyon Courier published two letters in the Oct. 10 paper highly critical of President Obama. They were both amazing pieces of blind parroting of right-wing misinformation and therefore almost completely devoid of accurate facts. The first, by Mr. Nunez of Kittredge bemoans the mythical drift toward socialism under Obama and trumpets the author’s commendable service to our country. I have to wonder if Mr. Nunez understands that his completely reasonable acceptance of Social Security, a military pension and Medicare undoubtedly firmly places him well within, not only one of the primary beneficiaries of the “socialism” he hates, but also a full card-carrying member of the 47 percentg of Americans that Gov. Romney holds in acid contempt for “never being willing to take responsibility for their own lives” because Mr. Nunez is likely no longer paying income taxes.
The hypocrisy is stunning.
Then we had the unfortunate letter from Anne Skewes of Evergreen which listed a number of easily refuted “facts” and invited us to “look more closely.” I have looked more closely, and perhaps everyone who is receiving their “news” only from Fox News would be better served if they did so as well.
Here are just a few of her faux facts:
• Obama has signed 900 executive orders. Wrong. Obama has signed 138. Bush signed 291 and Clinton signed 364 for comparison.
• Obama has amassed more debt than all 43 previous presidents combined. Wrong again. To really understand debt, one should look at debt as a percentage of GDP. But even as stated, the actual percent change in total debt for each president is: Reagan +218 percent, George H.W. Bush, +55 percent, Bill Clinton +37 percent, George W. Bush +86 percent, and finally Barack Obama, +34 percent.
To understand responsibility for U.S. debt, you must realize that presidents aren’t dictators. They cannot change policies by fiat. The source of debt created by the past two presidents can be separated by the policies which created that debt. When you do so, the total cost of policies created under President Bush: $5.07 trillion. Policies created under President Obama: $1.44 trillion. For those willing to “look more closely,” here is a link where you will find actual facts: http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2011/07/the-chart-that-shoul...
• 53 percent of recent college graduates are unemployed. Wrong. The unemployment rate for recent college graduates is 10.4 percent Not great, but not 53 percent, either.
• An unemployment rate above 8 percent for 42 months. While once true, it is no longer so. When Obama took office, we were losing 800,000 jobs a month — a pretty huge hole to dig out of. If you actually count jobs created under Obama policies, once he was able to stop the hemorrhaging, there have been more far jobs (4.5 million) created in the private sector than in all of Bush’s eight years. Here is another fact-filled link: http://thinkprogress.org/economy/2012/06/01/493849/obama-bush-jobs-record/
• Obama apologized to foreign dictators. Wrong. A complete myth. Show me the quote or think twice before you write fiction masquerading as “facts.”
Many of Skewes’ “facts” are simply just another way of saying we have suffered through one of the greatest financial contractions in our history — a so-called great recession, caused by the policies of Republican administrations. That is a statement I would be happy to support with actual facts, not propaganda. To examine each one of her fantasies requires some work and study, but when one does “look more closely,” every single “fact” she lists as an indictment of the Obama administration is blatantly false and/or misleading. To understand the past decade does require further study, and there is much to be learned. I strongly suggest we all do so. However, this is clearly not Skewes’ intention, because clearly she didn’t do so herself.
Vote no on ballot measures 3A and 3B
Call me crazy, but I’d prefer that my property taxes NOT be increased needlessly. According to the Colorado Legislative Council’s revenue forecast dated Sept. 20, 2012 (see the link below), the fiscal 2012-13 general fund will have “… enough revenue to transfer an estimated $678.5 million to the state education fund …” by the end of 2012. Based on the formula from the Colorado School Finance Act, Jeffco Schools should receive up to $62 million (9.25 percent) of those funds. Ballot measure 3A calls for a $39 million permanent property-tax increase, which makes zero sense for fiscal 2012-13 given this latest news, and will not be necessary for future Jeffco Public Schools funding when our economy (and state tax revenues) recover.
Ballot measure 3B is a bond issue that allows the district to borrow $99 million with a repayment cost of up to $195 million. Jeffco’s current bonded debt (before 3B) is over $453 million with a “remaining total repayment cost” of over $621 million (see link 2 below).
So, call me crazy, but with the estimated $62 million to be transferred to Jeffco Public Schools from the state general fund, I believe that the $39 million tax increase from 3A is no longer necessary, and the remaining $23 million can be applied to many of the expenditures that would have been paid for with 3B.
Failure of 3A/3B will mean significant cuts
Members of the Jeffco school board who referred the $39 million 3A mill and $99 million 3B bond to voters did exactly what the Colorado Constitution requires: They placed the funding decision for the quality of Jeffco schools in the hands of Jeffco citizens.
If voters do not pass the mill, the district will cut jobs and programs at all levels to balance its budget, including:
• 18.8 elementary instrumental music teachers eliminated ($1.361 million).
• Up to 193 elementary teachers eliminated, with teacher-to-student ratio changing from 40 teachers/1,000 students to 35 teachers/1,000 students ($14,045,600).
• Up to 130 high school teachers in neighborhood schools eliminated ($9,375,000).
• Up to 33.4 middle school teachers eliminated ($2,418,000).
• Up to 20.3 teachers at Jeffco’s high school-level option schools eliminated: D’Evelyn, McLain, Warren Tech, etc. ($1,469,000).
• Elementary teacher-librarians reduced to half time and 19.5 middle school librarians eliminated ($3,716,800).
• 48.3 custodial positions, 9.5 trades technicians, 20.8 enrollment secretaries, five maintenance zone leaders eliminated ($3,548,200).
• 11 assistant principals, 17 counselors, 24.8 instructional coaches eliminated ($1,955,400).
• Two school days eliminated for another year. ($5 million)
In total, the district will eliminate 574.1 positions, reducing expenses by $43,493,800 in 2013-14 on top of $20 million this year. Central administration took $7 million in reductions this year, as part of the $20 million 2012-13 reduction. Those positions and services will NOT be replaced.
If the $99 million bond doesn’t pass, kids will dodge leaks in aging roofs, face HVAC deficiencies, see continuing erosion of sidewalks and playgrounds, and risk safety issues related to fire and other hazards. These dollars also affect district charter schools.
In your vote, YOU are the school board managing the district’s resources. Jeffco schools need a dime a day on a $250,000 residential property assessment, or about $36 per year. We voters decide who makes the sacrifice of that dime a day — the adults responsible for educating our children, or the children. I will vote to support the dime-a-day investment. Please join me.
school board member