Check this out. It may help you to understand the effects of the cuts and how they can be averted by extending the current taxes that we already pay for another 5 years. To get us to the other side of this crisis. Also gives information about how you can help.
Posted by voter, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on May 8, 2011 at 10:05 am
I did the budget calculator thing in one of the newspapers and balanced the budget without cuts to school funding and without tax extensions. I have no problem voting yes to extend taxes once we aren't paying prison guards 200k + and letting them retire at 50. We need to show the electorate that we are serious about this kind of thing.
Posted by I agree but...., a resident of the Bordeaux Estates neighborhood, on May 8, 2011 at 11:53 am
There has to be a better way to accomplish reform without hurting the most vulnerable. That is who will be hurt by these cuts to schools and ultimately, will generate more prisoners for overpaid prison guards. Can we save the kids but still fight for reform or is this the lazy man's way of "sending a message"? The problem with that is the greedy [removed] don't care about the kids and cuts to schools don't bother them one bit.
Posted by Mike, a resident of the Del Prado neighborhood, on May 8, 2011 at 12:06 pm
Lets not forget about the billions spent on services for the illegal aliens. estimates range anywhere from 3 billion to 10.5 billion a year. If it was really for the children this would be a top priority.
Posted by voter, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on May 8, 2011 at 12:09 pm
I just feel that there is plenty to cut and perhaps plenty to tax without making the equation that budget cuts = cut to schools. They can cut certain prison guard and some other public sector salaries and benefits (not teachers), cut the redevelopment agencies, tax oil, tax alcohol, cut many overlapping and useless agencies, raise retirement ages, do the other Jerry Brown cuts that haven't happened yet. There is plenty on the list that have not been done yet.
I don't like how this is turning into a "vote for the tax extensions or your kids will get it" mentality. This should not be the narrative.
Posted by I agree, a resident of the Avila neighborhood, on May 8, 2011 at 1:28 pm
I agree with voter. But how do we organize and demand that the children are not put out there to be sacrificed? And that the cuts are made where needed? By just voting no on everything we are not getting anywhere either.
Are we just to give up and be the victims of the corrupt people in leadership roles?
Posted by voter, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on May 8, 2011 at 4:32 pm
So how about a movement called "Education, NOT Politics as Usual!"
The theme would be:
There is no reason to cut funding for our kid's education and our State's future with or without a extending temporary taxes.
If there is voter support for extending taxes, go for it! But you'll have to do it with Republican and broad based voter support so you're going to have to take the pension and benefit issues more seriously if you want to try it this way.
If there is not support for extending taxes, you have plenty of other things to cut and fundraise that would get voter support.
CUT the redevelopment agencies as Jerry Brown suggested.
RAISE retirement ages to 60 / 65.
MAKE SURE that public sector salaries and benefits are in line with the national average + cost of living and then CUT those that are out of line like prison guards.
RAISE employee contributions to pensions.
CUT the number of government departments by 25% or more.
RAISE oil taxes.
CUT red tape for businesses so California can move up from the bottom of the business friendly state list.
LET productive illegal immigrants with a good work history become legal and continue contributing.
DEPORT illegal immigrant prisoners unless the Federal Government pays for them.
RAISE taxes on alcohol.
END 3 strikes and you're out.
I'm sure there are tons of things that can be added to the list and probably some that should be removed to make sure it would get broad based support. But I'm sure there is a decent list that can be put together where surveys have been done and voter support would be there.
Posted by voter, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on May 8, 2011 at 4:37 pm
In terms of Pleasanton schools, same thing!
"Education, not Politics as Usual!"
There is no reason to cut teacher's jobs or raise class sizes with or without the parcel tax passing. With the current negotiations we are more than halfway to where we need to be. With fundraising, we will be almost there. With a furlough day or two or targetted cuts that don't affect the classroom (yes there are some on the list), we're done. For this year. Kids first.
Posted by Make choices, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on May 9, 2011 at 9:16 am
Voter, you are so right. IF any of them really care about the education of the children, then cut all that other crap that is putting the squeeze on kids in the first place.
It's always this way, but hopefully we are getting wiser. We're so use to ignoring all these other excesses and unnecessary expenditures, and have usually met the demands. NO longer. Now we say IF THEY and us want the kids first, put the kids first, and stop spending on assorted crap. Make better spending choices.
Wouldn't we be angry with a welfare Mom who's living off our $$, blowing it all on gambling, purses,hair, fingernails, etc. and then going to the press saying her children are starving because mean ol' taxpayers won't fund programs for her children.
Time is up ! Our own families, houses, etc are being sacrificed with excess taxes being painfully extracted from us, so our message to the unfit Mom, and to the unions, and to the guards, and to the Governor, is ....make some choices.!! We've given enough, the line is drawn in the sand. If you've make bad choices, Do better at shuffling all the money we've already given you. We have our own problems. Nobody's been willing to fight over all that other crap. This is the time, when it's really important to make THEM make the choices...we can hang tough too..'the people's union'. Our message is You've got all you're getting, make the right choices, shame on YOU if you choose wrong....you should care more. Our generosity has been abused.
Posted by You Get What You Deserve, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on May 9, 2011 at 12:29 pm
Someone once said that in a democracy, the people get "the government they deserve". Next time you vote in the primary, not to mention the general election, give very careful consideration to the ideas expressed by many writers here. Which of the candidates has the best chance of supporting education and cutting these other wasteful uses of the money, thereby leaving our children as victims of the "vote for more taxes or your kids will suffer" options we are being offered. You may even need to get involved at the grass roots level to develop and support candidates that would not otherwise be able to have a chance of rising above the pack, let alone the incumbent. Thanks for listening to my offering.
Posted by split roll, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on May 9, 2011 at 2:00 pm
How about the budget cuts that have already been implemented at the state level?
Perhaps extending sales and income taxes is not the way to go. But would Jerry Brown dare to advance an amendment to proposition 13? Split the roll for residential vs. commercial properties... tax revenue from property tax is much less volatile than tax revenue from income tax.
Steve Lopez writes in the LA Times that it's time to tinker with prop. 13: