The PERA fiction on Amendment 66

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Today’s timely editorial – “The PERA fiction on Amendment 66” – and two headlines in Saturday’s (“Club 20:  No on tax hike for schools” and “Funds drought may doom Kids Voting”) should give readers pause.

As the Sentinel’s editors clearly suggest, Club 20 reverted to its familiar reactionary form by manufacturing a “red herring” (purported “lack of safeguards”) to justify opposing Amendment 66 – which increases the state income tax to ameliorate the funding crisis in public education and thereby benefit most school districts in its Western Slope domain.

On the other hand, Club 20 also voted to support S.744 – the “Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act” – despite “Tea Party” Congressman Scott Tipton’s opposition to any “pathway to citizenship” for undocumented immigrants.

Tipton favors a piecemeal approach that would cherry-pick favored provisions from the Senate’s comprehensive reform bill – but make separate passage of any such provisions (including those benefiting Olathe’s farmers and Palisade’s orchardists) more unlikely.

Club 20 rejected Tipton’s position – which spends $46.3 billion (up from $3.5 billion) on redundant “border security” (when net border crossings are near zero, deportations are at record highs, and another 700 miles of 40 foot fence would just stimulate the purchase of 41 foot ladders at Home Depot) – because the “pathway to citizenship” would more than pay for itself (reducing deficits by $1 trillion over the next 20 years).

Club 20’s Health Care Committee has encouraged and endorsed the strategy adopted in the Affordable Care Act for years, but Tipton has voted 40 times to repeal it – impliedly repudiating Club 20’s considered judgment.

Club 20’s opposition to increasing the state income tax to adequate fund public school – which would concurrently relieve incessant pressure on local property taxpayers – takes on special significance when coupled with the impending demise of Kids Voting. 

Apparently, irresponsible local “conservatives” also fear that public education itself – especially as to civics – threatens their grip on political power.  Club 20’s Educational Foundation can perhaps repair the group’s needlessly re-tarnished reputation by financially rescuing Kids Voting.

Thank you for printing the facts.

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