282 Jobs Eliminated from Tucson Schools?


by David Safier

Tasl_sm(TASL) No matter how you slice and dice the number, the possibility of cutting 282 positions from TUSD is terrible news. This isn’t about trimming fat. It’s about cutting into the live tissue and muscle of the school district.

The final number of cuts probably won’t be that high. Typically, a District first reports the highest possible number of positions to be eliminated, then it figures out how to save some of the jobs. But if the number is half that, it will be terrible.

A perfect storm is sweeping across the nation, laying waste to state and local governments. We’re in an economic downturn, so tax revenues are dropping, while the price of oil and other goods and services is increasing. Meanwhile, the federal government is cutting back on educational grants.

If we were funding education adequately before, if we had accumulated a sizable rainy day fund, we could ride this out with some judicious trimming. But we’re starting with bare bones education, and we have no prior surpluses to fall back on.

This country is obsessed with the self destructive notion that our state governments are vastly overfunded and we’re paying a ridiculous amount of taxes. So whenever the Arizona economy is good and the state has a nickel and a dime to rub together, the Republican legislature uses that as an excuse to cut taxes. Then when things get bad, we have no cushion.

The conservatives insist that cutting taxes further will stimulate the economy, and everything will be all right. Why we even allow them time to pack their bags before we run them out of town is a mystery to me.


  1. No, I am not implying that you NEED to increase taxes. In fact, I favor reducing spending. Let me put it to you this way:

    There are four courses of action you can take if you are running a deficit. Two favor a balanced budget, two are fiscally responsible. Two expand the scope of government, two restrict it. You and I obviously favor both fiscal responsibility AND restricting the scope of government-
    1. Increase taxes (balances budget, expands scope)
    2. Decrease taxes (irresponsible, decreases scope)
    3. Increase spending (irresponsible, expands scope)
    4. Decrease spending (balances budget, decreases scope)

    We SHOULD choose option #4, but neither party seems capable of that. Therefore, we are forced to choose the lesser of two evils- either fiscal irresponsibility (Republicans), or expanding the scope of government (Republicans AND Democrats). If the neither party is the party of lesser government, shouldn’t we at least choose the party of fiscal responsibility?

  2. We should have neither deficits nor wealth destroying social programs. Your assertion that balanced budgets should be favored over tax reductions carries with it the implicit Democrat POV that you do not balance budgets by CUTTING programs, but that you increase taxes. I demand balanced budgets AND lower taxes by a REDUCTION in social spending. As for the amount of money we spend on interest on our debt, you’re just covering points I mentioned in my previous post, and I agree with you 100%. To wit, I stated that the debt is ruinous, that Bush spends like a madman, and that we need to retire the debt. Reducing our debt would also reduce our interest payments. You like to place blame for the debt on Republican presidents, and that’s fair as long as you acknowledge that that isn’t all the calculus. One could have 100% taxation and no deficits or debt if you spent only what you took in. Same thing with 1% taxation. The flip side is that you can STILL SPEND too much even if you tax to cover your expenditures. Just because the Dems TAX at a high rate to cover their wild spending doesn’t mean they’re fiscally responsible. For that analysis, you have to look at WHAT they’re spending on. And there’s no way you’re gonna convince me that ANYONE is fiscally responsible unless they’re 1)retiring AT LEAST $100B/year on our federal debt (Yes, it would take 90 years to retire it at that rate), 2) cutting the budgets for administrative agencies (ACTUAL CUTS, not adjusted for inflation) by at least 1% a year, and 3) passing budget resolutions and appropriations bills that result in a SURPLUS. The Dems don’t even come close to that definition of fiscal responsibility. In fact, I KNOW the Dems on the Senate SBA committee were bellyaching about the Bush Administration cutting the SBA budget. As I’ve said, Dems never propose eliminating programs or cutting spending, ESPECIALLY at the same time.

  3. Okay, so based on your first sentence, you don’t value balanced budgets over tax cuts? Don’t you know where that leads? Say what you want about how wasteful social programs are, but it’s nothing compared to the waste of spending 20% of your annual tax revenues on paying INTEREST to governments creditors for the $9 trillion of debt racked up mostly by Republican presidents. (http://www.cedarcomm.com/~stevelm1/usdebt.htm) (http://zfacts.com/p/318.html) At least social programs do good in the world. Interest on debt is just throwing money away.

  4. I would agree that you have to value balanced budgets over tax cuts IF the Democrats would favor reduced spending, but they don’t, never have, and never will. They’re socialists who LOVE big government. And the Democrats are just as bad as Republicans on spending. Their PAYGO rules do nothing but INCREASE taxation. They propose new program after new program and have to hike taxes to pay for it all. I too oppose the stimulus bill. It’s Keynesian and it’s a sad attempt by the Dems to look like they’re “doing something” about the bad economy (mind you this is a GOVERNMENT-created housing bubble that is bursting) with bread and circus hand-outs to the masses. And while I’m not against fighting, in Iraq, Islamic radicals who want to kill us, I do seriously worry about the amount of money we’re spending over there. We have needs in THIS country and don’t need to be exporting BILLIONS of dollars to a foreign country with little to no return on our investment. And John, there is no TRUE, small-government conservative who likes Bush because he spends like a madman. Everyone except for loony lefties acknowledge that Bush is a moderate POS and almost has more in common with Dems than with Republicans. (I LOVE it! Bush expands government just like the liberals want and they cry simply because he has an R next to his name.) McLame is the same way. If he wins, we’ll have yet another moderate Republican President who will satisfy no one except his cronies. I agree, John, the debt America has racked up is ruinous. That’s why I advocate slashing federal spending (including entitlement spending) to the quick and debt retirement. It’s the ONLY way to avoid European levels of taxation and continue our prosperity as entitlement spending balloons as Baby Boomers retire. I’d like to see even ONE Dem support cutting entitlements. They never will. It’s the way they addict the idiot masses on voting for Dummycrats.

  5. But the key here is that you have to prioritize responsible governance (balanced budgets) over reduced taxation. Otherwise, you leave future generations to clean up the mess. Just as I oppose the “stimulus package” and the war in Iraq because they didn’t come with counter-balancing tax increases, you should oppose tax cuts when they don’t come accompanies with decreases in spending. The truth is that the Democrats are much better on this topic than Republicans- they have “pay as you go” rules, and all you need to do is look at graphs of the federal deficit to see that nearly all of our $9 trillion debt came during Republican presidencies. McCain is promising more of the same “voodoo economics” (quote is from Bush I) that got us into this mess.

  6. There’s no contradiction, John: you cut taxes and spending gradually to get to the de minimis level. You’re absolutely right that the mob demands less taxation and more spending. That’s why I said they should be ignored. And, John, I’m with you on the point of cutting taxes yet still spending irresponsibly. While I’m a Libertarian-leaning Republican, I’m critical of Republicans for cutting taxes while increasing spending and creating deficits. I’m opposed to deficit spending. The problem is that the Republicans have never allowed reduced taxation and deficits to choke off social spending. Well, the logical fix is to cut taxes AND spending simultaneously.

  7. The contradictions in your answers: 1. You say to tax at the “minimum level”, regardless of how much government is spending 2. You say that the government should pass “balanced budgets”.

    You have to understand the underlying bias the public has towards demanding DECREASES in taxes and INCREASES in spending. Of course, we can’t do both- but that is basically what Republicans have been doing. Sooner or later (as in this year for our state government, and sometime in the next 20 years for our federal government), reality will catch up.

    Now, I can see cutting state and federal spending by over 50%, but what I’m against is what the Republicans did to Arizona: cutting taxation without cutting spending, leaving us in a budget crisis. The disaster of our budget right now is not due to differences in political philosophy, it’s due to differences in governing competence.

  8. Answers:
    What is the proper level of taxation?
    4) de minimis. Tax the people at a rate that will fund the bare minimum level of government and efficiently allow the masses to keep the greatest possible amount of the wealth they generate so they may efficiently allocate their resources on their individual needs.

    What is the best way to cut spending and taxation?
    4) Gradually reduce BOTH taxation and spending while passing balanced budgets and ignoring and marginalizing socialists who cry for wasteful social programs and rent seeking special interests.

    Gotta love the flawed assumption in your first question. The first question assumes there’s nothing wrong with all the expenditures in the budget, then asks if everything should be funded. I LOVE how Dummycrats think government is good and cannot be wasteful or corupt and that they’ve never encountered a program that needs to be obliterated.

  9. Regardless of spending, try my quiz:

    What is the proper level of taxation?
    1) 100% of the level of spending
    2) 80% of the level of spending
    3) 0%

    What is the best way to cut spending and taxation?
    1) Cut taxation, then when you run out of money, drastically cut programs (prisons, highways, schools, etc.)
    2) Cut taxation and underfund existing legislation, then blame somebody when programs under-perform
    2) Propose a program to be cut, then (if the program is cut), reduce the corresponding appropriation and taxation

    …not that I expect a hit-and-run to engage in actual discourse

  10. You Dummycrats just LOVE flawed logic, don’t you? Allow me to inform you that there are ALTERNATIVES to just keeping spending level or increasing spending. Ever hear of spending CUTS? Why not propose slashing some wasteful spending on one social program or another rather than complaining about not being able to rape the masses for as much of their money? Oh, that’s right, you LOVE raping the masses to waste their money on every program conceived under the sun!