Jack Roeser Blog

Thoughts, views, and observations forged during a long, active life, 83 years, by Jack Roeser- inventor, engineer, manufacturer, soldier, racing sailor, pilot, entrepreneur, classical liberal (conservative) activist, father and husband, and proud American.

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Jack Roeser is Chairman and founder of Otto Engineering Inc. a manufacturer of electronic control and communication switches for aerospace, medical and industrial uses. Otto’s success is marked by the high precision and quality of its products. Jack has received over 50 patents in Electrical, Mechanical, Machinery and Marine products. In 1994, he ran for Governor in the Republican primary, receiving 26% of the primary vote. For over 25 years, Jack has been an advocate of education reform through the application of free market principles and of school choice. Jack's sport is sailing; he has won the Chicago - Mackinac race among many others.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

HB750: The “Tax Swindle” Scheme

The biggest propaganda campaign in Illinois today is the selling of House Bill 750- a scheme to raise our state income taxes by 67% in order to pump a ton of money into the huge education machine that’s once again screaming for more dough. It never quits hollering for more, no matter how much you give it.

This scheme would affect state taxes for both individuals AND businesses. It would drive many businesses out of Illinois while emptying the pockets of individuals and robbing corporations of their hard-earned profits. .

Let’s be clear – HB750 is totally based on the false premise by politicians in Springfield that we have a revenue problem for education. It is their latest scheme to get a lot more money for the union-controlled school system.

This spending crisis in public education is due to its high labor costs. In running a business, your money goes to the costs of labor, as well as costs for materials, buildings, supplies, etc. But in education, the overwhelming majority of the money goes to paying the huge salaries of the certified personnel.

Our website, www.thechampion.org, has a database of public school teacher and administrator salaries for the entire state which thousands of taxpayers are visiting daily. They are finding out the truth about what public schools in their area are paying in labor costs. Many are shocked to find that it’s not uncommon for many teachers in their own local district to be making over $100,000 a year for a 6 hour a day job that runs only 180 days a year.

What’s really behind this “tax swindle” idea

As they become increasingly aware of the truth about the money flow going into the labor side of education, many voters’ opinions have changed. A great many of them are now opposing the local tax increase referendums and are even organizing opposition groups. As a result, the percentage of referendums that fail at the voting booth has risen sharply. By casting a “No” vote for yet another referendum, these people are voting against the idea that more money should be poured into education. This is the kind of government that works best- the people who live in a district are the ones who should be deciding whether or not their school district needs more of their money.

As more and more referendums fail, the unions are left with a problem- how to get more taxpayer money for even bigger salaries, pensions, and perks. So they turn to the state representatives and state senators, who are apparently scared spineless by the powerful teachers’ unions- the Illinois Education Association and the Illinois Federations of Teachers. Any word about real education reform or any kind of spending control goes out the window lest they be targeted when it’s time to get re-elected. Instead, we get the lie that is HB750, cloaked under the argument that the state is not fulfilling its constitutional mandate to adequately fund public schools. In reality, when you look at total funding FROM ALL SOURCES, Illinois schools rank 11th in the nation.

The real result of HB 750- the “tax swindle” plan

House Bill 750 is just plain bad public policy. Its passage would be disastrous to taxpayers and to their children because:
• It would perpetuate the false myth that our schools are not getting adequate funding. The protected educ-crat would get richer and another generation of our kids would get short-changed with a substandard education.
• It would block the path of real reform in education, thereby helping to maintain a broken system that is failing in its mission,
• It would create a staggering burden of taxation on Illinois businesses, sending us further down the spiral of economic decline,
• It would leave a legacy of staggering taxation for the generations to come to fund a system of schools that have steadily lost ground with regard to education quality,
• It would shift the control of our schools away from local residents to the Springfield bureaucracy with their proven record of incompetence, greed, and unresponsiveness to individuals’ needs.

The real fact is that there is no revenue problem; it’s a spending problem. The K12 system is an unnecessarily expensive institution and it’s getting very bad results. It’s a government monopoly under the dominance of a very powerful union, but it doesn’t have to be that way.

Our kids can’t afford for us to fall for this “tax swindle” scheme. We need to demand real reform instead.


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