In January the school board invited former Rich County School Superintendent, Christine Kearl to coach them on how to pass the Voted Local Levy. She said the key to passing the tax increase was to “focus your whole campaign and approach on the kids, not teachers and their jobs.”
Now it is no surprise that we are hearing over and over that we need to pass the levy for the kids. At the last school board meeting we heard a passionate plea from a spouse of one of our teachers stating that we need to pass this tax increase because “we love the children.” Letters to the editor repeat the cry: “do it for the kids.” The website in favor of the tax increase is even called “For Morgan Kids.”
It kind of makes you feel like if you don’t vote for the tax increase, then you must hate kids.
But it is really just an old political game. “Do it for the children” is a form of rhetoric called a thought-terminating cliche. It is a way of avoiding real debate and trying to quiet dissenters. It is a politician’s attempt at a Jedi mind trick. These are not the tax hikes you are looking for.
Just about every politician has used “do it for the children” at some point. Most recently was President Obama arguing for gun control while surrounded by children in the White House Rose Garden. The cartoon South Park even has a famous episode mocking the technique. It’s called “You Hate Children.”
For the record, I want to say that I love my kids but I am going to vote NO on the Voted Local Levy. I oppose the levy because this tax increase will be counter-productive. Raising taxes will hurt the few businesses we have and discourage other businesses from coming. Business property taxes have already gone up 75 percent from 2003 to 2012. The levy could raise them another 25.8 percent. In the long run this will lead to higher prices, more people choosing to shop down the canyon, fewer new businesses, decreased tax revenues, and an even worse financial situation for our schools.
I’m voting NO on the levy (for my kids!).