Take out your #2 pencil and…
A. keep your eyes on your own work.
B. do something to save America’s public education system.
#1. – Finish this sentence: The tax bill’s language that allows college savings accounts for “unborn children” is a…
A. method for responsible future parents to get a 8-9 month jump-start on saving for their little bundle of expenses.
B. method to sneak anti-choice ideology into a tax scam.
“This is a back-door attempt to establish personhood from the moment of conception,” said Rep. Diana DeGette (D-Colo.) . “What’s next, giving a Social Security number to a zygote?”
#2. – Will the loss or restriction of the SALT deduction hurt public schools?
A. The loss of the SALT deduction would apply significant pressure on states and municipalities to reduce taxes in order to offset the increases in federal taxes paid by their constituents.
B. What? What the heck is SALT?
Education funding is an enormous local and state expenditure, and it would have to be cut in order to provide any relief to tax payers who lost all or part of their SALT deduction.
“There is something incredibly perverse about putting pressure on states and municipalities to cut taxes in order to make up for a federal tax bill that overwhelmingly favors the rich and corporations. It is even more perverse to label that as “middle class tax relief” when the outcome will be potentially disastrous for local schools. The vast majority of K-12 school funding in this country still comes from state and local revenues which would no longer be deductible from federal tax burdens.”
#3. – If we convince our rich people to leave state taxes alone, we’ll be OK, right?
“Federal spending K-12, while limited, has a long reach: $14.9 billion in local Title I grants, $11.9 billion in special education grants, $9.1 billion in Head Start for pre-K children. Most of this money is targeted to help states meet the needs of the most vulnerable children in the country – whose communities cannot raise enough revenue through property values.” The GOP has already promised to destroy Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security to pay for their tax scam. The $634 billion spent in the U.S. on public K-12 schools will be a tempting target for reduction too.
#4. – Assuming their investment grows at 6% annually, how much would a family who puts $200,000 into a 529 plan to use for K-12 tuition save on their taxes if they used the full allotment of $10,000 dollars?
A. They would save $2,380 a year in taxes.
B. I stopped reading after “…grows at 6% annually.”
The move can be seen as a benefit primarily to the rich, since the tax benefits of 529 plans go almost entirely to affluent families, according to the Brookings Institute. The people who would see the largest tax breaks over time are those who have another $10,000 to withdraw every year.
#5 – Senator Ted. Cruz said this tax scam “will prioritize the education of the next generation of Americans.” This is good for everyone, right?
A. No. Why do you believe anything Sen. Ted Cruz says?
B. The EXISTENCE OF PUBLIC SCHOOLS demonstrates that a country prioritizes education.
“Public schools, which serve 90 percent of the country’s students, are obligated to serve all students equally. But the same cannot be said for private schools, which can, for instance, reject students because they have disabilities. Numerous studies already present plenty of evidence of the ways that vouchers do not advance educational equity.” Parents who place their kids in voucher schools assume they will have similar protections to those ensured to public school children under IDEA. They are wrong.
#6 – Our taxes will be used to fund hyper-religious schools that teach children crazy anti-American things. True or False?
B. What do you mean by “crazy“?
These schools currently exist and they teach lies. They are already turning out students unable to cope with or accept our pluralistic secular society. Which is great because our president has said “I love the poorly educated.”
“(This tax bill) means public tax dollars are funding religion-based curriculum that teach, for instance, a creationist view of science or a version of history that portrays slaves as happy servants to their masters.. As Isaiah J. Poole wrote in 2014, it has used history books that reject “the Marxist/Hegelian conflict theory of history in favor of … positive, uplifting history texts”; math textbooks “not burdened with modern theories such as set theory,” which happens to be heavily used in statistics and computer science; and science texts that “teach that modern science is the product of Western man’s return to the Scriptures after the Protestant Reformation” and refute “the man-made idea of evolution.”) (To see actual text excerpts, click here.)
There are schools that will benefit from this tax scam that teach kids that all non-Christian religions, including other denominations of Christianity such as Catholicism, are literally evil. Curriculum materials that depict people of color in demeaning, stereotypical ways that are not acceptable in public schools can be readily adopted for private schools using vouchers. Schools getting voucher funding can choose a right-wing version of history that teaches the founders of the nation never intended the separation of church and state but sought instead to construct a Christian theocracy.
The KKK and American Nazis can set up schools and get our tax money. Hey, Muslim schools will get tax money too, as well the schools run by the Church of Satan (they already have an after-school program!) and the Church of the Flying Sphaghetti Monster. Pandora’s box will be officially open for business.
#7 – OK, enough fun. Can something be done to stop this?
B. Call your legislators!
Minimal Script for senators only: I’m calling to from [zip code] to ask that Sen. [___] to refuse to take a final vote on the tax scam until the new duly-elected Senator from Alabama is seated.
Minimal Script for both senators and representative: I’m calling to from [zip code] to ask that Rep./Sen. [___] to vote against the disastrous Republican tax bill when it comes out of the conference committee which will destroy this country’s public education system.
Rep. Julia Brownley: (CA-26): DC (202) 225-5811, Oxnard (805) 379-1779, T.O. (805) 379-1779
or Rep. Salud Carbajal: (CA-24): DC (202) 225-3601, SB (805) 730-1710 SLO (805) 546-8348
Other Rep Contacts: http://www.phoneyourrep.com
Senator Feinstein: DC (202) 224-3841, LA (310) 914-7300, SF (415) 393-0707, SD (619) 231-9712, Fresno (559) 485-7430
and Senator Harris: DC (202) 224-3553, LA (213) 894-5000, SAC (916) 448-2787, Fresno (559) 497-5109, SF (415) 355-9041, SD (619) 239-3884
Other Senator Contacts: http://www.phoneyourrep.com
#8 – Take part in Indivisible’s Peer-to-Peer calling tool to reach people in RED states!