Monday, February 28, 2011

Bill Gates tells nation’s governors that budget cuts do not have to limit school learning.

 Really Mr. Gates ? This argument is more than a little truth challenged.

From earlier posts on this blog. 

Diane Ravitch  “How did right-wing ideas become the education agenda of the Obama administration?”My sense is that it has a lot to do with the administration’s connections to the Gates Foundation and the Broad Foundation. Although both are usually portrayed as liberal or at least Democratic, their funding priorities have merged with those of the very conservative Walton Family Foundation. I explain this curious power elite in a chapter of my book called “The Billionaire Boys Club.”

Joanne Barkan.
Got Dough? Public School Reform in the Age of Venture Philanthropy
Joanne Barkan, Dissent Magazine: "The cost of K-12 public schooling in the United States comes to well over $500 billion per year. So, how much influence could anyone in the private sector exert by controlling just a few billion dollars of that immense sum? Decisive influence, it turns out. A few billion dollars in private foundation money, strategically invested every year for a decade, has sufficed to define the national debate on education; sustain a crusade for a set of mostly ill-conceived reforms; and determine public policy at the local, state, and national levels. In the domain of venture philanthropy - where donors decide what social transformation they want to engineer and then design and fund projects to implement their vision - investing in education yields great bang for the buck."
Read the Article

I have a suggestion of how Mr. Gates could assist the schools. He, and Microsoft could pay their fair share of taxes. And, he could talk to his many billionaire friends to pay their fair share of taxes. If the rich paid their share, the entire budget deficit could be ended in two years.

While  Americans are being asked to sacrifice, major corporations continue to use the rigged tax code to avoid paying any federal taxes at all. If you have “one dollar” in your wallet, you’re paying more than the “combined income tax liability of GE, ExxonMobil, Citibank, and the Bank of America“:
“I have one dollar in my wallet. That’s more than the combined income tax liability of GE, ExxonMobil, Citibank, and the Bank of America. That means somebody is gaming the system.”

See the Fair Share effort at United for a Fair Economy. Here.
Second, we should have a 2% tax on sales of shares, stocks, and bonds. I pay 8% on gas and clothing. A financial transaction tax would resolve the budget crisis in a year. I wonder why it hasn't been adopted?  Then, with tax fairness, we should continue to consider school reform.

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