Pensions vs. Children

Several recent letters and guest editorials have lamented the state of our schools and classrooms. Budget cuts and tuition increases have reduced the quality of the educational experience and placed the dream of higher education out of reach for some. The Santa Rosa Teachers’ Association organized a rally on Courthouse Square this weekend to further draw attention to the problem. There is really no dispute that our children need help. What is in dispute is the manner in which that help should occur. The writers and the union all uniformly advocate passage of one of several tax increases heading for the ballot in November. Ignored by all of these advocates, however, is any reference to the blunders that have created this sorry state of affairs. No mention is made of the diversion of moneys intended for education to fund ever increasing public employee pension obligations. Indeed it is all about the children. It is our duty to ensure future generations are afforded opportunities similar or better to those we enjoyed. Passing yet another tax increase before we address the real problem of unsustainable public pensions is a bandage measure only that compounds the mountain of debt we leave our children.

Roy Thylin
Sonoma County Taxpayers’ Association

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