Jon Stewart: Teachers Have it Too Good (Wink)

Jon Stewart had to do it. He had to connect the dots. We're going after the public servants trying to do some good. But how about the non-contributing bankers who kept their personal gravy train rolling at taxpayer expense? Or the hedge fund managers who pay dramatically lower taxes than almost anyone reading this site? 15%?? And let's not forget that some of our our largest corporations – including GE and Exxon - have recently paid no US income tax? Ultimately, this all gets down to who funds your next election. Banks and corporations do. Kids and public servants don't. David Brooks makes that point rather well. I'm all for sacrifice, but let's make it fair and shared. Or is that idea too "socialist" (or what we quaintly used to call "democratic")?

Related Note:

Michael Moore Tells Wisconsin Teachers "America is NOT Broke"


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  • John Lincoln says:

    Jon Stewart said the “Bush” tax cuts for the rich ???? Last time I checked Obama was President. He should have said the “Obama” tax cuts for the rich. It was funny too that Michael Moore through Obama under the bus as well. Bush – Obama, whats the difference. Take away a few liberals and they are all the same.

  • Hanoch says:

    It is difficult to understand the complaint that sacrifice is not “fair or shared” given that the top 5% of earners in this country pay approximately 60% of all federal income taxes.

    The argument that public servants are being targeted is inaccurate. Public employee unions and collective bargaining are the issues. There is a big difference. Positions taken by these unions are not necessarily representative of the opinions of individual public employees.

    While the left, as it always does, tries to stifle debate by resorting the rhetoric of class warfare, there are important public policy considerations when it comes to collective bargaining by public employees. FDR — hardly a right-winger — put it this way: “a strike of public employees manifests nothing less than an intent on their part to obstruct the operations of government until their demands are satisfied. Such action looking toward the paralysis of government by those who have sworn to support it is unthinkable and intolerable.” (quoted in D. DeSalvo, “The Trouble with Public Sector Unions”, National Affairs, Fall 2010 at http://www.nationalaffairs.com/publications/detail/the-trouble-with-public-sector-unions).

    What is also left out of Mr. Stewart’s commentary is any sympathy for the the average taxpayer. Milwaukee public school teachers are currently paid, on average, $101,000 in salary and benefits. This figure significantly exceeds median income in Wisconsin. This burden is borne entirely by taxpayers who are themselves often struggling to support their own families. Of course, these facts do not fit neatly into the rich v. poor archetype fostered by the likes of Stewart.

  • Frank says:

    They can’t take bonuses from bankers who failed, because that would cause an exodus of talented people? So, what kind of teachers do you think the US need to become competitive again?

  • improbable says:

    Umm, John Lincoln… they are called the bush cuts because they were passed under bush, with an automatic time limit.

    That said, while this makes for amusing TV, it’s hardly taking any of the issues seriously. I don’t honestly see what function public-sector unions serve, and so restricting their powers strikes me as a good thing. And all the evidence I’ve read points to public-sector employees being overpaid (especially in terms of pension promises) compared to the private sector.

  • Johngrdenic says:

    Teachers and friends remember the Harris years? Well they’re back in Wisconsin….It’s scary!

  • JosquinD says:

    I laughed at this

    especially the last part

    but Hanoch’s comments are interesting

    though perhaps the wealthy could pay still more (by could, i suppose i mean should)

    they have in the past (though this in itself is not really an argument)

    On the other hand, prima facia, the talent argument seems to me to apply excellently to teachers…

    it’s a difficult concept to quantify however

  • Marvin Gentz says:

    Jon was right on, of course.

    I do not know how anybody can reasonably defend corporations. They are not even persons and they are lazy and they live off the welfare provided by the religious Koch Brothers. Many of them are citizens of the Cayman Islands, having renounced America to avoid paying their fair share of taxes in the country of their birth.

    Privatization must me noted here. It is a favorite technique of corporations. They took over our prison system and destroyed it and made us the laughing stock of the civilized world. Halliburton, VP Cheney’s buddies privatized many of our military functions and they promptly forgot to feed our troops in Iraq. (Just trying to save a buck, I guess) But the Military Industrial Complex is the most wasteful of our tax money as the expend obscene amounts by Defense Department funds by bureaucrats who work for our little old federal government, They even design planes that nobody wants as they spend taxpayer money like it is going out of style. (Which it is)

    But most pertinent to education is the corporate hiring of scabs at the University and College level. They are called Adjutants. They get paid a minimum wage and they need another part time job to feed their family. But the corporate college ceo saved a buck even though adjutants are not qualified to teach. It should be noted that Bank of America is not qualified to run a bank either. They had to defraud people out of home ownership. Oh, well.

    Finally, people who “behave as a union” but who do not feel the need to tell the radical republicans in our midst that they “support but do not join” the unions are growing like wildfire. They are available by unions when needed. Meanwhile, unions have entered into agreements with many socially beneficial organizations. This, my friends, is a massive revolution. Saul Alinsky recommended that approach bv the way. The average American worker overwhelmingly believes in union behavior and they support unions financially even though they see no need to officially join the union.

    One last point. The achievement of students in Public schools which are staffed by union members exceed the achievement at non union schools.

  • Marvin Gentz says:

    Is there anything more un-moderate as the comments of the union haters above?

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