Thursday, October 30, 2003

Campaigning on campus -- Playing with OPM 

While walking through the student union today I noticed a table to promote the school levy. Isn't it interesting? When the students are behaving like students on campus and in the nearby neighborhood they are treated as pariah, but it's OK to ask them to vote for a property tax levy that they will never pay (if they live on campus -- and even if they live off campus the renters tax refund will give them back the excess.) It's a rather shameless case of playing "OPM" -- Other People's Money. The Minnesota Taxpayers League has been running ads lately highlighting the cry-wolf behavior of the local area government before.
Cities, counties, and school districts ran a scare campaign this spring in an attempt to defeat Gov. Pawlenty�s budget proposals. Time and again, their forecasts of disaster should that budget pass have proven to be false. One city�St Cloud�actually claimed that the cuts in local government aid would result in 100 layoffs; in reality, only one employee was laid off,� said Linda Runbeck, President of the Taxpayers League.
The educator unions have kicked in $5,500 and a school board member has given $6,000 to support the levy, while opponents are working with less than a thousand. I'd suggest they come over here and explain to students how they'll be out the use of their money for more than a year while they wait to get their tax refunds, and how the tax hikes will mean fewer jobs in the St. Cloud area.