To the editor:
I am growing increasingly weary of listening to the "no new taxes" crowd whine about having to spend money to fix the budget problems of our state. Without new taxes, there will be major cuts in public education. Most cuts will affect areas not visible to the general public, such as class sizes, course offerings, health services and salaries, making it that much easier for the greedy to continue underfunding our schools.
Consider some of the proposed taxes: a one-quarter percent increase in sales tax that some say would be devastating, especially to the poor. If you bought $100 worth of groceries, your tax would be an additional 25 cents! You wouldn't even notice. Take a 5-cent-per-gallon tax on gasoline that some say would be devastating, especially to the poor. If you filled your tank you might pay somewhere around a dollar more. You wouldn't even notice. An alcohol tax that would raise the cost of a 12-pack of beer by about 15 cents you wouldn't even notice.
If your children fall increasingly behind because they don't get the attention they need in a classroom of 35 students, you would notice. If you have to drive your kids to school because the district can no longer afford to bus them, you would notice. When teachers have to choose between selling their homes or leaving the profession, you would notice. When valuable social programs are cut, more kids drop out of school. When they are out, they rob your house. You would notice. When a critically ill student dies at school because the school could not afford to place a qualified health care professional in each building, you would notice. So before you choose to whine about the costs (you probably have enough change in your pocket), stop to weigh the benefits. If you still think public education isn't worth your pocket change, you should be ashamed of yourself.