I'm shocked - SHOCKED! - to see the source of this quotation.
I recall growing up in suburban New Jersey in the '50s and '60s in a town that had to vote on the school budget every year. We moved there from Brooklyn for several reasons (no truth to the rumor that my parents had psychic powers and didn't wish to be in the same borough as Haim), one of which was the nationally-renowned school system. From about 1957 through my graduation in the late 1960s, the local Republican-controlled city government and various conservative "clubs" in town worked strenuously and successfully to defeat the school budget, resulting in less and less competitive salaries and the loss of some very high quality teachers, many of whom lived in and commuted from NYC. With the swing in salaries favoring the city or other suburbs, my local schools could no longer attract as many top-notch teachers, and there was a definite decline in some schools and some of the high school departments, notably in math and science. We lost a truly great art teacher, a music teacher who was widely regarded as one of the best in the area, etc. Somehow, we managed to have enough money for sports, and I doubt there were many folks on welfare in town. But of course, those with no kids or with kids in private schools or with kids grown and gone were urged to vote against the budget and enough of them and others did to help undermine the school district in many ways.
I'm sure Haim would have been an active voice in the Cosmos Club (had he been Italian) or some other local anti-tax, anti-public schools groups, urging people to think as narrowly and with little vision as possible. If there were no local scandals of financial abuse, he'd have cooked some up or, most likely, told many tales of horror about financial mismanagement somewhere else. Guilt by association has always been a great tactic for demagogues of various political stripes and affiliations.
Not to go all bumper-stickerish, but as the saying goes, "If you think education is expensive, try ignorance." And that's precisely what the Haim's and Wayne's of the land would love to see us do. Education for them and theirs, but not for anyone else.
On May 5, 2007, at 2:33 PM, Haim wrote:
> ?If you simply give them more aid, it doesn?t stop them from > raising taxes; it just raises their budgets,? said E. J. McMahon, > the director of the Empire Center for New York State Policy, a > conservative group. ?You had a big school aid increase last year, > and one this year, and they?re still raising property taxes.?