Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Taxes and Teddy

My friend Jason Mattera does an ambush interview with the Chappaquiddick Swim Champ:



(Via Michelle Malkin.) Probably the best thing in the video is Jason's grin at the end.

Folks, I did my taxes today and got totally raped, especially on Maryland state taxes. The thing about Maryland is, they don't give any break at all for parents of children. It's like they're anti-child or something. As the father of six, this means that I end up owing extra taxes to Maryland every year, even when I get a refund from the feds.

What it is, I think, is that Maryland's tax structure assumes that all children attend public schools, thus imposing a cost on the state. Ergo, a tax break for parents would shift the cost of education onto non-parents, which would be unfair.

But my children have never attended Maryland public schools. The only time any of my kids attended a public school was 1994-95, when my oldest daughter attended one year of kindergarten in Rome, Ga. Since then, all of our children have either been homeschooled or attended private schools.

"Well," some people might say, "if you can afford private education for your kids, that means you're rich, so you can afford high taxes."

Most of the people who say such idiotic stuff make more money than I do -- including public school teachers.

That's been one of my pet peeves for 20 years, this false claim that public school teachers are underpaid. Underpaid? Compared to whom? I've been a professional journalist since 1986, and my annual salary at no time has exceeded the salary of a public-school teacher with five year's experience.

Teaching kids to read and write may be tough, but it's not open-heart surgery, so why do public-school teachers feel entitled to demand higher salaries and better benefits than the average salaries of the taxpayers who are footing the bill?

Yet because the teachers can lobby the legislature for higher pay and more benefits -- paid for with your tax dollars and mine -- they spend all their time whining about how horribly underpaid they are, and what atrocious working conditions they endure.

The whining of the teacher lobby boils my blood, expecially when I am forced to remember -- as I was reminded today -- that their whining is ultimately done at the expense of my children.

/rant

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