Thursday, August 2, 2007

Cincinnati Public School Levy, Retiring for a Raise, Financial Illiteracy

Although the following articles may seem like they are completely unrelated, they are in fact, perfect illustrations of how absolutely financially illiterate our society has become.
From The Cincinnati Enquirer's article "Cincinnati schools need big levy":
Predicting a “devastating” financial crisis within a year without new tax dollars, Cincinnati Public Schools Treasurer Jonathan Boyd on Thursday recommended a 10-mill emergency levy for the November ballot.

If the district cannot pass a levy by the end of the upcoming school year, Boyd said, it will be faced with a $79 million budget gap in 2008-09 – and the gap would grow from there.

The size of the levy and the projected deficit took board members by surprise.

My favorite line from the first story is "The size of the levy and the projected deficit took board members by surprise." I mean, it's not like they would have any interest in the budget for the district. I mean come on, all those big, complicated numbers, projections, estimations, and calculations. It's not like they're the advisory body elected to supervise the activity of the district. Oh wait, they are. Oops, better raise taxes fast to fix that problem.

The problem isn't the impending massive deficit, the problem is that they were surprised about it. I hope they're reserving some of their mental energy for determining a true and healthy solution while they're reactively figuring out how to ask for more money.

Maybe some of that money deficit is going to people like this.

From The Cincinnati Enquirer's article "Judges don't like double-dipping":
Nine Hamilton County Common Pleas judges are asking the board that oversees a Hamilton County correctional center to meet in full to reconsider allowing the facility’s director to retire from his $90,000-a-year job and return to the same job at a lower salary.

The change boosts John Baron’s income $40,000 a year because he’ll begin being collecting his $65,000-a-year state pension and get a $65,000-a-year salary. Baron will also be paid accrued vacation and sick time.

Again, the problem isn't what some would call greed or a desire to take advantage of the system. The problem is that somehow, someway this is possible for him to do, and we need a judge to step in and question the logic of it.

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