Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Class warfare comes full circle

Now that government employees -- especially public school teachers -- are the only ones prospering in the new socialist economy, it's ironic to hear them whine about being soaked by their beloved progressive tax system. From our good friend over at The Education Intelligence Agency:

Soaking the Rich. I offer in full and without further comment, this letter to the editor of New York Teacher, the organ of the New York State United Teachers (NYSUT), written by Ed Gruber, president of the Eastchester Teachers Association:

"In your Feb. 5 edition, it was interesting to see that NYSUT is joining 'most New Yorkers' and calling for a 'more progressive' income tax plan ('A matter of fairness') that would tax high-income New Yorkers making more than $250,000. Though the article was not specific, other news sources have specified that the tax would apply to households earning more than $250,000. What you are supporting alienates part of your membership.

"My wife and I are both employed as science teachers in Westchester County, and earned a gross household income in 2007 of more than $240,000. This year, we may top the $250,000 figure with step increases and extracurricular activities. Thus, NYSUT is suggesting that union teachers who worked hard to get good-paying jobs be taxed at a higher percentage than others.

"Most Westchester teachers already pay the painfully unfair Alternative Minimum Tax, which disproportionately taxes household income over $150,000 by taking itemized deductions (such as classroom supply deductions) away from high-income households.

"This threshold was never corrected for inflation. A progressive state income tax will tax high-earning teachers similarly to the AMT. Remember, you represent us as well."


Ben Osborne said...

"...union teachers who worked hard to get good-paying jobs..."

I love that phrase. When we tax those in the private sector at a higher rate, we're forcing them to "give something back." Taxing a public sector employee at a higher rate is penalizing them for working hard to get good-paying jobs.

Anonymous said...

Exactly. Teachers are all for increased funding of their alternative universe because, after all, that means higher salaries, additional make-work stipends and shiny-new Red iPod Shuffles for everyone.

But when the compensation of STRS administrators and fund managers was revealed teachers went apoplectic. Suddenly, numbers had meaning. Retired teachers led the charge against the STRS leadership compensation, completely blind to the irony that so many thousands of retirees in our community who are also on fixed incomes voice the same anger whenever their taxes go up to pay for unreasonable teacher compensation and perks.

But, maybe if we got everyone together for a canoe trip, $3,000 catered lunch and swag bags filled with Red iPod Shuffles and Bluetooth Smartboard tablets then maybe we can talk about it.