3rd Shift

3rd Shift… Suffer the Little Children… Busting the Budget in this Age of Swine

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by Camel City Dispatch

By Chad Nance

“Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you.”
– Matthew 7:6, KJV

“The creatures outside looked from pig to man, and from man to pig, and from pig to man again; but already it was impossible to say which was which.”
– George Orwell, Animal Farm

“God takes care of ol’ folks and fools
While the devil takes care
Of makin’ the rules
Folks don’t even own themselves
Payin mental rent
To corporate presidents
1 outta 1 million residents
Be a dissident
Who ain’t kissin’ it
The politics of chains and whips”
– Chuck D

Out on the street I keep hearing people say that they want to hear the “truth”. They want people to speak up, free from the binding shackles of political correctness and decorum. Well here goes, y’all.

and the pig says…

Ethics. Morality. These are words that most of us who don’t report to work on Jones Street in Raleigh understand. When the swine in the North Carolina legislature use these words they do so with hollow nods toward hot-button social issues that, in truth, have a whole hell of a lot more to do with personal bigotries and biases than they do anything resembling morality. These folks are quick to gnash their teeth and moan about abortion rights while at the same time doing more damage to the children of North Carolina than Planned Parenthood could ever dream of doing to the “unborn”. Apparently this legislature is real concerned about human beings in the womb, but once you are out in the world you are fair game for all grades of abuse, slander, and economic brutality.

The new NC Budget is less a document with debits and credits than it is an all-out assault on the children and other vulnerable people of North Carolina, with the winners of the war being those who benefit from new tax breaks – mainly the already wealthy, corporations (not small, local businesses), and even degenerate gamblers who will be allowed to deduct their losses from their taxes. Frat boys are running wild in Raleigh drinking scotch, smoking cigars, and swapping wives* and no one seems to be able to do anything about it except go with the flow and hope these jackals don’t turn on them. Meanwhile, our children and our future continue to suffer and starve.

The most vicious attacks have been reserved for education. This is where the hyenas really circled and got their snouts bloody.

During the budget process the North Carolina legislature held 8,500 working class teacher’s assistants hostage for months, lasting until well after the school year began. If the State Senate had done what they wanted to do, 2015 would have been the year of the largest education worker lay-off in North Carolina history. In a cynical political move the legislature then announced that they would fund TA positions, and tried to claim credit for being magnanimous for it. Like Garrick Brenner from Progress NC wrote, “That’s like the arsonist claiming credit for putting out the fire.”

Raleigh politicians strutted around with their chests poked out as if they had done something worthy of praise and adoration. The truth is, that in spite of the fact that it is accepted by education professionals that TA’s increase the achievements of students and provide them with a better education, we still have 7,000 fewer TA’s in North Carolina than we did in 2008 when Democrats were sharing power and still cutting away at budgets with meat cleavers.

What it all reminds me of is a text I got from a local legislator regarding Winston-Salem’s City Council. “They need to STFU and take what we give them.” the legislator wrote. I guess that goes for all of us, and especially our children and the hard working people in North Carolina who are struggling to educate them against the will of North Carolina’s elected officials in Raleigh.

Veteran teachers were treated just as shabbily. The legislature gave them a one-time bonus of $750. These are the women and men we entrust our children to every day and the legislature treats them with disdain and figures this chump change should be blindly accepted. How dare you question the throne. Eat your scraps and be gone… and STFU and take what we give you, right?

Then there is the continued underfunding of textbooks. My kids already have a hard time studying because they can’t bring home their books. With teachers unable to assign homework reading in various subjects the base literacy of our students continues to plummet. Why all the harshness, y’all? Because “textbook” has the word “book” in it?

and the heyena says...
and the heyena says…

Remember the days when Republicans were actually Conservatives and believed in local control? The swine claim their budget fully funds TA positions, but what they don’t mention is that it ties the hands of local school systems and county commissions to control their own budgets. Their budget restricts schools from using surplus TA funds for hiring full time teachers, or anything else like, you know, books. The state government has been starving North Carolina’s education system for years and local systems have often had to make up the differences that mean the success and failure of their schools by shuffling money around. No more. Locals don’t know better. We must all simply listen to the elitist authoritarians in Raleigh.

The there is the bond issue. Even the public education infrastructure is under assault. Even when the upcoming $2 billion bond proposal that will be put to voters was released Monday the knives were out for public education. While the House version called for a $2.85 billion bond to be voted on with $500 million of that targeted for public school construction, the Senate said “Screw that. We’ll have a $2 billion bond with no money at all for those ingrates and dirty little urchins in the public schools”.

Let’s just be upfront and honest. Members of our legislature don’t represent the people of North Carolina. Your legislators don’t represent you. They represent themselves and other wealthy elites just like them. They don’t care if your children achieve the American dream as long as theirs do and they can break to public schools in order to sell them to the highest bidder. The underlying cruelty is that these pigs are doing the best they can to pull the ladder up behind themselves by knee-capping public education and children’s health programs. This legislature wants undereducated, compliant workers with no representation and no hope to send to their corporate cronies.

These so-called “Family Values” vipers went at North Carolina’s families hammer and tongs. You know how they are supposed to be against raising taxes? Well, they are against raising taxes- except when it comes to raising taxes and fees on North Carolina’s middle and working class. The majority of our children live in these kind of families. Most of our kids aren’t home schooled in or private, charter, and parochial schools. The majority of kids don’t have those luxuries.  Meanwhile they hand over tax payer money to the biggest welfare Queens in North Carolina history- wealthy corporations and people whose lavish lifestyles are subsidized on the backs of hard working North Carolinians.

The North Carolinians (you and I) paid more in state taxes than they did last year. That’s because the General Assembly got rid of key deductions like the EITC and expanded the sales tax to new services all while raising DMV fees. All of this hits the middle class more than it does the wealthy and corporations. They got a tax cut- you and I got a tax hike. As reported in the Raleigh News & Observer:

“Middle- and low-income wage earners won’t see a meaningful boost from the tax cuts. But they will feel the bite of an expanded sales tax that applies to the cost of auto and household repairs. And they’ll see a state in decline, its public schools strapped, its public employees stiffed for yet another year and its infrastructure fraying.

Meg Wiehe, state tax policy director for the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy, a nonprofit, nonpartisan group that advocates tax fairness, says North Carolina is virtually alone in the nation in giving away the fruits of recovery.

“It’s very counter to what we’ve seen in other states where revenue has come back and states are making investments to make up for cuts during the recession,” Wiehe says.

and the vipers say...
and the vipers say…

The only other state indulging in repeated tax cuts is Ohio, Wiehe says, but Ohio has approved a federally funded expansion of its Medicaid program and added an earned income tax credit for low-wage earners. North Carolina, along with 18 other states, is still rejecting the billions of federal health care dollars expansion would bring and has eliminated its earned income tax credit.”

And don’t forget- they also raised fees and tuition at community colleges where, you know, middle class kids and adults can get an education without being crippled by debt and the poor and working class can get a leg up. Can’t have that now, can we?

That doesn’t even begin to get into the privatization of Medicaid.  That move alone will do serious harm to the healthcare of children as decisions about everything from their teeth to their nutrition become the purview of companies whose only goal is to make money for shareholders.  Even old line conservatives like Nelson Dollar know that this is a bad idea.

I was threatened recently by a legislator who said that if I continue to go hard against them none of them will talk to me for articles. Who cares? These aren’t the kind of people I’d hang out with or talk to anyway. The majority of them are the kind of people you find yourself talking to after about 15 Jager shots too many. You regret it in the morning and wonder how you could have ever lowered yourself so far… then you start to wonder if they might have slipped you a roofie while you were out back by the dumpster throwing up.

We the people are going to have to take our state back from these corporate hacks. They aren’t conservative. They are just venal, greedy human cumquats who, sadly, were able to hoodwink some of the populace and take advantage of the corruption that the Democratic Party had long engaged in. Of course now they have taken the avarice to new heights while the people of North Carolina have been brought to new lows. As a people we have to reject the manipulation brought to bear by pushing racist, anti-gay, and anti-abortion issues out front while hiding the real nastiness behind a curtain of smirking lies and cynical hatreds. Want to really do something for the children of North Carolina? Don’t vote on a couple of single issues or because your preacher told you that Jesus only loves Republicans. Jesus might love these swine just as he does sinners like me. Make no mistake, though, pilgrims. If Jesus were here he would storm the Temple on Jones Street and turn the money changer’s tables over on top of themselves. Face it, y’all, hearts that love don’t treat one another like this.
*Maybe these are just rumors, but there is no question that the behavior of Raleigh’s “WASP 101” crowd isn’t what the folks back home in Mrs. Parker’s Sunday School Class bargained for when they voted to put these people into positions of power. If you don’t think these degenerates are capable of repulsive behavior then please read HERE.

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