Saturday, January 19, 2013

Congratulations to Senator Rodney Tom on Breaking the World Record Time for Shitting the Bed After Taking Power

I'm not even talking about all the nonsense with Pam Roach, although that is a fun side story that gives the press corp something to do in this week where every committee meeting begins with 30 minutes of "I'm Representative Jones, I love kids, and my district is awesome!"

Remember last month, when the Majority Coalition Caucus came into being in the Washington State Senate and released their five governing principles?

We, the members of the Coalition Caucus, come together behind the principles of:
  • budget sustainability and living within our means;
  • creating an economic environment where jobs are plentiful and small businesses thrive;
  • providing a world-class education system through reforms and enhancements;
  • governing collaboratively to protect our most vulnerable while prioritizing the needs of middle-class Washingtonians;
  • and setting priorities for state government and holding it accountable.
How do you reconcile those principles, then, with Senator Tom's insistence on destroying the Guaranteed Education Tuition (GET) Program, our pre-paid tuition program here in Washington State? Those families that buy the GET credits are budgeting for the future and making sure that their kids are taken care of. They're doing their best to help their children access a world-class education system without having to start their adult lives $50,000 or more in the hole. They're prioritizing education by accessing a program that's great for middle-class Washingtonians. The families using GET are doing the exact right thing.

In return Senator Tom, who worries about the middle class in the same way that a hawk worries about the number of mice in a field, calls GET a Ponzi scheme (horseshit--the money is always there for those who pay into it) and tries to argue that GET is somehow driving tuition costs when it's the legislature and the directives that they've given to the colleges that's making that happen, not GET. Senator Tom is the former chair of the Senate Higher Education Committee--he knows full well why tuition has become what it has become. I mean, really:  

Tom said it's unclear exactly who the GET program helps.

It's clear as day, unless you really don't want to see.  It helps middle class families, like mine.  Someone who literally lives off of a trust fund may not get that, but our reality is different than his.  It is heartening to see that the House Republicans, most notably Gary Alexander, have already come out against eliminating GET, and I applaud them for it.

It only took five days, out of 105 in the session, for Senator Tom to have his first several screw-ups.  Here's to more of the same next week.

Other reading:

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

"I'm Representative Jones, I love kids, and my district is awesome!"

Hilarious because it is true!

On GET: I've been watching it with some concern for years. While not technically a ponzi scheme, it differs only because the state taxpayer guarantees the payout.

Otherwise, the study shows that future investors are necessary to keep it solvent in the near term (and likely in the long term too).

I can see the sense of shutting it down soon if it is going to become a growing liability on the state's books.

12:02 PM  

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