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Monday, March 30, 2020

We Have the Money to Fund our Schools

In an ironic case of trickle-down economics, Governor Andrew Cuomo is crying poverty, claiming that schools will not be getting the funding they’re expecting.  That in turn worries the Rochester City School District Superintendent, Terry Dade, who then informs the Rochester City School Board.  The Board starts to publicly wring its hands, which leads us to the chaos that we are currently experiencing – and have gone through before.  But here’s the thing:
It's a scam.
I know, it’s easy to sit in the comfort of our quarantines and say that, but the actual fact of the matter is New York State takes in enough money to fully fund education; and single-payer health care if our elected officials wanted.  Where is this money and what are our leaders doing with it?
New York has something called the Stock Transfer Tax.  It actually began in 1905 and it’s simply a minuscule tax on every stock transaction that happens on Wall Street.  Because of the largess of our corporate overlords, billions of dollars a year is brought into public coffers.  This money used to help run our state.  Did we get rid of the Stock Transfer Tax?  No.  It is still on the books.  We still collect it.  So what happens to the money
We give the billions of dollars back to rich people.
That’s right.  Starting in 1981, New York takes the billions of dollars of tax revenue that it collects from our richest and gives it right back to them. We have all the money we need to pay for education, health care, housing, and more, but we give it back to rich people who have more than their share anyway. 
Therefore RORE calls on the New York State Legislature and the Governor to immediately and permanently stop the Stock Transfer Tax rebate.  We insist that money be used to:
-Fully fund all public schools.
-Pass and fund the New York Health Act to make sure all of our children and their families receive health care.
-Put homeless families and individuals immediately into empty houses and apartments.

[Stay tuned.  There are even more ways to pay for education that elected officials refuse to consider.]

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