(no subject)

Adam L Beberg beberg at mithral.com
Wed Sep 10 11:41:40 PDT 2003

Isn't this how Argentina went down? The politicians are refusing to cut 
any fat, but instead are taking all of it out of education and services 
for the poor and elderly. Can we just admit America is 100% corrupted 
now and it's time for another revolution?

Alabama was already on the "flee at any costs" list, now we have to put 
an asterisk next to it.

I still believe the state with the lowest taxes, lowest welfare, and 
best _private_ schools will win in in the end - that's where the rich 
want to be and the poor want to flee.

- Adam L. Beberg - beberg at mithral.com


Alabama Voters Reject Massive Tax Hike
By BOB JOHNSON, Associated Press Writer

MONTGOMERY, Ala. -  With voters overwhelmingly rejecting a massive tax 
hike, it's up to legislators to figure out how to run schools and 
government for another year despite a $675 million deficit.

  With 100 percent of the precincts reporting Tuesday, 866,623 people, 
or 68 percent, opposed Gov. Bob Riley's $1.2 billion tax plan, while 
416,310, or 32 percent, voted for it.

  The governor was expected to call the Legislature into special session 
Monday to deal with the red ink. The new fiscal year begins Oct. 1.

  Riley and several leading lawmakers have said they would follow the 
voters' wishes and make cuts if need be. The governor has said cuts 
could include releasing 5,000 inmates, ending nursing home care for 
hundreds of elderly citizens, and curtailing prescription medicines for 
the mentally ill.

  State Sen. Hank Sanders, chairman of the Senate education budget 
writing committee, said he can't imagine legislators raising taxes now.

  Roger McConnell, co-chairman of the anti-tax Tax Accountability 
Coalition, said voters will keep a close eye on the special session.

  "The electorate is much smarter than people realize and they are fed 
up with Montgomery and the way politicians spend money," he said.

  State schools Superintendent Ed Richardson said Tuesday night that the 
results could mean cuts in everything from textbooks to football for 
Alabama schools.

  "We're looking at possibly a four-day school week and at charging fees 
for everything that's not required for graduation," Richardson said. He 
said that would include charging a fee for students to play football or 
to play in the band.

  During a whirlwind campaign around the state, Riley, a Republican, 
promoted the tax package — the largest percentage tax boost proposed in 
any state — as the way to get Alabama off the bottom of many national 
education rankings.

  But opponents, including leaders of Riley's own party, said Alabama 
politicians need to cut their wasteful spending rather than raise 
taxes. Voters agreed with them by a 2-1 margin statewide and even wider 
margins in heavily Republican counties.

  At polling places across the state, voters voiced their distrust of 

  "If the money they have now was spent wisely, we wouldn't need this," 
said Adie Ward, a 74-year-old retired state employee from Montgomery.

  Voter turnout for the special election was strong, with about 53 
percent of Alabama's 2.4 million registered voters participating. That 
was better than the 45 percent who turned out to defeat a state lottery 
four years ago.

  Riley's plan was built largely on higher income and property tax 
payments from the middle and upper classes. Low-income families were 
viewed as major beneficiaries of the plan, but polls showed only mixed 
support among blacks and lower-income voters. 

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