These three sentences appeared consecutively in today's New York Times:

But the real question, still unanswered, is whether you can cut school taxes without damaging schools. The average teacher salary in Hastings is $96,597. The superintendent makes $228,000.

Let's see, is this mic on? Can I get a little more reverb? Good. WE ARE OUT OF MONEY, ASSHOLES.

Not only that, but we are out of money because YOU STOLE IT, FROM THE CHILDREN. And the rest of us.

According to the linked story, activists are claiming that the local school district spends $27,500 per student. While we don't know whether that's precisely true (shoot, why would you print the real per-student cost, in the newspaper article about controversies over school spending?), even if that number is half the size it's a big blinking neon WTF.

Here is how the system works, ladies and germs: First, during the good times, when people are (rightly) paying attention to concerns outside the dreary slog of politics and public policy, go ahead and double the cost of state government, in like five years, without a shred of detectable increase in the quality of services. Next, when times get bad, complain bitterly about "savage" and "annihilating" budget cuts, threaten to eliminate the very favoritest of all public services (say, access to the gorgeous state parks in California), and then cut your payroll by all of ... a quarter of one percent. After all, why fire a single teacher when the stimulus package will pay for all of them? Finally, when all else fails, raise taxes, to "close the budget deficit" and "restore our education budget to current levels."

These people, all of them who contribute to this scam, should be ashamed of themselves. And they should be bounced far away from the levers of public policymaking.