Tax the rich

The drumbeat for more money for K-12 began yesterday, the first day of the legislative session. But only one group of protesters provided an elegant if unoriginal plan for where the money should come from.

The Strib said in yesterday's editorial that increases to K-12, "should not be made at the expense of other good programs in health and human services or local government aid -- robbing Peter to pay Paul is not an answer; it is an abdication of responsibility."

Our friends at MinnBEST say, "MinnBEST doesn't take a position on how it gets done. Don't raise taxes or do, raise fees or don't, go further into debt or don't, but fund the schools."

The Association of Metropolitan School Districts has a little more serious proposal, which includes raising the local levy caps and reinstituting a general education property tax levy (property taxes are more stable source of revenue than sales and income taxes).

But they're all missing the boat. As I was watching the inaugural 2005 session of the Minnesota House of Representatives over a closed-circuit TV monitor just down the second-floor hall from the chamber itself, a group began chanting in the rotunda. A few of us peeked over the railing to see the center part of the rotunda filled with demonstrators, which included school-age children, shouting "TAX THE RICH."

Warning: Legislature in Session!