Alarm bells started ringing for me when I saw this headline in the CA this morning: “Top advocates fill new pre-K board.”
What? What pre-K board? Voters have not yet approved funds for a city run prekindergarten program. The date for that is November 21. That’s when citizens decide if they want to add another half cent increase to our already bloated sales tax. They may decide they don’t want to do that. We voted it down the last time it was on the ballot.
Yet Mayor Wharton soldiers on. He wants it. What’s going on?
Usually, when a politician continues to press for something as he is doing it indicates a variety of things. One, that he knows his voters so well that it’s a logical conclusion. I don’t think Wharton knows but a segment of his voters. The other half are already loaded down with all kinds of taxes, with more costs mounting from high energy costs at home and at the pump, plus Obamacare’s rate hikes and Bernancke’s inflationary money pumping. The mood here is probably not going to favor Wharton’s wish list.
Or, as it sometimes happens in Chicago, the fix is in on the vote. Probably not that easy to do here, now that Republicans are in charge of the election commission.
Or, he wants to pressure those he appointed to the board to campaign for it and pressure voters themselves.
Then there is the thought that once a commission is formed it’s a fait accompli. The inevitability of it can get some voters to yield and support something that isn’t even there yet. It’s a backdoor approach, but it has worked before.
Local politicians have used the ruse that most of the funding will come from the federal government anyhow. The argument that we’d be passing up free money finds followers. It’s like a BOGO sale – buy one get one – but did you really need it in the first place?
Wharton’s already using the argument that enlightened cities are already doing this, so don’t we want to be in the vanguard? They’re doing pre-K in San Antonio! In cities in North Carolina, too! Memphis can’t fall behind again in this super important, megalithic move forward into a city populated by baby Einsteins!
It doesn’t matter that there is no proof these programs really work. Wharton wants it, so we should comply! After all, it’s for the children.
Next we’ll see editorials praising his commission. Those inevitably include bashing conservatives, Republicans or anyone who doubts the Socialist way. Sob stories of baby mamas struggling to get by without this necessary human right to child care will ensue.
I hope the voters of Memphis will see through this. The main beneficiary of the program is AC Wharton who will be repaid in votes at the next election. Meanwhile, Memphians are still struggling with high property taxes, poor streets, sagging business efforts, high crime and unemployment.
Wouldn’t attention to these matters benefit “the children” much more than an animal cracker and a book shoved at them in glorified day care?