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Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Kansas Republicans continue their war on the poor and education

Kansas lawmakers want to eliminate a program intended to help the poor save money for college. Our present day Republican lawmakers, elected last year, have shown nothing but the deepest contempt for our states poor people and public education in general.
According to The Wichita Eagle, The program on the chopping block benefits nearly 1,000 Kansans who receive up to a $600 yearly match from the state for contributions they make to the state’s 529 college savings plan — a way to shelter college savings accounts from taxes.
Some social service groups, including the United Way of Greater Kansas City and United Community Services of Johnson County, spoke against doing away with the program last week.
Yet the Republican lawmakers are more concerned about their budget cuts than how it will affect people who need a college education to get a reasonable job here in Kansas.
The Wichita Eagle quoted some Republicans trying to excuse their inexcusable actions;

“The goal of the program is, obviously, to encourage saving. That is a good goal,” said Rep. Craig McPherson, an Overland Park Republican on the budget committee. “Whether or not the program is effectively accomplishing that goal, or if it’s the proper role of government, is still something I’m considering.”
“The real question is: Is it a core function of government?” asked Rep. Pete Degree, a Mulvane Republican and chairman of the House General Government Budget Committee.

And the core function of government, according to these Republicans, is to serve the needs of our corporate masters and keep poor people poorly educated so they can be easily manipulated. It isn’t much different from the bigots of the old South (US) who didn’t want their ex-black slaves to be educated. “Don’t need no uppity niggas.”
The kind of bigotry being perpetrated against the poor in the US and Kansas today is little different than bigotry against African Americans both today and in the past. In fact many of these poor people are black which makes this bigotry a double edged sword, attacking to kinds of minorities at once.


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