Reading the Kansas National Education Association’s — that’s the teachers union, also known as KNEA — report Under the Dome is becoming an exercise in decoding doublespeak.
Today’s issue, which you can read by clicking on Under the Dome Today for April 23, 2009, contains some 417 words that hope for something to happen, without using the words that describe the thing hoped for.
Instead, today’s issue hopes for the Kansas legislature to implement “revenue solutions.” Here’s a little sample:
The Senate Ways and Means Committee meeting today took a different approach. They reviewed a laundry list of possible revenue solutions and called for introduction of a number of them as they have debated their version of the omnibus budget for 2010. This action notifies the tax committee in the Senate that they want certain revenue solutions brought forward, allowing them to adopt a smaller cut to education and other state services than that passed by the House.
The word “solutions” is a positive word, conjuring up a mental image of someone making progress towards fixing a problem. In the past they’ve used “adjustments,” but that doesn’t have the positive connotation that “solution” has.
“Tax hikes” — that’s what these revenue solutions are — is a negative phrase. The writers of “Under the Dome” are smart enough to recognize that most people don’t want to pay more taxes, especially to support an under-performing and bloated government monopoly.
The KNEA and its members don’t want to share in the budgetary sacrifices that the rest of Kansans are being asked to make. In order to make its case, the public school spending lobby will dangle the possibility that Kansas schoolchildren won’t be able to learn anything if cuts are made.
Thinking people realize, however, that shaving a few hundred dollars off the Wichita school district’s annual spending of over $13,000 per child isn’t going to hurt anything. At least not anything that matters.