California is going bankrupt, and they want your tax dollars to bail them out. They desperately need the money to pay their teachers' and other state employees' gold-plated pension plans. We've all known this for a while.
Now, however, the Los Angeles Unified School District has found a new way to suck up federal bail out money - which is to say, your tax dollars. It seems the L.A. school district desperately needed a new building for its flagship Robert F. Kennedy community schools, a Kindergarten through 12th grade campus in the tony Wilshire District, which at a total cost of $578 million is quite probably the most expensive school in the world.
The expenditure is well-justified, however, according to James Sohn, LAUSD's chief facilities executive, who says, "It has all the modern amenities, like an underground garage, a pool, a state-of-the-art auditorium. In that context, cost of the schools is appropriate." The site of the school also has significant - to liberal California - historical significance. You see, it's located on the site of the former Ambassador Hotel, where RFK himself was assassinated in 1968.
Sohn, of course, would have been the executive in charge of overseeing the building of this fabulous complex, and it's doubtful he even batted an eyelash when signing off on this project. His district, after all, spends almost $30,000 per student per year, much of it on such gold-plated facilities as this one, the $377 million Edward R. Roybal Learning Center, which debuted in 2008, and the $232 million Visual and Performing Arts High School that opened its doors in 2009. Talk about California dreamin'!
The City of L.A. itself, of course, is going bankrupt, due to the failure of senior city leadership to implement spending controls in a timely fashion. In that respect, they've provided excellent role models for the spendthrift LAUSD, for whom no expenditure is unjustified. But why worry? They're all certain the federal government will come to the rescue with tax dollars to bail them out, a move for which there's ample precedent, particularly for over-priced structures named after the Kennedys.
But never fear, Pennsylvanians. You can be certain that your money will be just as well spent as it was for the private sector bailout. Unless, of course, you're getting tired of supporting spendthrift state and local governments in blue states. In that case, try voting for conservative office seekers in November.
Only if conservatives return to power will we be able to turn off the leaky - no, gushing - federal tax dollar money spigot flowing out west.