Oct 7, 2010

Quality of Life

If there was some sort of Emmy or Oscar for blogging, Bernie O'Hare should get it for his post last evening on the Lehigh County budget hearing. He had two video segments on the Quality of Life and More for Children resolutions. The details confuse me, suffice to say the program directors want to keep everything they can get, and plead to restore what was cut away. I got to see the new Art Museum Director, he was pitching for a $14,000 grant for captive children field trips. In one of the video's,  someone suggested the children would be better off staying in the classroom and learning how to read. Another grouch wondered what kind of quality of life the elderly have, after losing their homes to pay for these field trips. One well dressed woman with designer eyewear said these trips were the only culture some kids get, while another less dressed one,  suggested what the kids really need is more parenting. Let me just say this to those working stiffs, with two jobs, being taxed out their house; Designer eyewear is not cheap, wine in bottles and french cheese is not cheap. There's a lot of money invested in that Art District, and your children are going, if you like it or not!


gary ledebur said...

There you go again MM. "Captive children field trips?" Allentown has a great art museum for a city its size. My kids went there, perhaps yours? Art makes life more meaningful. Exposing children and educating them to great art is important. Keeping art for the privileged is not what this country is about. Would it be better if only people who could afford designer eye wear reap the benefits of art ?

Patrick McHenry said...

Gary -

I am all for art and finding ways to expose children - of all income levels - to it.

However, finding the way - and paying for it - should be the responsibility of the institution, not the taxpayers.

Taxpayers are already footing the bill for these entities through the many tax exemptions these institutions receive.

To expect the taxpayers to fork over more cash each year at budget time is simply unconscionable - especially in this economy and when a tax hike is on the table.

Anonymous said...

Who knew you had become a fashion eyewear reporter? Wonders never cease. This time we agree with the exhausted and penniless taxpayers. Tomorrow night everyone garb your sweeties and rush to "Waiting for Superman," then we'll talk about
art field trips.

Anonymous said...

One of the commissioners (I can't remember which) made the statement that these types of trips are school district functions and should be paid for by the school districts themselves, not the County as it is not core to the County's mission.

I agree with that. This type of expense should not even be considered for County funding on that basis alone.

Anonymous said...

I thought Obama was Superman. I even got a picture of him posing outside a New Jersey school in front of a Superman statue striking the same pose as the sculpture to prove it ...

Google : Obama Superman photo

ironpigpen said...

My mother has a PhD in art history and, among other things, used to be pretty-fairly involved with the Allentown Art Museum many years ago before moving away to teach at Yale University.

While one can rest assured Mom is all in favor of exposing and educating children with respect to great art, one can also rest assured Mom is now a small-business owner (Wedding Gown Restorations) who understands that, sometimes, there is only so much money to go around for expenses.

All across the United States, across the board at local, state and Federal levels the situation is crystal clear for anyone with one iota of Common Sense :

We are essentially broke, there IS only so much money for so many programs to go around. Period.

Time for some REALITY-BASED decision making (standing around blaming Bush for his out-of-control spending all day long isn't going to solve much, either).

Time to start PRIORITIZING.

I hear alot about how low test scores are nowadays and how schools need tons of money for everything under the sun (including teacher's salaries and benefits and pensions).

With 43 million Americans now on food stamps (that number has risen for something like the 20th month in a row --- Bush's fault, of course), I now hear calls for School Dinner Programs (to supplement School Breakfast programs, naturally).

Why do I think that, soon, the same idiots (yeah, I called you idiots) clamoring for art museum field trip funding...

...will be pissing and wailing where is all the money for the School Dinner Program or this Entitlement Program or that Entitlement Program?

"It's not just the spending, stupid. It's the stupid spending."