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Sunday, March 19, 2006

Tax Credit Talkfest

I received a tip by e-mail that Shelly Silver was going to be plugging his tax credit counterproposal on the Dov Hikind show last night. So I tuned in. Little did I know how entertaining it would be. First up was State Senator Carl Andrews who invoked the name of Jesus when discussing his recent trip to Israel. I would have to imagine that he may not have been briefed on who the target audience of the Dov Hikind show is. Then things got really amusing when Shelly Silver called in. Listeners had to endure five minutes of Shelly and Dov stroking each other's egos, (paraphrasis: Dov: Shelly, let me thank you for being such a great leader and always doing everything possible to help our community. Shelly: Dov, great leaders need great followers, and I stand on your shoulders.) Dov then spent the remainder of the show trying to hawk Shelly's inferior tax credit plan as if he were selling George Foreman grills on the Home Shopping Network. The real kicker was when the station took a call from "Steven". Now "Steven" was apparently having none of this Dov/Shelly lovefest. He took issue with Dov's characterization of Shelly's tax credit as the best thing since sliced bread, and rightly criticized the counterproposal for it's lack of requiring any investment in a child's education. He pointed out that on Shelly's plan, beneficiaries of the tax credit could just as easily spend the cash on cigarettes as on their children's education. He was very respectful, but brought up all of the issues that the opposition has raised to Shelly's plan. What did Dov say in response to this? "Thanks for your opinion".


Dov hung up on him. No response, no comment. He didn't want to discuss the possibility that Shelly's proposal had any opposition whatsoever, or that Shelly was anything less than the demagogue Dov had made him out to be. He hung up on the only person who had something intelligent to say during the whole darn show. I don't harbor any illusions that Dov Hikind is someone who is looking to foster the open exchange of ideas, nor did I have any idea that this stupid two-bit call-in show at 11 PM on a Saturday night was going to include any sort of meaningful debate on the important issue of education tax credits. But still. To completely ignore any comments that raise intelligent opposition to what Dov just spent a good portion of the show selling just shows what a load of fluff the whole segment was. Just don't call it a radio show. Call it what it is.

An infomercial.


Blogger and so it shall be... said...

You just figured out what Dov hikind is?
I give you more credit than that.

11:15 AM  
Blogger MoChassid said...


At the recent OHEL dinner, Shelly Silver introduced Hillary Rodham C. Talk about ego stroking. It was difficult not to puke, but since I was on the dais, I exercised self control and refrained from so doing.

11:20 AM  
Blogger orthomom said...

Of course not. But to actually hear it in person is another thing entirely.

I hear. I had to squelch a similar feeling of rising nausea as I listened last night.

11:24 AM  
Blogger Charlie Hall said...

This is one reason why I stopped listening to talk radio years ago. Most are just informercials for the Republican party.

11:57 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

silver and hikind are democrats.

3:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey anonymous- Charlie knows that. He is just pointing out how unusual it is to get the Democratic point of view on radio, which is a totally Republican medium.

As far as people's buying cigarettes with their returned money, what do you rightwingers really think would happen to private tuitions if the money were earmarked for private schools? I am quite surprised that people who generally identify with the right wing (e.g. puking at the thought of Democrats) suddenly want money not to go back freely to the taxpayers but to be specifically layed out to a new kind of entitlement.

5:40 PM  
Blogger orthomom said...

As far as people's buying cigarettes with their returned money, what do you rightwingers really think would happen to private tuitions if the money were earmarked for private schools?

It never ceases to amaze me that people will jump right into a conversation without any knowledge of the relevant facts whatsoever. OK. Lemme see if I can explain this slowly so that you understand. I'm not sure who you are calling "you rightwingers", but the money from the education tax credit is not earmarked for private schools. The tuition tax credits go directly towards reimbursing parents for $500/per child worth of any sort of extracurricular education. That means test prep courses, tutoring, enrichment, etc. That goes for public and private school parents. Tax credits are generally created to reward a certain type of behavior. In this case, the education tax credits are an incentive for parents to take an interest in their children's education.


5:59 PM  
Blogger Orthonomics said...

Orthomom--One should also remind people that tax credits (like the federal dependent care tax credit) have some built in features that make them harder to abuse, including having to submit the Social Security Number or EIN (Employee ID Number) of a service provider.

When a person claims such a credit, the government can cross-check the numbers submitted to the tax returns of the provider.

Just food for thought. So, while some will find out how to abuse a credit, most people won't even try.

7:30 PM  
Blogger and so it shall be... said...

OM, it never ceases to amaze me how patiently you will reiterate full policy positions to commenters who are clearly too stupid to articulate a full though, let alone comprehend what it is you're trying to convey.

You ever try to teach a pig how to sing?

11:17 PM  
Blogger orthomom said...

Um...thanks, SW. I think? I guess at least I should be happy the guy didn't come back and reiterate his factual errors again and again like a commenter did today on another blog we visit.

11:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You still don't get it that private school tuitions will be raised to capture the amount of any benefit.

Some of us prefer to use the term "davar acher" and is it public troughs that they wish to benefit at? A snout is just a snout.

7:50 AM  
Blogger orthomom said...

You still don't get it that private school tuitions will be raised to capture the amount of any benefit.

You still don't get it that neither you nor anyone else has any way of knowing that. First of all, for poverty-stricken families, an extra $500 does not ensure that they will be able to go off of tuition assistance - just that may be able to go off Tomchei Shabbos. You are living in your own little suburban Jewish Private School world. This tax credit will help the people who are most affected by the tuition crisis, genuinely poor families with many children who struggle to put food on the table. And your implication that the money will go directly towards tuition for many families simply because it is linked to education is inane. What's to stop Yeshivas from raising tuition when their parent body receives their nice little Shelly Silver tax credit? If the Yeshivas are as ready to pounce on any extra bit of cash as you say, then really, it doesn't make one whit of a difference whether the tax credit is linked to education or not. Why don't we just raise the tax rate for Yeshiva-tuition paying families since any extra bit of income or tax refund will be cannibalized by the Yeshivas anyhow? You are simply missing the logic boat here.

8:57 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Don't forget that the tax credit plan currently under consideration would give a $400 tax credit to the residents of any community where the public school budget goes up by less than 4%. As if the people of Lawrence needed another reason to vote against the budget? This would help destroy many other districts as well, especially since LI schools get a disproportionally low amount of state aid when compared to upstate districts. This proposal, while beneficial to private school families, is disasterous for all Long Island (and Westchester, for that matter) public schools.

5:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Didn't the "Steven" on Hikind's show sounded a lot like that David Greenfeld who's leading the charge with that other tuition credit bill?

8:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

'That David Greenfield' was once-upon-a-time Dov Hikind's Chief of Staff and was a regular guest on the show (before he moved on to bigger and better things - like helping solve the Jewish community's education crisis). I highly doubt that he needs to disguise his identity to get on Dov's show. Although, it would have made for good radio to have the two of them duke it out on the air over the right 'version' of education tax credits...

12:13 AM  
Blogger Charlie Hall said...

Unfortunate front page essay in the Jewish Press that will not help the cause:


My response:


1:20 PM  
Blogger Also A Chussid said...

I might be late for this discussion on your blog, but here is a link to a post I wrote on this topic. I wonder if you ever looked at this issue from this point of view.

click on this link

1:07 PM  
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