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Column: One heck of a word problem

Having witnessed the bickering about school levies in Fergus Falls and Lake-Park Audubon and being a reader of the issues in the Frazee-Vergas district, like many of you, I've heard almost every argument known to man on the pros and cons of such communal, pecuniary dilemmas.

One need not look far to find a reason to complain about taxation.

What's rather odd to me is how easy it is for people to bark about taxation meant to fund school districts when every payday they say nothing publicly about the fact their own income taxes are immediately withdrawn from their paychecks and used to fund big business schemes, in which corporations defer payment of their own income taxes for decades.

Imagine if the common man spent as much energy complaining about corporate tax dodging as they do about small increases to fund small-town school districts.

Imagine the state of school districts supported by a proper tax base and not one set up to hamper the middle class and pamper the elite.

It is obvious the importance that schools play in relation to small communities.

It's also obvious in Perham what the school means to its citizens as displayed on the back of vehicles in this town. 'Perham Pride' stickers are everywhere.

Where is the pride in hearing math students can't take a math textbook home from school because there aren't enough?

It isn't like the dog ate it.

The textbook is as lost as the silence of any voices complaining about General Electric's tax scam last fiscal year.

The corporation made a $10.8 billion profit overseas and was legitimately allowed to "indefinitely" defer income tax payments on those profits, according to information provided by Anne Eisele, GE's director of financial communications, this past April.

Wouldn't it be nice if we could all defer our income tax payments indefinitely?

GE made money all over the planet but took a fat loss of $408 million in the United States. GE's federal income tax rate was a negative double-digit percentage allowing the corporate monster to actually add a tax benefit of $1.1 billion back into its reported earnings.

It's high-stakes, fiscal lunacy and legit tax avoidance nobody talks about, rarely hears about and when they do catch a snippet of such high crime, it's quickly off to the next channel to watch some mind-numbing competition between common men and women battling each other to waste as much of their Warholian 15 minutes of fame as they can making buffoons of themselves.

What if the common citizen spent half the time they do watching reality programming on actual reality?

Some members of the community do. Nowadays, it seems like a brat feed is a pre-game necessity just to keep jerseys on the backs of high school athletic participants.

How long before some parents have to band together and have a five-buck-a-plate potluck for textbooks?

Robert Williams

Sports Editor at the Detroit Lakes Tribune. Williams worked prior as the Sports Editor in Perham for the Focus, a Forum Communications newspaper, from 2010-14. 

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