There is nothing more insidious than when government uses taxpayer dollars to advocate for tax increases. When you see it happen, it makes your stomach turn — and it happens all too often. With a h/t to FR friend Scott Schmidt, we bring you the latest egregious example of the taxpayers who finance the deficit-challenged Los Angeles Unified School District being plied with persuasive "informational" commercials about Measure E — a massive property tax increase measure coming up for a vote that, if passed, would increase property taxes in that district to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars ($370 million, to be more precise, says LAUSD). We note that at the same time that LAUSD is asking taxpayers to pony up more cash, there are no attendant reforms or accountability measures being put forward by LAUSD politicians. Go figure.
There are two "information" tv ads out there — you can view them here and here. Both, of course, shamelessly use children as "actors" — one going so far as to even have one little girl featured holding a whole family of little bunny rabbits (see image).
Schmidt pointed out to me that the English-language versions of these ads have no disclaimer at all on them (why would they, they aren’t campaigning, right? You watch these videos – they ARE campaigning!). But Schmidt did nose around on the internet and found that the Spanish-language version of the ads do identify LAUSD as the sponsor — that means the taxpayers…
If politicians want to ask the voters to raise taxes, they should go out into the community and seek donations to fund a public relations effort to pass it — just like those who do not want higher taxes have to go raise money to oppose it. Using tax dollars this way is immoral.