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NEA: Roadblock to education

Posted By Linda Bowles On 07/11/2000 @ 1:00 am In Commentary | Comments Disabled

In recent years, the Internal Revenue Service has shown a propensity to
leap like a junkyard attack dog at every suspected and imagined tax
violation by conservative organizations such as the Christian Coalition and
freedom-minded investigators like Joseph Farah’s Western Journalism Center;
and it has with similar, savage enthusiasm executed tax audits on Bill
Clinton’s accusers, such as Juanita Broaddrick, alleged rape victim, and
Paula Jones, alleged pants-dropping target.

Given such diligence, you may never have suspected that the same IRS
might look the other way at massive and in-your-face violations of its tax
codes by liberal organizations such as the National Education Association
(NEA).

Fortunately, the Landmark Legal Foundation, as an act of good citizenship
and in the interest of fair play, has politely reminded a selectively
negligent IRS that political activities and expenditures by the tax-exempt
NEA “are taxable to the organization unless they are segregated from the
organization’s general operations and conducted through a political action
committee.”

In a formal complaint, the foundation, headed by legal scholar Mark
Levin, presented a veritable mountain of evidence and exhibits to support
the charge that the NEA has for a number of years lavishly spent general
operating funds on taxable political activities and failed to report them on
its tax returns.

It remains to be seen whether the IRS is willing to take time from its
punitive witch-hunts and its routine assaults on private citizens to conduct
a serious investigation in response to a serious complaint. As we say in the
trade when confronted with a highly unlikely occurrence, “Don’t hold your
breath!”

It is difficult to believe that any thinking person, other than perhaps a
trial lawyer, would have the gall to argue that the National Education
Association is not a thoroughly partisan, political organization.

The NEA knows it has an image problem, and has sought help in dealing
with it. Exhibit 23 of the Landmark Legal Foundation’s presentation is a
copy of a friendly audit by The Kamber Group. The Kamber people identified
four perceptions of the NEA which that organization needs to overcome:

    • The NEA is a monolithic union that looks out for No. 1 at
      everyone else’s — including kids’ — expense.

    • The NEA is a giant political arm of the Democratic Party.

    • The NEA is the greatest obstacle to needed education reform.

    • The NEA has nothing new or positive to offer.

While Kamber suggested to the union bosses that these
perceptions could be overcome with better communications, the reality is
that these are not communication problems. This is not a list of
misperceptions. This is an accurate diagnosis of a corrupt, self-serving
organization that provides money and services to key Democratic politicians
like Bill Clinton, “Algore” and California Gov. Gray Davis in exchange for
protection of its monopoly from reform, competition and accountability.

The NEA is the largest and most powerful trade union in America. Its open
agenda is indistinguishable from that of any other radical, left-wing
organization. Its philosophy of secular statism, anti-American
multiculturalism, Marxian egalitarianism, and moral relativism permeates the
government school curriculum.

Like most unions, educational unions protect mediocrity and oppose
change. They believe that need, not merit, should be the basis of rewards,
that competition is unhealthy, that equality of outcome is more important
than the attainment of excellence and that it is the job of government
schools to protect children from the wrong-headedness and incompetence of
parents.

The concept that a school would live or die based upon doing a good job
with the children is totally alien, not to mention frightening, to those in
charge of government schools. They do not understand or value the power of
free enterprise, market forces and competition. For this reason alone, they
should not be involved with the education of our children.

Historians Will and Ariel Durant defined education as the “transmission
of civilization … our mental, moral, technical and aesthetic heritage.
…” They wrote, “Civilization is not inherited; it has to be learned and
earned by each generation anew; if the transmission should be interrupted
for one century, civilization would die. …”

The transmission of America’s heritage to oncoming generations has been
short-circuited. The values and traditions that made America the greatest
nation in history and the envy of the world are dying.


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