Oh, the Hypocrisy of Obama's Gun Control Advocacy!

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CHICAGO—President Obama calls for greater gun control and has done so throughout his political career, yet takes great comfort in the knowledge that his daughters are protected by ‘men with guns,’ as stated in interviews with David Letterman and others.
“The president seems to think that, ‘We the Little People,’ need more laws and restrictions and must wait for police to arrive, while he and his family enjoy the protection of their own 24 hour, personal armed guard,” stated Rae Ann McNeilly, executive director of Taxpayers United of America (TUA). “He has joked about something the rest of us take very seriously: our right to protect ourselves from criminals and psychopaths who wish to do us harm.”
“We need to be very careful about knee-jerk reactions to tragedies initiated by people determined to do harm to others — especially from politicians with an agenda. What other explanation is there for someone who has ordered drone strikes that have killed over 170 children? Where are the tears, where is the outrage, and where is the cry for reform of our lethal foreign policies that are draining our finances, killing our troops, and killing the children of other nations?” asked McNeilly.
“We, as a nation, need to be consistent in our concern for personal safety and the safety of the helpless, like children, and we need to expect that from our leadership. If the children of the president don’t have to wait for police to arrive, neither should the rest of America’s children nor any other citizen for that matter.”
“Increasing gun control and further infringing our ability to protect ourselves puts us squarely in the crosshairs of those who don’t follow the law. The courts in virtually every state have told us it is up to us to protect ourselves and that we cannot sue our local police for failing to protect us,” stated Billings, MT attorney, W. David Herbert.
“The state of Connecticut has an assault rifle ban that was in effect when a crazed gunman entered the Sandy Hook elementary school ‘gun-free zone’ to slaughter 26 innocents after gunning down his own mother. How did that gun ban protect any of the victims? How will expanding such a ban protect any citizens?”
“The president and others have been quick to politicize a tragedy that reveals the need to end the government monopoly on schools and our individual security. By limiting or eliminating our right to protect ourselves, we create yet another government monopoly – individual security.  Do we really want to entrust, as our caretakers, a government that deems collateral damage of hundreds of innocent lives, including children, acceptable? At what point will American casualties also be acceptable in the effort to protect safety of the chosen few?” added McNeilly.
“President Obama is right about one thing: he knows the value of being able to protect those you love with guns. He should not seek to deprive the rest of us of that same peace of mind by depriving us of our right to bear arms.”

SD200 Hiking Property Taxes with $123 Million Cash Hoard!

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CHICAGO–Oak Park/River Forest High School Dist. 200 school board will vote on a property tax increase December 20 while sitting on a hoard of cash totaling $123 million, according to Barry Jay Epstein, Ph.D., CPA, CFF, a Chicago-based forensic accountant.
Furthermore, Epstein’s analysis shows that funds from the 2002 property tax increase were essentially never used for the purposes they were purportedly needed, and have sat idle, earning little or no return as they have accumulated over the decade.
“Even with worst-case assumptions, projections show no need for another increase for many years into the future,” stated Epstein. “This school board has been accumulating millions of dollars at the expense of homeowners.”
“Oak Park and River Forest High School is the only school in District 200 and is one of the most lavishly funded and financially viable schools in the state.”
“Over the past ten years, thanks in part to the additional property taxes imposed in 2002 (and phased in through 2005), the District’s cash and temporary investments have grown from about $23 million, at June 30, 2003, to over $123 million at the latest fiscal year-end due to annual operating surpluses.”
“This remarkable accumulation of unused wealth strongly implies that the claimed need for the 2002 property tax levy increase was, most charitably stated, ill-considered.  Indeed, this fact alone would serve to argue for a tax decrease in 2012, rather the $8 million property tax increase the Board is seeking.”
“Equally disturbing is the fact that this accumulation of cash has seemingly not been well-managed. The Board’s 2012 comprehensive annual financial report shows only $459,000 in earnings on an average of over $110 million in investable funds, for a return of less than one-half of one percent.  Even in today’s low-interest rate environment, this is incomprehensible – adding insult to injury for the taxpayers who were forced to remit these apparently unneeded funds.”
“The Educational Fund surplus has grown at almost a 30% annual rate, and the District’s funds’ total surplus has grown at over 20% annually, over the past decade.  Apparently, this remarkable performance record is not good enough, however, as the Board wants to impose even heavier taxes.  To fund what? – a question the Board must answer.”
“The current cash hoard of over $123 million, and the unrestricted surplus of almost $100 million (both as of June 30, 2012), are more than adequate to carry the District for perhaps as long as another fifteen years. A property tax decrease, not an increase, is indicated,” concluded Epstein.

SD200 Accumulates $123M Surplus and Raises Property Taxes by $8M?

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Chicago – Oak Park and River Forest School District 200 Board of Education has been squirreling away cash for the last 10 years – to the tune of $123 million – and yet they seek to raise property taxes another $8 million on December 20.
“This is the epitome of government greed. At a time when taxpayers could really use a break, they are getting zapped for an absolutely unnecessary and excessive property tax hike,” stated Rae Ann McNeilly, Executive Director of Taxpayers United of America (TUA).
“Fortunately, taxpayers in Oak Park and River Forest aren’t going to take this financial assault lying down. A local activist, Barb Langer, Ph.D., is organizing opposition to this unbelievable move by the Board.”
“We absolutely must stop this unnecessary property tax increase,” stated Dr. Langer. “What could possibly justify an $8M property tax increase when there is currently a $123M surplus and annual operating surpluses continue to accumulate”?
“We are urging residents of Oak Park and River Forest School District 200 to attend the public hearing on Thursday, December 20th at Oak Park River Forest High School, 201 N. Scoville in Oak Park at 7:30 p.m.,” added McNeilly, who is submitting a request to speak on behalf of hundreds of TUA members.
Dr. Langer noted, “We are fortunate to have Barry Jay Epstein, Ph.D., CPA, CFF, a Chicago-based forensic accountant and recognized audit expert, donate his time and expertise in analyzing the SD200 financial data. Dr. Epstein’s analysis clearly shows that a property tax increase is not only unnecessary, but grossly excessive.”
The research and documentation of Drs. Langer and Epstein have been posted on the TUA website.