Archive for the ‘education’ Category

Defying Logic: Obama Wants Congress To Give Him Money Without Plans (And The Money Is Borrowed)

May 7, 2009

President Obama requested funding from Congress to relocate the terrorists prisoners from the Guantanamo Bay prison.  But the funding request had no accompanying plan on what to do with the prisoners.  Mr. Obama’s promised to close Guantanamo Bay by January 2010.

The House Appropriations Committee withheld the funding: and asked for a plan.

“While I don’t mind defending a concrete program, I’m not much interested in wasting my energy defending a theoretical program,” said House Appropriations Committee Chairman David R. Obey, Wisconsin Democrat.

But the White House asking for money without a concrete plan is not unusual: in fact, for the Obama Administration: that is the norm.

Cap and trade and the total re-engineering of the nation’s energy system to remove coal and oil?  We don’t know the total plan or much of the costs either.

The $787 billion stimulus was passed without a single lawmaker admitted he or she had read the request.  So why bother with writing down the tricky deatails of government spending?

Heath care?  The current Obama Administration request is for spending   The details of reform?  Yet to be worked out.

Education?  We don’t have a plan but we want the government to send everyone to college.  What will that cost and what will that mean?  We aren’t sure.

This wouldn’t seem so starkly stupid if we had the money to spend.  But this is borrowing huge sums from China and saddling out grandchildren with the debt: while we work out how the money will be spent, exactly.

Donna Smith of Reuters wrote, “Obama wants an overhaul of the $2.5 trillion U.S. health care industry passed by the end of the year.”

She also wrote, “Obama has not put forward a specific plan and is leaving it to the Democratic-controlled Congress to write the legislation.”

Cart before the horse?  Or just stupid government?

Karl Rove: Obama Outsources His Presidency


From The Washington Times

The Senate’s top appropriator Monday vowed to restore funding President Obama requested to close the Guantanamo Bay prison camp, challenging his own Democratic Party leaders who expressed skepticism about the administration’s plan.

“It’s going to be in the bill,” Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Daniel K. Inouye told The Washington Times. “Something like this should be resolved in the conference.”

The Hawaii Democrat said the $81 million the White House wants to shut down the detention center at the U.S. Navy base in Cuba could come with conditions, such as withholding the money until Mr. Obama presents a plan for relocating the roughly 240 terrorist suspects locked up on the island.

House Democratic leaders left the requested money out of their version of a $94 billion supplemental spending bill for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, bucking the White House’s call for funding as it tries to make good on Mr. Obama’s promise to close Guantanamo Bay by January.

But the maneuver shored up Republican support critical to passing the bill and to avoid an embarrassing defeat for Mr. Obama at the hands of antiwar Democrats who will not support the additional funding primarily for military actions in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Republicans, who have been searching for an issue that resonates with voters, hammered the Guantanamo Bay closure in recent weeks.

Democratic leaders also balked at the administration’s lack of a plan to relocate the prisoners, even though they agree that the prison has become a symbol of U.S. excesses during President George W. Bush’s war on terror.

“While I don’t mind defending a concrete program, I’m not much interested in wasting my energy defending a theoretical program,” said House Appropriations Committee Chairman David R. Obey, Wisconsin Democrat.

Mr. Obey, who supports the idea of closing the facility, said that when White House officials develop a plan, “they are welcome to come back and talk to us about it.”

Read the rest:

Donna Smith of Reuters on Health Care:

To Balance The Budget: Cutting Health Care, Education, Unemployment Benefits, Defense, and More

May 7, 2009

In Israel: there is just not enough money available to borrow.  And who can afford to run a government on ever increasing debt?


From The Jerusalem Post

The Finance Ministry has compiled a list of planned budgetary cuts, including to the defense, education, welfare and health budgets, which will be presented to the cabinet next week.

The plan recommends cutting NIS 2.5 billion from the Defense Ministry’s budget. In addition, the plan reportedly calls on the IDF to raise the retirement age and to decrease the salaries of all professional non-combat soldiers.

For the welfare budget, the Finance Ministry plan recommends decreasing child support payments  by 10 percent. According to the proposal, all otherNational Insurance  Institute funds would be “frozen” until the end of 2010. By implementing these measures, the Finance Ministry hopes to save NIS 900 million.

Another cost-cutting mechanism to be proposed by the Treasury is to toughen the unemployment benefits criteria. The ministry proposes cutting eligibility for unemployment benefits to 45 days for people younger than 35 years of age, 60 days for those between 35 to 45, and 90 days for those older than 45.

New immigrants are also not immune from the massive budget cuts. Tax exemptions up to NIS 6,000 for immigrants coming from countries “in distress,” as well as other purchase taxes are slated to be canceled.

Those interested in taking advantage of the suffering housing market will find eligibility for government-sponsored loans more difficult, as the budget for such loans will be cut to NIS 280 million.
The Treasury’s proposal also targets new mothers. The budget demands a NIS 50 payment from patients for every day of hospitalization, including for childbirth. In addition, the maximum payment to mothers on maternity leave will be reduced from NIS 1,296 per day to NIS 778 per day – saving an expected NIS 500 million. Finally, the ministry hopes to equalize the amount of money granted to new parents for each child; currently, couples receive a one-time payment of NIS 1,555 for the first child, NIS 700 for the second, and NIS 467 for each additional child, but the Treasury hopes to change that to a flat NIS 467 for all children.

The Treasury’s proposed plan also includes a NIS 200-million cut to the Education Ministry’s budget, with recommendations to halt programs that enable smaller classrooms in the lower grades.

Read the rest:

Protest Over Schools In Washington DC: The Unions Are Failing

May 7, 2009

Tears welled up in Zed Yim’s eyes when she was asked where her son will go to school next year. “I have no idea,” she confided, before her emotions prevented her from saying any more.

Ms. Yim, along with 1400 D.C. schoolchildren, teachers, and parents rallied, yesterday in Freedom Park, just across from the White House, to protest the cancellation of the Opportunity Scholarship Program (OSP) that provides school vouchers for 1700 disadvantaged D.C. youth. The Democratic Congress voted in a spending bill to defund the OSP earlier this year, thereby revoking the scholarships of kids like Zed’s son, Kassa, who currently attends Sacred Heart School in Northwest D.C.

By Joseph Lawler
The American Spectator
The rally, which featured speeches by former mayors Marion Barry and Anthony A. Williams as well as student and parent testimonials, drew students from OSP-participating schools all over D.C.. Neither Infinite Fields and Demarro Shavazz, scholarship recipients in the seventh grade at Bridges Academy, knew exactly who was responsible for ending their scholarship program, but their disappointment showed. Infinite called Bridges “fantastic,” and said that studying there had improved his academic career. Demarro added that he did not think it was fair to axe the program, because “not all the parents can pay.”

Donna Mebane, a teacher of literature and language arts at Bridges, explained that the OSP gives the kids an advantage. Bridges Academy’s advanced curriculum allows the kids to enter high school ahead of the curve. In her seventh grade literature class of nine children, all but one or two are OSP participants. The death of the OSP program “will hurt a lot of people,” she predicted. “It will definitely affect students.”

Another mother in attendance, Anquanette Williamson, has two sons, Dayonte and Donae, attending private schools through vouchers. “I don’t think it’s fair to the parents or the kids,” she said of the program’s demise. She explained that it was particularly disheartening for the program to end just as it began to benefit those who needed it the most. “I don’t want to be racist,” she said, “but that’s when they stopped [funding the program] — when us minorities found out about it.”

Although the rally’s attendees knew that they had been dealt a bad hand, none who spoke to TAS knew exactly where to assign the blame. Most blamed D.C. Mayor Adrian Fenty and the City Council for ending the OSP.

In fact, Fenty supports vouchers. OSP lost its funding at the federal level. Sen. Dick Durbin, a Democrat from Illinois, added language to the $410 billion omnibus spending bill enacted on March 11 that cut off the $14 million for the….

Read the rest from the American Spectator:

L.A. schools chief critical of unfit teachers ‘milking the system’

Protesters Blast Congress for Axing D.C. Vouchers While Sending Own Kids to Private School

Obama Opposes School Choice in Washington DC: But His Kids Have a Choice

L.A. schools chief critical of unfit teachers ‘milking the system’

May 7, 2009

The top administrator for L.A.’s schools said this morning he was frustrated by unfit teachers “milking the system” by contesting justified dismissals for years.

Supt. Ramon C. Cortines was reacting this morning to an article in the Los Angeles Times on how difficult it is to fire teachers for gross misconduct. Today’s article, part of an investigative series by reporter Jason Song, detailed how 160 instructors and others remain on the payroll, without any job duties, while their fitness is being evaluated or their dismissals move through due process, which can stretch for years. The in-limbo employees cost the district about $10 million a year.

L.A. Times

“If I had my way, I would fire all 150, and they would not get another damned penny,” Cortines said in response to a question at the end of a news conference at Fairfax High School. 

“I do not have the legal right to do that, and they’re milking the system,” he said. “And the system is designed not to protect kids and schools and the educators, but it is designed to protect the very few incompetents that we have.”

Teachers union president A.J. Duffy has asserted that accused teachers deserve the presumption of innocence and due process and that they should not be expected to perform non-teaching duties while their cases are being resolved.

Cortines was speaking at Fairfax because it was the site of the first confirmed case of swine flu in the Los Angeles Unified School District. Cortines said he authorized the school to remain open on the advice of public health officials.

Read the rest:

Protesters Blast Congress for Axing D.C. Vouchers While Sending Own Kids to Private School

May 6, 2009

Protesters in Washington put Congress in the line of fire Wednesday for voting to end school vouchers in D.C. — while nearly four out of 10 members of Congress send their own children to private schools.

Fox News

Supporters of a celebrated school voucher program in Washington rallied near the mayor’s office Wednesday to save the scholarships from being slashed by Congress — nearly 40 percent of whose members send their own children to private schools.

An estimated 1,000 parents, children and community leaders attended the afternoon protest in Washington’s Freedom Plaza, where they called on D.C. politicians to help preserve a federal school choice program that currently assists more than 1,700 students with scholarships worth up to $7,500.

“Several years ago many of us in this good city worked very hard to get a program going with the federal government so that children could go to the schools of their choice. This program has worked,” said Kevin Chavous, a former D.C. councilman, but “right now some folks in Congress want to end this program.”

The D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program is slated to end next year because of a provision slipped into Congress’ $410 billion omnibus spending bill by Sen. Richard Durbin, D-Ill., whose children attend private school.

The amendment has angered parents who say the vouchers have raised performance and rescued students from one of the country’s worst public school systems.

Read the rest:

Obama Opposes School Choice in Washington DC: But His Kids Have a Choice

Obama Opposes School Choice in Washington DC: But His Kids Have a Choice

May 6, 2009

More hard to explain Obama decision making while the media sleeps.

President Obama’s kids go to private schools.  Some of their schoolmates are poor kids using vouchers to go to that school.  But the president has sided with teachers unions to fight against these vouchers.

The Mayor of Washington DC and his schools’ boss have asked the Obama Administration to continue the voucher program but President Obama has rebuffed their requests — even though his own two kids go to private schools.

Makes sense so far?  The fact is: the president is pro-union to the extent that in the Chrysler deal, the union got paid before the preferred debt holders. So the Washington DC union teachers have to get all the students they can: even if parents complain those teachers aren’t educating their kids.  Parents want the coice: because it is working and their kids are getting a better education because of choice: like Obama’s kids.
Education is part of Obama’s three headed hydra along with the environment and health care.  But it has to be Obama’s education: with union teachers.  Home shooling and vouchers be damned.  In health care it will undoubtedly be Obama’s government health care: not necessarily better health.  Or care.  But probably, almost certainly, more government.  And on energy/environment: just forget about coal, gas, oil, and nuclear and get on the wind bandwagon: whatever the cost.

Makes no sense…


In India, School Vouchers Rising; In Obamaland: Not

Better Education? Obama Kills Nation’s “Best” Voucher Program

Teaching the leftist agenda in school

 Obama: Really Wants to “Fix Schools”? Try The China Or Singapore Model
D.C. Mayor Breaks with Democrats on Hill, Wants School Vouchers

Obama on Education: What’s Good For You Is Wrong for Sasha, Malia
Obama’s Schools Will Have To Follow Federal Rules, Like Socialist, Communist Schools

Nothing In Obama’s First 100 Days Made America More Secure, Stronger in the Long Term

April 28, 2009

As Russia and China rearm, the United States is cutting defense spending.

The Secretary of Defense is saying we are disarming not for budget reasons; but he can’t say precisely why we are choosing to do away with long-lasting power projection tools like the F-22 aircraft and maybe even an aircraft carrier.

But it isn’t just defense spending that makes us say we are no more safe, secure or better off than 100 days ago.

Sure we have a stimulus of some $750 billion; money all borrowed mostly from China.  And will the stimulus make lots of jobs for people who will pay lots of taxes, social security and all the rest?

Probably not.  The jobs being created are the kind that require gloves, mostly, not minds.  Chances are those jobs won’t generate wealth: as any college professor can show the monetary benefits of a college education and the likely jobs that come after.

And what are the ‘signals”  President Obama has sent to the good guys and bad guys of the world?

He killed three Somali pirates but you won’t see any boasting about that in his 100 day resume.  That’s because he is more proud about the “moral compass” he restored bu releasing American interrogation secrets.

President Obama has snuggled with Hugo Chavez and at least one Castro — all really nice to have photo memories along with those gained in Europe: but what have we American gained long term?  Good feelings, I guess….

Oh we do have an Obama committment to end greenhouse gases and eliminate oil and coal.  But this promise seems problematic in the extreme.

Like Obama’s drive for universal health care and education for all, what we do know about his climate change proposals is that it will cost a ton of money.

The real long term outcome of these first 100 days is thus si9mple: all we really know is we’ve amassed a lot more debt.

And that doesn’t make this American feel good despite all the happy Talk from Democrats in Washington….

Hey Obama: Difficult To Make a Proper Defense While Bent Over Backward?
Obama In 100 Days Raised Federal Spending (Borrowing) to $2 Billion Per Hour; Carville Says Dems Will Rule For 40 Years

Brits Top Taxes Above 50% After “Fixing” Health Care, Environment, Education, the Rest

April 27, 2009

We sure hope all Americans are watching and learning from their friends in the UK.

The UK government thinks its government health care is just peachy.  It thinks that Britain is a world leader in “alternative energy” like off shore wind turbines, and it thinks it has a superb education system open to all in its multi-ethnic society.

There is only one problem: the British government is broke and will be until like 2040 at the earliest despite a 50% tax on top earners that will certainly be a “brain drain” on the UK.

And Brits compain a lot about health care being rationed (and they have a lot more docs per capita than the U.S. has).

Even Andrew Lloyd Webber says he may leave his homeland….

Brits Resisting Higher Taxes: A Warning to America


By Andrew Lloyd Webber
The Mail (UK)

The opinion polls have uttered. The country loves the new 50 per cent top rate of income tax. Soak the rich. Smash the bankers. So Government spin doctors are in second heaven. The Conservatives’ silence redefines a tomb. And I suppose there’d be quite a turnout for the public flogging of Sir Fred the Shred.

But before you book your tickets, hold hard. And before you lynch me as a rich b*****d flying a kite for my own cause, let me beg you to believe that I am not.

I believe that this new top rate of tax could be the final nail in the coffin of Britain plc.

I am 61 years old. I have lived and worked in Britain all my life. Not even in the dark days of penal Labour taxation in the Seventies did I have any intention of leaving the country of my birth.

Despite a rumour put around some years back, I have never contemplated leaving Britain for tax reasons. But in the 40-plus years I have been lucky enough to work here, I’ve seen a bit. So I must draw your attention to what is really proposed in this Budget.

Here’s the truth. The proposed top rate of income tax is not 50 per cent. It is 50 per cent plus 1.5 per cent national insurance paid by employees plus 13.3 per cent paid by employers. That’s not 50 per cent. Two years from now, Britain will have the highest tax rate on earned income of any developed country.

Read it all:


See also,

The increase in the top rate of income tax to 50 per cent will not solve any of our financial problems. When Nigel Lawson cut the top rate to 40 per cent in 1988, the yield actually went up. It may well go down now that it has been raised.

One has to remember that it will be the most wealthy who have the strongest reason to leave the country, possibly taking all their tax with them. Those who have incomes of £160,000 or £200,000 may well stay and pay the extra tax. Those who have incomes of more than £1 million will have a strong incentive to avoid the tax or leave the country. The extra tax will not only affect the position of those who are already very rich, but also of those who think they might pass beyond the £150,000 threshold in the future.

Read it all:


Obama as Dealer in Addiction: Federal Spending and Borrowing Can’t Solve All Our Major Problems All The Time

April 27, 2009

I just heard President Barack Obama at the National Academy of Sciences pledging to spend more federal (ie your taxpayer dollars) money on scientific innovation.

But it is really money borrowed from your children and grandchildren and paid back to China, mostly.

The money paid from the treasury to run the U.S. government for this year is already totally exhausted: between now and December 31 every cent is borrowed.

You get the idea Obama figures he can solve every problem and make us all happy by borrowing money we don’t have and spending it on what he wants?

And I get the feeling Obama continues to talk long past his bedtime because he is now blathering things his actions are making into worthless lies in just a moment’s thought.

Here’s Obama’s latest from the Saturday radio and web address:

“We cannot settle for a future of rising deficits and debts that our children cannot pay,” the president says, adding that we must “recognize that we cannot meet the challenges of today with old habits and stale thinking. So much of our government was built to deal with different challenges from a different era. Too often, the result is wasteful spending, bloated programs, and inefficient results. It’s time to fundamentally change the way that we do business in Washington.”


On the other hand he also says:

Education is failing.  We need more federal spending.  The environment is a disaster: more federal spending is needed.

And today telling the National Academy of Sciences he’ll spend more federal  money on scientific innovation.

We seem to have lost all hope that the free market might just work.  And we have given up on the nnational notion of “living within our means” which means if you don’t have the money you can’t have IT!  It being whatever you promised or whatever you want.

Why is the president so hooked on wind?  Because his buddies at GE make almost all the wind turbines.  Will this make lots of highly paid jobs?  No.  Will harnessing the wind mean more students will seek scientific eduacations?  Not according to experts: windmills are pretty basic.

Why are we against nuclear power?  France likes it.  England likes it.  Everyone that can affortd it likes it.  It creates a lot of great jobs and whoever solves the remaining problems like nuclear waste disposal will be awash in money.  But that will take education and technology….

The president would do well to incentive private enterprise a little instead of throwing billions oin money borrowed from China to solve all these problems at once.

The candy store could close down and our junky economy will be where, exactly?


From The Associated Press
April 27, 2009

President Barack Obama is promising a major investment in research and development, with the goal of spending 3% of the nation’s gross domestic product on scientific innovation.

Obama will make the announcement in a speech Monday at the annual meeting of the National Academy of Sciences.

The president says 3% of GDP would represent the largest commitment to scientific research and innovation in U.S. history.

He says it is time for America to lead again in the area of research and development.

The White House released excerpts of the president’s remarks in advance of the speech.


 Nuclear Power As Green, Lower Cost Alternative?

Obama’s Plans May Be Doomed by Unchecked Spending

Selling the green economy: economic make-believe 

Obama Promised 5 Million Green Jobs But Sierra Club Says “green jobs are not always good jobs” that can support a middle-class lifestyle


From Town Hall:

Obama comes to Washington with an alarmingly simple program. Basically, he wants all the money we have and to bury every single problem under mounds of freshly printed currency.

Banks failing? Bail them out. Auto companies floundering? Send cash. Medical costs going up? Create the world’s most expensive and all-encompassing HMO. Poor people complaining? Send them checks.

Obama’s approach has the merit that liberals seem to prize most—consistency. Every problem can be solved by spending “billions and billions.”

Read the rest:

Obama’s Plans May Be Doomed by Unchecked Spending

April 27, 2009

“A hundred million there, a hundred million here, pretty soon, even in Washington, it adds up to real money,” President Barack Obama declared last week, paraphrasing a line attributed to the late Republican Senate leader, Everett Dirksen.

The context is a looming policy and fiscal clash: Obama’s economic, energy, health-care and education initiatives are expensive, and the U.S. faces trillion-dollar deficits as far as the eye can see.

Commentary by Albert R. Hunt

The president can make a compelling case that these priorities are urgent and can help revive the economy. Still, those initiatives, and a strong economy, may be unattainable without fiscal discipline elsewhere.

Dealing with the cosmetic stuff — curbing congressional pet projects or eliminating fraud and abuse in executive agencies — is fine, if insignificant. Obama needs to deliver on big-ticket luxuries like farm subsidies, tax breaks and a down payment on entitlement reform.

There’s little reason to think congressional Democrats or Republicans are serious about such sacrifices. This isn’t so much about ideology or partisanship; it’s about entrenched interests and habits.

“I am very skeptical that Congress will go along with any retrenchment,” says Robert Reischauer, president of the Urban Institute and former director of the Congressional Budget Office.

Read the rest: