Obama’s education increases to benefit teachers’ unions

Obama’s education increases to benefit teachers’ unions

Ed Lasky

Barack Obama will propose major increases in funding for education in his State of The union speech tonight, according to reports. Federal education spending will be set to rise by at least 6.2 percent, with much of the funds flowing to elementary and secondary education but also will include boosts in higher-education grants and community funding. This is politically appealing (politicians use kids for their campaigns as companies use animals to sell products, or movie tickets). They are tools to promote an agenda-to reward and motivate a super-special Democratic interest group.Who can be against spending money to improve the future of our kids and country?

In reality, this spending will flow into the pockets of one of the most important special interest groups in the nation: teachers and their unions (led by the National Education Association that hides its union status by styling itself an “association” but also by the American Federation of Teachers that also camouflages its union status). Teachers are often the “free” labor that fuels campaigns: teachers man the phones, hand out the pamphlets, knock on doors, invest funds in campaigns, and serve as the all important delegates at Democratic nominating conventions One-tenth of all delegates to Democratic conventions are teachers’ union members-including principals and administrators.

One of the many ways that Obama has helped unions is by killing the regulations that require unions to report on how their members’ dues are spent. A fair speculation is that much of the spending will go towards electing their sugar daddies and not towards our children.
One of the prime sources of states fiscal collapse across the nation are the dollars flowing to teachers and the administrators who “supervise” and “manage” them. The golden pensions that have been bestowed on them by politicians have been time bombs that are beginning to explode and like a string of black cat firecrackers will continue to explode for years to come.

Teachers can often retire at a young age, with pensions artificially inflated by “spiking” their salaries upwards the last couple of years of their employment (pensions are often based on an average of the salaries of the last few years of service). They are guaranteed by law. Taxpayer dollars flowing to teachers are recycled into the pockets of campaigns run by politicians.

This is a waste of funds. The money has been shown to have very little if any correlation to educational achievement. Education spending per child in Washington, D.C, for just one example, are quite high and achievement is quite low. Of course, politicians could care less about such foreign concepts as return on investment. If they did, they would fund charter schools (that they have killed in Washington) and voucher programs. But it is more than merely a poor investment – it is a redundant one.

The so-called stimulus bill already has funneled $100 billion dollars into “education”, supposedly meant to prevent layoffs (which it probably has – but how about teachers taking some pay cuts or trimming their pensions) and to spur reform. The best reform would be pay for performance, vouchers, and charter schools. We have seen precious little of that so far and it would be a fair bet we will see little of that going forward. But with Democrats facing political problems they have to ensure that one of their key political bases remains well-fed and in their corner – if not our kids’ corners.

Page Printed from: http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2010/01/obamas_education_increases_to.html at January 27, 2010 – 07:31:26 AM CST

You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet

You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet

By Christopher Chantrill

Isn’t it great to have a Republican senator from Massachusetts? It’s also good to have the First Amendment reaffirmed by the United States Supreme Court — even if our liberal friends are shocked and appalled at the notion of corporations sticking up for themselves.

As delicious as last week’s good news was for conservatives, You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet. We do not mean that every week will bring new conservative successes. Not at all. It is just that every month will bring fresh anguish for President Obama and his supporters.
There’s the sinking spell in the equity markets last week. It might be from worrying about the president’s anti-banker populism. Or more likely, it is telling us that we are not out of the woods yet on the economy. I suspect disappointing news on fourth-quarter GDP on January 29.
Indeed, it’s pretty clear after 2009, the year the locusts ate, that President Obama and his liberal supporters are facing an annus horribilis. And they know it. Here’s Jon Jeter of The Root telling his readers to be afraid, very afraid.  He sees “a perfect, gathering storm of economics, politics and tribalism[.]”
Trilbalism? I’m afraid so. Racism is rearing its ugly head again. Jeter quotes Andrea Mitchell, who sees anger out there — the worst since the days of George Wallace. And guess who will be taking the part of George Wallace this time around: Sarah Palin.
Palin is the latest in a long line of demagogues -from post-Reconstruction governors in the Deep South to Father Coughlin in the ’30s, from Reagan to Lou Dobbs-who’ve emerged to redeem, or reclaim, the land from Northern carpetbaggers and uppity Negroes.
It still takes me by surprise when the liberals reaches for the racist redneck line. Yet it makes complete sense. If you are writing the narrative of a progressive vanguard leading the world into a highly evolved future, then your story needs an antagonist. The redneck, racist truck-driver with a rifle in the back window fits the part to a T.
Presumably President Obama is trying to preempt the right-wing racists by getting the first dagger into the backs of the bankers. After all, it was the bankers who sent the Okies to California.
Here’s my prediction.  The president’s banker gambit will fall as flat as his stimulus plan, his cap-and-trade bill, and his ObamaCare fiasco. But that will be the least of his problems.  There will be continuing high unemployment right through 2010, which I predicted a couple of weeks ago. There’s the housing market that still hasn’t turned. There’s the huge monetary stimulus that must be unwound. There’s the budget crisis in the states. There is the tax increase coming in 2011 when the Bush tax cuts expire. Oh, and did I mention the budget deficit and runaway federal spending, or everyone’s favorite, Fannie and Freddie?
It is becoming more and more clear that neither Obama nor Axelrod nor Emanuel really understands ordinary, suburban, private-sector, Joe the Plumber America. Urban America they know. But not suburban Massachusetts. 
Scott Brown’s victory last week, writes Bill Kristol, demonstrated the potential of an “enlightened, good-natured, constructive populism.” Notice also how the new Brownian motion slices through the “enlightened progressives vs. benighted reactionaries” narrative of liberal Jon Jeter.
Jeter’s liberal way is the pre-modern way, a hierarchical moral order, with the educated elite guiding the unevolved peasants. The conservative way is the Modern Moral Order, as Charles Taylor describes it in A Secular Age:
The basic normative principle is, indeed, that the members of society serve each other’s needs, help each other, in short, behave like the rational and sociable creatures that they are … In other words, the basic point of the new normative order [is] the mutual respect and mutual service of the individuals who make up society.
This all comes straight from John Locke. So a president who wants health care organized in a single administrative bureaucratic program is missing the basic Lockean point. He is proposing a new version of the old medieval hierarchical structure, where kings ruled by divine right. Only now, liberals want to rule by educated right.
The president has a problem, as Mark Steyn points out: “[Obama ran for president] as something he’s not, and never has been: a post-partisan, centrist, transformative healer[.]”
After a year of the president reverting to type as a partisan, left-liberal wheeler-dealer, the American people have declared in three elections so far that they didn’t vote for that. They wanted someone who would stop the bickering and grow the economy. 
So what does Obama do now? The way he’s going, there may not be a Democratic Party by the end of his term in 2013.
As I said, you ain’t seen nothing yet.
Christopher Chantrill is a frequent contributor to American Thinker. See his roadtothemiddleclass.com and usgovernmentspending.com. His Road to the Middle Class is forthcoming.

Page Printed from: http://www.americanthinker.com/2010/01/you_aint_seen_nothing_yet.html at January 27, 2010 – 07:29:19 AM CST