Human Events Blog

Obama to Poor Kids In Rotten Schools: Drop Dead

Barack Obama’s gigantic budget proposal is stuffed with billions in crazy spending proposals, racking up another trillion-dollar deficit ($1.4 trillion, according to the Congressional Budget Office) while hilariously claiming to produce deficit reduction through outright fraud, such as the inclusion of spending reductions he was already forced into last year during the debt ceiling crisis, and counting the money “saved” from military operations that were already over.  Senator Jeff Sessions, the ranking Republican on the Senate Budget Committee, stripped away the fraud and discovered “annual spending will rise by 62 percent between 2011 and 2022” under the President’s proposal.

What sort of things does Obama want to spend even more of our money on?  We’ve got increased subsidies for the Chevy Volt – that’s right, $100 million per year will be used to increase the taxpayer subsidy to the rich liberals who buy one of the greatest automotive disasters in history as a fashion statement. 

Surrounding the Volt would be a pipeline of fresh money into the failed “green energy” programs that brought you the Solyndra debacle.  The Department of Energy gets almost 30 percent more money to play with, including $310 million for solar energy and $95 million for wind power.  To soothe taxpayers mindful of Obama’s horrendous track record as an “investor,” the money would be earmarked for loan proposals already under consideration.  He’s even got some green energy spending tucked into the Defense budget.  What remains of the U.S. military will be very fuel-efficient, in the unlikely event it becomes necessary to send empty troop transports somewhere.

Meanwhile, Obama wants to end tax credits for the kind of energy people actually want – you know, the stuff like oil that works – thus making energy more expensive, and continuing the compulsory transformation of America into a “sustainable” post-industrial economy.

Of course, we’ve got plenty of that vaunted “infrastructure” spending, including $4 billion for Obama’s pet high-speed rail project.  The President who somehow blew a trillion dollars in “stimulus” spending with no visible effect wants another $350 billion worth of stimulation.

But somehow, in all these trillions of dollars, not a penny could be found for the D.C. voucher program, a stunning success that has produced a 91 percent graduation rate, at a cost of about $8000 per student – less than half of the $18,000 per student spent by the District’s terrible public schools. 

According to a November 2011 report, there are 1,615 students enrolled in the program, a 60 percent increase over the previous year.  The average family income of participating students is just $23,401, with about 98 percent of the enrollees being black or Hispanic.  That astonishing graduation rate – nearly double what the D.C. public school system can manage – came at a price tag of just $13.7 million last year. 

And Barack Obama wants to zero it out completely, even as he demands 300 times as much money to play with high-speed trains, and over five times as much to subsidize the purchase of an electric car nobody wants.  In a budget intended solely as a political document, which he felt free to stuff with blatant lies about “deficit reduction” and wish-list fantasies for billions in new spending, Obama made a point of killing this incredibly successful program… and very few others. 

It seems astonishing, but there’s nothing mysterious about the situation: Obama serves at the pleasure of the teachers’ unions, far and away the most powerful special interest in America, and they hate successful voucher programs.  Obama has been trying to kill this one since the day he first arrived in Washington, and packed his own children off to their expensive private school. 

You can add a little spice to this outrage by remembering how often Obama demands billions of dollars for job-training programs.  Why are we spending titanic amounts of money on public education, and then entertaining the idea that more money is needed to properly educate people for the workforce, without howling for the heads of the education bureaucrats who have so obviously failed us?  Why is no one held accountable for their inability to compete with a voucher program that offers double the results at half the price?  


Sign Up