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Harry Reid Threatens To Close Schools


Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid threatened to shut down the nation’s schools via Twitter on Thursday, if his Party’s demands for higher taxes are not met:

This man is, quite simply, deranged.  As Philip Klein of the Washington Examiner pointed out, “federal funding pays for only 8.5 percent of the cost of the nation’s elementary and secondary schools,” and in any event, “schools will generally be on summer break come August 2.”

Most public school funding is state and local.  Federal outlays add up to only about $130 billion per year, which is 3% of Washington’s budget.  That works out to $11 billion per month.

Once again, courtesy of the Examiner’s Mark Tapscott, here are the hard numbers, in monthly amounts, for anyone foolish enough to buy into Democrat scare tactics:

Federal revenue: $200 billion per month

Interest on the national debt: $29 billion

Social Security: $49.2 billion

Medicare and Medicaid: $50 billion

Active duty military pay: $2.9 billion

Veterans affairs programs: $2.9 billion

Education funding: $11 billion

All of that core spending adds up to $145 billion, which means that in the event of a debt limit, the government can pay it all and still have $55 billion a month left over.

Note also that this Tweet absolutely confirms Harry Reid is a liar, rather than simply an idiot, since he has previously insisted that Social Security “is in great shape for many decades… Today it is not a problem.”  Sorry, liberals, but there is no other way to analyze this statement in context with his threats today.  Either Social Security is generously and untouchably funded for decades to come, or it might shut down on August 2nd because the President chooses not to fund it.  Either Harry Reid was a miserable and dangerous liar back then, or he is one today.  If you can deny that, you are being completely irrational, to say nothing of gullible.  Gullible people are easy to control.

When your ideology overrides objective reality, and causes you to hysterically deny things that are happening right in front of your eyes, it’s time to rethink your ideology.  Take a look at the debt ceiling debate, and ask yourself which side is making hysterical, demonstrably false threats. 

Which side is asking you to take a position on the biggest financial issue on the planet, without ever providing any actual numbers?  Notice that when Reid or Obama mutter about these dark tidings of Social Security or public school doom, they never cite the numbers, because it would make them look stupid.  Even the friendliest reporter would laugh in his face if Obama said, “Look, we pull in $200 billion a month here in Washington, and if you don’t let me run up the national debt any higher, I won’t be able to pay the $29 billon interest on our national debt, or the $11 billion to keep our schools running.”

Only one side in the budget debate has actually proposed a budget thus far.  House Republicans voted 235-193 to pass it.  Only four Republicans voted against it, along with every last no-budget, no-numbers, no-ideas Democrat.  Disagree with Rep. Paul Ryan’s “Path to Prosperity” proposal if you wish, but as you can see from the videos below, you can’t say that it’s devoid of specifics:

One final thought: when we argue about budget proposals in the face of our debt crisis, we should bear in mind that Washington hasn’t actually had a “budget” in decades.  Budgets take the money you have, and allocate it between spending priorities.  A spending plan that assumes gigantic deficits is not a “budget” in the sense citizens and private-sector businesses understand.  Thanks to Senate Democrats, it’s been over 800 days since we even had a spending “plan.” 

If we don’t raise the debt ceiling in August, the federal government will be obliged to prepare a real, honest-to-God budget for the very first time in most of our lifetimes.  That should give the President and Congress a nice incentive to finally trim away all the accumulated fat, scale back absurd public employee benefits, privatize moribund government functions, terminate crony capitalist programs, and clearly state its real spending priorities.  One of the things Obama says is “off the table” in budget negotiations is his $53 billion high-speed rail boondoggle.  Let’s see him tell seniors they can’t have their Social Security checks, because he needs the money for his union-constructed choo-choo trains.

My reaction to that is something far less than the mindless panic Harry Reid and Barack Obama are promoting.  I can see why it would panic them, however.  Leadership is the opposite of telling people to panic.


Written By

John Hayward began his blogging career as a guest writer at Hot Air under the pen name "Doctor Zero," producing a collection of essays entitled Doctor Zero: Year One. He is a great admirer of free-market thinkers such as Arthur Laffer, Milton Friedman, and Thomas Sowell. He writes both political and cultural commentary, including book and movie reviews. An avid fan of horror and fantasy fiction, he has produced an e-book collection of short horror stories entitled Persistent Dread. John is a former staff writer for Human Events. He is a regular guest on the Rusty Humphries radio show, and has appeared on numerous other local and national radio programs, including G. Gordon Liddy, BattleLine, and Dennis Miller.


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