Sunday, June 13, 2010

Time To Eliminate The US Department of Education

The national debt of the United States is now at $13 Trillion and growing. Socialist President Obama, if allowed to succeed, has stated that he will add another $10 Trillion to the debt in the next 10 years and that is with significant taxes increases that will automatically occur with the expiration of the Bush tax cuts on January 1, 2011. And, given the federal government's record related to economic projections, if Obama tells us it will be another $10 Trillion, we can assume it will be double, or triple that amount when all is said and done. Obama, Reid and Pelosi and the Socialists who control Congress are bankrupting our country. Obama's unprecedented deficit spending, if not stopped soon, will lead to the economic collapse of the United States. We cannot allow that to happen. Serious cuts in spending are necessary NOW not just bogus tinkering around the edges.

The first place to start is elimination of the US Department of Education created in 1980 by none other than Jimmy Carter as a payback to the National Education Association, headquartered in Washington, that represents teacher unions all over the country. To put this in a historical context, Carter was being challenged by Ted Kennedy for the Democratic Presidential nomination at the time. Carter pushed through the establishment of the US Department of Education, as a separate cabinet post, to get union teacher support for his nomination. Prior to that time, federal monies ear marked for Education were managed by the Department of Health, Education and Welfare, or Human Services. The NEA today and Obama's Socialist Party are one in the same. More than 50% of the delegates at the typical Democrat/Socialist Convention are union public school teachers. Hence the reason billions of dollars each year go to fund the US Department of Education.

The Department of Education today employs 4,200 employees and growing. In the last fiscal year, these government bureaucrats managed a normal budget of $63.7 Billion a lot of which went to them. In addition to "normal" monies, Obama added another $96.8 Billion in SwindleUS Plan funds to pay off public school teacher unions for their support. There is approximately another $23 Billion in the most recent version of SwindleUS Plan Two going to teacher unions as well. Of course, this is all positioned to save teacher jobs; but a lot of this money pays for administration as well.

Years ago when I was a young public school teacher in a Title One, federally funded inner city junior high in Los Angeles, I saw the waste first hand. In addition to the wasted food that was thrown away everyday as result of the federally funded school breakfast and lunch programs, we operated on the use it or lose rule, meaning that if we did not spend all the money provided by the federal government before the end of year, we lost it. So, come May of each year, as the school's Reading and Language Development Coordinator, I brought all of our English teachers into the library and told them to order any they thing wanted from the catalogues we had for books, materials, audio visual equipment etc. The goal was always to spend every drop of money provided by the federal government whether the things we bought were needed or not. At the time, since I was coerced to become a union teacher, I was part of the system, so sadly I had to play the game.

And, as we achieved some success in raising reading scores by teaching phonics, which was "revolutionary" at the time, I was told by the school's Vice Principal that raising scores was very good; but that we had to be careful because if we ever achieved scores above the 50th percentile, that we would lose our federal money and if that happened jobs would be lost. This was an interesting comment particularly since many of the teachers that I worked with were either mediocre at best, or completely incompetent; but could not be terminated because of union protection and/or teacher tenure. When I expressed dismay at her comment, the Vice Principal suggested that I had to understand "the bigger picture". Suffice to say at 29 years old, I was very disillusioned from this discussion and even though I have a Master's Degree in Education Administration, which prepared me to be a school principal, or eventually a school Superintendent, I left teaching that year out of disgust and began my business career. The rest is history.

In any case, the US Department of Education is completely redundant and unnecessary. States have education departments that are in place to administer state and/or federal funds. While education is a state function, the federal government can issue dedicated block grants to deal with failing schools, Special Education, Learning Disabled, the Gifted or any other designation deemed legitimate. It does not take a separate bureaucracy with 4,200 employees to hand out federal money unless the real goal is a jobs program for federal bureacrats. In fact, a very small department of 100 or fewer federal bureaucrats can easily administer a block grant program. A smaller Department of Education can be re-attached to Health and Human Services to get the job done.

When ever there is talk of any meaningful real cuts in Washington, Socialists like Obama, Reid and Pelosi, immediately go berserk and attempt to paint those calling for cuts as heartless, Conservatives who want people to starve, die, or be put out on the street. Nothing could be further from the truth. American Socialists, as in Europe, are BANKRUPTING our country. Do we need to see the complete economic collapse of the United States and another Great Depression before these Socialist see the light and finally agree to real cuts? The US Department of Education should be eliminated because that bureaucracy is a completely redundant waste of money. Most important, since the founding of the US Department of Education and after spending billion of federal dollars on education in the last 30 years, test scores and graduation rates are actually lower today than 30 years ago. Cards talk and numbers don't lie. The Department of Education is just one more government failure that has to go.

Since these Socialists never see the light, we must help them feel the heat by electing Conservatives who support free market capitalism, limited government, lower taxes and less regulation, a balanced budget, term limits, a strong national defense including securing our border and fighting Terrorism, real energy independence and health care reform, the right to bear arms, the sanctity of life and family values. And, we need to elect Conservatives who support the Constitution, as written by our Founding Fathers, not as contrived by our current incompetent, Socialist President, former Presidents, Congresses, or the Courts. This is the winning, common sense, mainstream platfom. These Socialist must be swept out of office in 2010 and 2012 to take back our country and prevent economic collapse. We can do it. We must do it for the sake of our children and grandchildren.

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