Category Archives: News

Assessing Obama’s 5-point plan for education reform

Found this article on Mercator Net, an Australian site that is really getting my attention with the quality and scope of their articles. This is more than just politics, it’s policy analysis. Here’s Kevin Ryan’s article on Obama’s education plan.

The plan is composed of 5 points:

He promises his administration will promote five reforms in particular: major funding for early childhood education; increased funding for and emphasis on standards and assessment; new funding to recruit, educate and reward teachers; a substantial increase in the number of the country’s charter schools and new funding for programs to expanding life-long learning with a special emphasis on all American’s having another year of education.

Obama is obviously equating more spending with better student performance, an approach that I like to analogize as throwing gasoline on a fire to put it out. The rest of the article deals with the policy implications of the 5 points. The article contains a couple of examples.

Here’s one of the examples:

Historically, it is a very modern idea that money will buy a quality education. Our current experience with funding education hardly supports such a view. Arguably the worst school system in America, the Washington DC schools spends the most dollars per pupil, US$16,650. On the other hand, Utah schools, which relative to the rest of the nation, are outstanding schools spend a third, $5,700, of what is spent in the nation’s capital.

Here’s an excerpt from the analysis of the 5 points:

Every one of the President’s five-point plan means more jobs and influence for the teachers’ union. More early childhood means more teachers and administrators, even though the effects pre-kindergarten and day care are increasingly in doubt. (Finland, whose students recently earned the highest scores in international achievement tests, doesn’t send its children to school until they are seven years old) The Obama Plan ought perhaps be called the NEA’s Full Employment Plan.

Having every America spend an additional year in a classroom sounds wonderful. It will mean a staggering increase tax dollars to fund such an increase. On the other hand, the opportunity costs for an individual student staying away from meaningful salaried work will also be huge.

The article concludes its analysis of the plan with this observation about Obama’s personal life:

As a Chicago politician and now as president, he has exercised school choice for the education of his two daughters, while, de facto, denying it to those parents without his income. The fact of the President’s stonewalling parents’ efforts to get real educational choice, plus the picture of his daughters being driven out the their tony private school, passing the orange school busses delivering Washington’s children to those failing public schools, is the unstated message of his speech.

The article does not mention that Obama himself went to expensive private schools. As Michelle Malkin says, be skeptical that his education will help anyone but teacher’s unions.

I will be tracking the education and health care plans that Obama has proposed closely, to find out who really will benefit from his big government approach.

Democrats in Congress spending 1 billion per hour

Politico is reporting that the Democrats are spending like drunken sailors.

“In just 50 days, Congress has voted to spend about $1.2 trillion between the Stimulus and the Omnibus,” McConnell says. “To put that in perspective, that’s about $24 billion a day, or about $1 billion an hour—most of it borrowed. There’s simply no question: government spending has spun out of control.”

The math: 50 days times 24 hours equals 1,200 hours. 1,200 times 1 billion equals 1.2 trillion (a thousand billions is a trillion).

H/T: Sen. Jim Demint

France, Germany and Italy warn G20 nations against Obammunism

I was browsing over at the Anchoress and I found some very interesting links in her link-filled post here. She runs a blog that features a mix of Catholic-oriented reflections and a conservative perspective on the news of the day.

Here’s the part of her post that caught my attention:

Not good: First Putin told him not to, now France and Germany. Boy, didn’t the left HATE when Bush was this stubborn and set on his own way? And he didn’t listen to other countries? I seem to remember the left really, really hating that. About Bush. They hated these things too. When Bush did them.

Here is the warning from France and Germany from the Financial Times, via American Thinker:

Disagreements between the European Union and the US over how to combat the global recession widened on Tuesday as EU governments made clear they had little appetite for piling up more debt to fight the collapse in output and jobs.

Finance ministers from the 27-nation bloc insisted in Brussels that it was doing enough to support world demand and did not need at present to adopt another fiscal stimulus plan, as Washington is urging.

The US-European differences are casting a shadow over next month’s summit in London of leaders from the G20 group of advanced and emerging economies, an event to be attended by Barack Obama on his first visit to Europe as US president.

It’s true that France, Germany and Italy have all elected conservative leaders recently, (along with Japan, Canada, the Czech Republic and Mexico). I thought that these European socialist countries were to the left of the USA. Are we now to the left of France, Germany and Italy?

You might remember that I posted recently about former-communist Russia warning Obama about the dangers of socialism. Former-communist China also warned Obama to stimulate the economy with tax cuts, not spending. Instead, Obama raised taxes and spent trillions.

Canada, Japan and Mexico also elected conservatives governments. Why can’t we be more like them? Why do we have to embrace Obama’s unilateral, cowboy-communism? Why must Obama anger the world with unpopular economic policies that fail the “global test”? Why does Obama make the world hate us?