Sunday, May 30, 2010

Congress has bailed out a few hundred banksters to the tune of $23 Trillion but now can't find $23 Billion to keep several hundred thousand teachers from losing their jobs. What words would you use to tell Congress what you think about this?

Blogger's Note 1: The remarkable coincidence of the number 23 is real. Find the first number here and see the article below for the second one. To put this all in perspective, $23 Trillion is about 1 1/2 times the U.S. GDP or the money supply.  The recipients of this inflationary largess have been the very people who have busted our economy, whereas the folks who are now being denied 0.1% of that amount for reasons of "fiscal responsibility" are the very ones who teach our children! What kind of country do we live in anyway?

Bloggers's Note 2: I'm running a survey: If you could meet face-to-face the Congress persons who are now saying things like "Given the size of the current federal deficit, I have reservations about the federal government taking on greater responsibility for education funding," what words would you use to tell them what you think of them?  Please give your answer by clicking "comments" at the bottom of this post and expressing yourself freely...
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Election-Year Politics Derail Bid to Save Teachers' Jobs


Washington - Congress bailed out Wall Street and the auto industry, but it appears to have drawn the line — at least for now — at rescuing teachers.

A Democratic plan to send $23 billion to the states to save the jobs of 100,000 to 300,000 public school teachers, librarians, counselors and other employees slated for layoffs looks dead for the time being.

Blame it on election-year politics. The anti-Washington, anti-spending mood has become so potent that even Democrats are antsy about helping teachers, one of their most long-standing and generous allies.
"We are in a situation now where a portion of our caucus is rebelling against just about any kind of spending," said Democratic Rep. Emanuel Cleaver of Missouri.

The layoffs already have begun. Advocates for teachers are calling them catastrophic. Critics of the emergency aid say states need to clean up their fiscal acts and make changes.

In the meantime, large, populous states such as California and Texas, for example, are each expected to absorb the loss of more than 30,000 teachers and other personnel, according to White House estimates.

Schools are cutting staff and programs because the recession has depleted state tax revenues, which pay for public education.

Democrats in the House of Representatives had hoped to pass the $23 billion emergency bailout this week as part of a spending bill for the war in Afghanistan that was slated for passage, but fiscally conservative members from tough districts weren't happy about having to defend another vote that would increase the deficit.

The school aid measure never came to a vote. Nor did it have any more luck in the Senate, where some Democrats were equally jumpy about spending, and the majority couldn't secure the necessary 60 votes for passage.

"Given the size of the current federal deficit, I have reservations about the federal government taking on greater responsibility for education funding," said Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill of Missouri.
Teachers have been a powerful voice in Democratic Party politics. The two largest unions gave congressional Democrats more than $4 million in 2008 and have contributed more than $1.7 million so far in this election cycle.

Kim Anderson, the director of government relations for the National Education Association, the largest teachers union, said that given what schools and students were likely to face in the fall because of the layoffs and cutbacks, "We are struggling to see why people view this as a tough vote. We view this as a pretty common-sense vote. We really think (the layoffs) will have the most catastrophic impact on education that we have seen since the Great Depression."

Critics say the Education Department already received $100 billion in economic stimulus money and hasn't spent it all of it, so why should Congress approve more?

"Congress should not add to the nation's burgeoning public debt while states are still sitting on funds that were provided 15 months ago," said Republican Sen. Pat Roberts of Kansas.

Education Department officials said that most of the unspent stimulus money couldn't be used to prevent layoffs because it was obligated to other programs.

Education Department spokeswoman Sandra Abrevaya said the administration expected Congress to approve the emergency money after the weeklong Memorial Day recess.

A powerful force over the outcome could be the sour political mood, however, across the country and on Capitol Hill. A USA Today/Gallup Poll this week said that even as the public was growing optimistic about the economy, anger at the country's direction and incumbents was extremely high.

With a pivotal election in five months, lawmakers in both parties are operating on high alert. A range of issues could be affected, and there will be few hands across the aisle.

"We now cannot compromise because each party will react negatively to someone who wants to work with the other side," Cleaver said. 

All republished content that appears on Truthout has been obtained by permission or license.

4 comments:

Victoria said...

5/30/10
Education is genuinely and truly the life-blood of any and all "civilized societies." That being said, from my own personal, non-scientific, just-living-life survey, I CAN attest with 100% certainly that the very LAST public high school graduating class in the U.S. to receive such "genuine education," was the Class of 1969. Thereafter, and ongoing till today, our U.S. "schools" from K-12, have 100% thoroughly degenerated into buildings of 100% N O T H I N G N E S S !!!!!

And, "we" wonder why the "state-of-this-nation" is in the "condition" it is in???????????? Where are YOU people???

W A K E U P !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! GET I N V O L V E D !!!!!!
T A K E A C T I O N !!!!!

You only have yourselves to blame for our country's dismal and abysmal non-state-of-non-affairs !!!!

Nothing, but nothing happens without your PASSIVE consent!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Do you get this??? Do you???!!!!

Anonymous said...

just as usual, the U.S. can spend 60 billion on murdering people in a foreign land(s) and yet it can't find the money to keep the nation's vital services alive and breathing.

Change you ABSOLUTELY CAN'T F'ING BELIEVE IN, folks! Truly!

you elected this jackass, now live with his puppetancy and his feckless spending of your money on war mongering and drone murders!

éminence grise said...

Victoria,

Thanks for your comment.

But tell me what happened to our educational system after 1969?

Anon,

What choice did we have in the last election? I'm sure McCain/Palin would have been worse, though it gets harder and harder to imagine how.

The problem is that elections in this country are routinely stolen by insiders tinkering with the electronic voting machines and central tabulators. This all starts with the primaries, so there is no chance of electing anyone better than a jackass puppet ...though it could certainly be worse if Cheney runs.

Dave

éminence grise said...

O.K. Since not too many folks seem to feel like commenting over the Memorial Day weekend, I'll give my own comment:

There are only two possible reasons why Congress seems to be unable to pass "no-brainer," legislation:

(1) ...Well, any first-grader could get this one.

(2) The SOB's are conspiring against us.

And number (2) isn't a conspiracy theory. It's a conspiracy fact if (1) isn't true.