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Open Blog | Main | Democrats in Retreat on Signature Issues
April 14, 2010

Bailout Mania: Democrats Now Want To Bail Out Schools

Of course, it's all for the children. And by "children" what they really mean is bloated teacher salaries, pension and health care plans.

Meh, close enough for government work.

The Senate's leading Democrat on education issues proposed a $23 billion bailout Wednesday to help public schools across the country avert widespread layoffs, a sequel to the economic stimulus law that has propped up teetering state budgets for the past year.

The Obama administration immediately expressed support for an education jobs bill to help states through fiscal crisis, hoping to build momentum for the proposal from Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa).

In an appropriations hearing on Capitol Hill, Harkin noted that layoffs of teachers and other school personnel could exceed 100,000 before the next school year starts. The budget axe is falling in school systems from Prince George's County to Los Angeles, prompting an array of education groups to mobilize for help.

"We must act soon," Harkin said. "This is not something we can fix in August. We have to fix it now." Harkin is chairman of the Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions and chairman of the appropriations subcommittee on education.

The Democratic-led House late last year approved a measure of similar scope to help save education jobs, but it stalled in the Senate. Whether Harkin's proposal will gain traction remains to be seen. Senate Republicans, who have opposed the Democratic majority on most spending programs, can seek to block legislation through filibuster.

Education Secretary Arne Duncan seconded Harkin's assessment of the gravity of the situation facing schools. He estimated that schools face layoffs in the range of 100,000 to 300,000.

Of course the Repbulicans are shouting bloody murder about this. Well, er, not so much it turns out.

Sen. Richard C. Shelby (R-Ala.) said after the hearing that he was considering Harkin's proposal. "We cannot get ahead by underfunding education," he said.

Damn northeast RINOs. Wait a second...

A couple of things,

Kirsten Gillibrand must feel like a real cheap date only asking for $1 billion for grocery stores. What's the difference between a senior senator and a freshman? Apparently $22 billion.

The federal government doesn't actually have any money. It's broke and living on borrowing. It's in no position to bail anyone out.

People may lose their jobs? Those left behind might have to contribute to more to their own pension and health care? Welcome to the world everyone else is living in. There's no reason teachers and other government hacks should be immune for the realities of the world.

Well, there's one reason...Democrats need union voters to turn out this November if they are to have any hope of slowing down the building Republican tsunami. If they have to spend our money or the money of the next 3 or 4 generations to do it, well, that's no skin of their nose.


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posted by DrewM. at 03:06 PM

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