Blame Bush? Not Anymore

The latest Rasmussen poll will leave Democrats digging deep in their depleted bag of tricks for some way around this:

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 48% of Likely U.S. Voters now think Obama’s policies are to blame for the continuing bad economy, up three points from last month. Forty-seven percent (47%) say the recession that began under Bush is at fault.

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Teachers’ Bailout Bill Comes at Expense of Food Stamp Program

In the arena of whose needs take precedence, it’s the powerful voting unions who will always win, even over the poor:

The Senate last week passed their own version of the bill, which cuts $12 billion beginning in 2014 from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance, or “food stamps,” program to help make the measure deficit neutral. Anti-hunger advocates and conservatives alike decried the move.

As I detailed last night, instead of spending the portion of unspent billions from the stimuls passed just last year – which Obama insisted be passed in a hurry to … save teachers’ and other folks’ jobs, Democrats are raiding the food stamp program.

On the $26B EduBailoutJobs Bill

How much sense does this make: a group of folks in Washington, DC, lobbying to the passage of a bill which will put about $50 million in the pocket of said group.

It’s cyclical!

If you said “no sense,” you would be wrong. Apparently to Washington and the teachers’ unions, it makes total sense because that’s exactly what’s happening right now with the bailout midterm buyout union payoff EduJobs bill. Speaker Pelosi is calling the House back to session next week for just this.

Geez, the logic or lack thereof:

Pelosi and other Democrats say the funding will prevent layoffs, stem higher unemployment and contribute to a growing economy.

Hold up – you mean, like the stimulus saved jobs? Have we seriously not learned this lesson? This woman does realize that private sector jobs actually provide the revenue to pay the salaries of the public sector jobs, right? Is that above the admin’s pay grade to ask?

Congress provided states with more than $200 billion in aid as part of last year’s economic stimulus package.

Because they’ve done such a stellar job.

(More clips from “The Cartel.”)

St. Louis city schools lost their accreditation:

The district met only four of the 14 performance standards set by the state, failing in such areas as middle and high school math scores, graduation rates and college placement. To remain provisionally accredited, it would need to meet six of the 14 standards. Full accreditation requires meeting nine of the standards.

If trends hold, 13,000 of the students now enrolled in the district will not graduate, Slay said. Of those who do, only half will take the college entrance ACT test. Of them, less than 12 percent will score at or above the national average.

We don’t have a funding problem. We have a spending problem. More spending does not equal better education. Ever hear of the Kansas City experiment? (via)

For decades critics of the public schools have been saying, “You can’t solve educational problems by throwing money at them.” The education establishment and its supporters have replied, “No one’s ever tried.” In Kansas City they did try. To improve the education of black students and encourage desegregation, a federal judge invited the Kansas City, Missouri, School District to come up with a cost-is-no-object educational plan and ordered local and state taxpayers to find the money to pay for it.

Kansas City spent as much as $11,700 per pupil–more money per pupil, on a cost of living adjusted basis, than any other of the 280 largest districts in the country. The money bought higher teachers’ salaries, 15 new schools, and such amenities as an Olympic-sized swimming pool with an underwater viewing room, television and animation studios, a robotics lab, a 25-acre wildlife sanctuary, a zoo, a model United Nations with simultaneous translation capability, and field trips to Mexico and Senegal. The student-teacher ratio was 12 or 13 to 1, the lowest of any major school district in the country.

The results were dismal. Test scores did not rise; the black-white gap did not diminish; and there was less, not greater, integration.

I get the appeal of running a school like a private business and offering nicer perks to attract better teachers – except that the trend shows a greater emphasis on those perks without the benefit of a proven, consecutive record of solid impact in the classroom.

I also get the idea of wanting to reward those teachers out there who don’t view the front of a class as a bully pulpit or abuse their position by pushing partisanship, and yes, it does turn the stomach that professional athletes make more than educators but that’s due to market demand and if you’ve ever paid for a ticket to a baseball, football, et al. game then you’re one of the guilty who perpetuates it. People deserve what society is willing to pay and for the scales to flip and educators to get Nike deals the hearts of the populace has to change – and government bossiness can’t force it. Also, teachers know the playing field before they choose this profession, so don’t whine about it after the fact.

A big long tangent to basically remark at the coincidence of the timing with this bill, right before midterms and all, a nice big reward for the unions which helped push the ruling class into power – right on the heels of the unions announcing how they’re mobilizing to help the Democrats maintain their majority:

“We are set to launch a robust field plan across the country during the month of August, including advertising and grassroots [sic] events,” said Gerry McEntee, president of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), in a statement.

Editor’s note after “grassroots” because, yeah. Astrotuf ain’t grassroots, friend.

Sen. Chuck Grassley wonders what on earth happened to the unspent stimulus funds from that $862 perfillion passed just last year:

“To offset this new spending, Democratic leaders could have started with unspent stimulus funds.  About $35 billion of the $100 billion in education aid to states from the stimulus was not spent as of a July 9 report from the Department of Education.

Because THIS new spending has to go to the teachers unions, Grassley! GEEZ KRIZE.

On Medicaid – has anyone possibly thought that the number of Medicaid enrollees increased with THE RISE IN UNEMPLOYMENT?

Facepalm.

Gulf Residents Speak Out on Moratorium

Heritage:

“If I was president of the United States, I would not want to be remembered as a president who signed a moratorium that destroys jobs permanently, destroys families and the way they live, and wrecks an economy for years and years to come,” said Thomas Clements of Broussard, La.

Clements and his wife Melissa own Oilfield CNC Machining, a small business that produces metal parts for oilfield equipment. When the six-month moratorium was announced, the Clements’ customers — including their biggest client — canceled all orders. The couple was unable to complete a claim because their clients would not provide copies of the cancellations. Those uncooperative clients understandably didn’t want to damage business relations with BP, the Clements explained.

“We have no income coming in,” Thomas Clements said. “None. Zero.”

Fed Watchdog Slams Gov’t Bungling of Auto Dealers

File under: Obviousness.

A report released Sunday by the special inspector general for the government’s bailout program raised questions about whether the Obama administration’s auto task force considered the job losses from the closings while pressuring the companies to reduce costs.

Treasury didn’t show why the cuts were “either necessary for the sake of the companies’ economic survival or prudent for the sake of the nation’s economic recovery,” said the audit by Neil Barofsky, the special inspector general for the Troubled Asset Relief Program, the $787 billion stimulus program known as TARP.

“Treasury made a series of decisions that may have substantially contributed to the accelerated shuttering of thousands of small businesses,” investigators said.

Those decisions resulted in “potentially adding tens of thousands of workers to the already lengthy unemployment rolls — all based on a theory and without sufficient consideration of the decisions’ broader economic impact,” the report said.

You mean like with the moratorium?

Don’t forget the severe and questionable partisanship that contributed to the admin targeting dealers thought to be GOP supporters.

MoDot Spends $111k on Unneeded Signs

Click image for video

Even though the existing signs posted around the state which welcomed drivers were 20-years-old, they were, as Elliot Davis notes, perfectly fine. Davis reports that 66 new “Welcome to Missouri” signs cost $111k.

But MoDot had to get them some of them thur new signs! It probably created about two jobs per sign for as long as it took to post the sign.

Instead of posting ads on Craigslist advertising for “activists” to protest in favor of HCR, perhaps the government can now post ads advertising the need for individuals to stand on various bridges and highway shoulders holding a sign made with materials purchased at Office Depot. Jobs created and economy stimulated! JEANYUS.

Why yes, Virginia, this is the same MoDot that folks just voted to be equally responsible with their money concerning city transit.

Dems Urge Socialist Takeover of Financial Sector

A deal was reached today on the financial reform bill. Health Care was 1/6 of the economy, this is the rest.

Dodd cried even.

“It’s a great moment. I’m proud to have been here,” said a teary-eyed Sen. Christopher J. Dodd (D-Conn.), who as chairman of the Senate Banking Committee led the effort in the Senate. “No one will know until this is actually in place how it works. But we believe we’ve done something that has been needed for a long time. It took a crisis to bring us to the point where we could actually get this job done.”

Are double pat-backs allowed? Patting yourself on the back for causing a magnificent crisis by way of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac which led to the tumultuous economic situation and then patting yourself on the back for coming up with a <fingers>solution</fingers> for the problem you caused? A solution that will further strangle economic activity and any prosperity in the housing market which will require yet a third government remedy and so on and so forth? I don’t think double pat-backs are allowed, at least not with this level of faux sincerity.

This is McLicious:

Lawmakers agreed to a provision known as the “Volcker” rule, named after former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker, which prohibits banks from making risky bets with their own funds.

Because it wasn’t Dodd’s rules or anything which established regulations forcing lenders to throw previous criteria out the window when establishing viability or credit worthiness in the name of “fairness.”

Government-controlled Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac remain a multibillion dollar drain on the U.S. Treasury, and largely untouched by this proposal.

Of course they do! Because that would be actual reform. We can’t anger the special interests. They may go all HULK SMASH on fundraising and we are in midterms.

This legislation gives the very people who caused our economic crisis ultimate control over our our financial system works. It’s analogous to appointing Cookie Monster as the guardian over the cookie jar. Genius.