How about if we—it’s only a suggestion, mind you—but what if we—just consider it, humor me, play along—what if… no, I can’t say it.
Okay, what would happen to the federal budget and the metastasizing deficit if we… if we… if we cut all spending on all programs that don’t work!
Don’t hate me.
President Obama has announced a cure for the country’s social ills: universal preschool. It would help children “read and do math at grade level, graduate high school, hold a job, form more stable families of their own,” and also reduce teen pregnancy and violent crime, he said in his State of Union address.
Jeez, that’s better than flossing! Who could argue against flossing (and I hate flossing)?
As evidence for these remarkable claims he pointed to Oklahoma and Georgia, the early adopters of universal preschool. But the real evidence from those states suggests that preschool doesn’t deliver on even its most basic promises.
[N]either state program has demonstrated major social benefits. The first batch of children who attended preschool in Georgia, in 1995, are now turning 22, so Mr. Obama’s claim that they are better at “holding jobs” and “forming stable families” can’t be true.
As if the truth ever stopped him for making false and ignorant statements before.
Consider graduation rates: Oklahoma has lost ground and Georgia is stagnant. Oklahoma ranked 24th in 1998 but 25th when its first batch of universal-preschool children graduated last year, according to data from the National Center for Education Statistics compiled by the United Health Foundation. Georgia’s high-school graduation rate was 46th from the top in 1995. It dipped to 47th in 2009, the year its first batch graduated, before rising to 45th in 2012.
Don’t believe me. The authors have plenty more statistics. But I don’t think they should have called the little girls sluts:
But what about, say, teenage girls staying out of trouble? Teen birth rates have declined in the past 10 years in Georgia and Oklahoma (as they have nationwide), but both states remain far above the national average. In 2005, Georgia had the eighth-highest teen-birth rate and Oklahoma the seventh-highest, according to the Centers for Disease Control. Now Georgia has the 13th-highest, Oklahoma the fifth-highest. Many states without universal preschool have a far better record.
Maybe they’re not teaching enough sex ed—or too much.
In any case, if you just eliminated all government programs that waste money for no gain whatsoever, I bet you could shrink the budget to, oh, $12,295. Give or take a few trillion.
But no, they’re going to cut air traffic controllers instead.