My Cure for Sequester Fester

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.


  1. Judi said,

    March 1, 2013 @ 11:22 am

    Ok, how about this. What is cutting spending really? What is the largest portion of any businesses overhead? It’s labor. Payroll. So let’s say labor is around 50% of a budget. This is much less than an average business spends on labor so it should account for things that cannot be cut. So, instead of 2.2% we can use 4.4%. The people of this country have been finding many ways to cutback, those who are still employed. If we have kept our jobs we certainly have not been getting promotions or raises in the same manor that we would if the economy was in good shape. Why should federal workers keep going along as though everything is great. (and don’t bring up Obama’s pay freeze, he raised salaries first and this does not include promotions and some other raises) We, the ones who are making sacrifices, the ones who employ them and pay their salaries, are making plenty of sacrifices.

    So why don’t we simply cut salaries of federal workers by 4.4%, not including military because that would be wrong. So maybe that number needs to be 6%. I know we have had to tighten our belts much more than 6%.

    Maybe when government workers start to have their own salaries cut, they will be more willing to save money elsewhere in the federal budget. If a new useless program comes out of their pocket, maybe it’s not so necessary after all. Maybe fancy trips on the government dime don’t seem so free.

    This is all our fault. We are the only employers who let their employees make all the rules, including how much they get paid.

    We need Scott Walker in the White House!

  2. Buck O'Fama said,

    March 1, 2013 @ 6:36 pm

    ” if we cut all spending on all programs that don’t work!”

    We could start with getting rid of the entire Dept of Energy. What does this bunch of clowns do besides giving out grants to political cronies to build unicorn plants that go bankrupt? Cut their entire budget and give everybody a tax refund to help them pay for the increases in the cost of their fuel due to the total uselessness of the Dept of Energy.

  3. Joe said,

    March 3, 2013 @ 12:20 am

    What about fighting wars without the intention to win such as Afghanistan.Just pull out. end of… The US should adopt the Barry Goldwater option if any future threats occur to the US.Its a lot cheaper….Nuke em into the stone age!

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