In the history of mankind, many republics have risen, have flourished for a less or greater time, and then have fallen because their citizens lost the power of governing themselves and thereby of governing their state. TR


Uncle Sam’s Screwy “Investments” for Our Kids

It’s really impolite in Washington to say you want to eliminate the Department of Education and slash education spending. Because it only goes to show THAT YOU HATE CHILDREN.

As President Obama looks for this or that to cut, one of those sacrosanct things that not only won’t get touched, but will get INCREASED, are INVESTMENTS in our children.

And many Republicans will nod their heads and say, as if hypnotized by Spongebob Squarepants, “The children, the children.”

But as the Solyndra case shows, the government doesn’t necessarily do INVESTMENTS very well. It does SPENDING very well.

Take a look at this chart constructed by the conservative think tank CATO.

Gosh, it doesn’t look like all this “investment” is getting much of a return. That’s why WHEN GOD INVENTED INVESTMENTS, he commanded the private sector to make them.

When He invented school choice and vouchers, He intended them for the government, but the government doesn’t take these things seriously enough.

Consider this chart from the Education Department’s National Center for Education Statistics showing spending on education by developed countries.

We spend a lot, right? Now look at the result.

Nothing special, right?

Doug Ross, who ran the CATO chart on his blog, makes some good arguments for abolishing the Department of Education. They are worth considering. Politics won’t allow it, but as Doug says, it might be worth it “for the children.”

24 thoughts on “Uncle Sam’s Screwy “Investments” for Our Kids”

  1. I agree with MrRoss. The main problem is that the phrase “investing in education” is just spin for propping up the teacher’s unions and has nothing to do with educating the children. The best place to oversee the education of our children is on the local level and the Feds can only screw things up by sticking their big feet into our schools.

  2. If you’ve never seen the movie “Hot Fuzz” then you should.


    The basic plot is that a “citizens committee” in a small town is killing people for “the greater good.” Whenever someone actually says “the greater good” then the entire “committee” repeats “the greater good.” Whenever someone says, “for the children,” I think of that scene now. Blind obedience to some nebulous idea of making things better that is actually resulting in the slow destruction of what they claim to be protecting.

    Personally, I believe that the children are the future. Which means they need to sit down and shut up and learn from the adults.

  3. Every time I hear anything about schools saying they need more money I want to puke. I homeschooled my kids for 13 years and spent less than 400.00 a year on all of them…and that was for 5 of my kids. Total.

  4. Maybe I’m nitpicking but CATO is a libertarian think tank. It doesn’t matter in this situation because abolishing the Department of Education is something that both libertarians and conservatives can agree on. The feds are sticking their noses in our local educational systems by regulating everything from school lunches to standardized curricula. Ronald Reagan wanted to abolish the department but he got a lot of push back from some of the same establishment Republicans who are still there in Washington. Maybe if we are fortunate enough to elect a conservative president and congress in 2012, we can finally fulfill Reagan’s wishes.

    I’d like to throw Carter’s Department of Energy in the ashcan of history too. That department was created to make us energy independent and we depend on foreign oil more today than we ever did before. It has been a proven failure and doesn’t do much more than redistribute taxpayer money to green energy products (Solyndra) that don’t work and nobody wants.

  5. “But as the Solyndra case shows, the government doesn’t necessarily do INVESTMENTS very well. It does SPENDING very well.”

    I think it exposes their fundamentally flawed understanding of how Capital is created. In this case, their zeal to have a ‘success’ in what they call ‘green’ technology blinded them to the fact that this company’s approach was already outdated. But one wonders, had they understood this, whether they’d have the thrown the money at it anyway in the naive belief that sheer quantities of money can compensate for an unworkable business model.

    1. Yea, but 80% of that spending goes to teacher’s salaries and benefits. We now have teachers that can retire at 55 and live pretty comfortably. Can’t we all agree that’s a good thing? We need not to criticize the life they live, instead we need to fight for the right for every citizen to have these advantages.

      I do believe that is the argument of the more truthy teachers.

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  7. Ron Paul says straight-out he wants to eliminate the Department of Education. He also wants to cut a TRILLION DOLLARS of spending his first year and balance the deficit in three years.

    Vote for someone honest and is truly for small government for a change.

  8. Democrats have to have brick in their heads to understand increased education spending does no result in better education. See the scores vs. Govt. spending on education.

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