Patterico's Pontifications

2/12/2014

Republicans Pass Clean Debt Ceiling Hike Extend Suspension of Debt Ceiling

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:43 am

Well, of course they did. When even Tea Party favorite Justin Amash said that everybody knew this was going to happen, it was obvious it was going to happen. Look: Americans want to see their elected representatives get along. That means there has to be some give and take. We give Obama concessions and he takes them.

Republicans have learned their lesson: our steady march towards fiscal ruin cannot be disturbed by carping about the trillions of debt we can’t ever pay. Just keep marching, one foot in front of the other, and keep your mouths shut.

P.S. It probably helps Obama’s position that Republican Congressmen are now required to certify, through a self-attestation on their tax forms, that they will not demand concessions for any future debt ceiling hike.

UPDATE 2-18-14: I am ashamed to admit that I got this completely wrong, based on about a million Big Media headlines that also got it wrong. Republicans did not pass a debt ceiling hike at all. That would imply there is a debt ceiling in effect, just a higher one. But there isn’t. There is no debt ceiling in effect. This Fox News story has the truth buried down in the story:

The measure approved by the House does not raise the debt limit by a set amount but does suspend it through March 15, 2015. That buys the Treasury Department the leeway it needs to borrow money to pay for Social Security checks, payments on government debt and paychecks for federal workers.

Thanks for that passage, fellas, but why did you title the story “House approves increase in debt ceiling with no strings attached, bill heads to Senate”? The House did not approve an increase in the debt ceiling. The House waived the debt ceiling.

The debt ceiling was suspended before and it is suspended now. I plan to draw attention to this, in greater detail, in a new post, but I wanted to correct the record here.

63 Responses to “Republicans Pass Clean Debt Ceiling Hike Extend Suspension of Debt Ceiling”

  1. Ding.

    Patterico (9c670f)

  2. The time to have fought this was when the budget was adopted six weeks ago.

    The House passed an appropriations bill by 359-67 which required that a certain amount of money be spent. It is *impossible* for the executive to comply both with the requirements of that bill and with the requirement of the debt ceiling.

    Passing that bill in January and then refusing to pass the debt ceiling increase today would be crazy.

    aphrael (d09290)

  3. “Clean” indebting of our children does almost as much damage to the English language as to our fiscal condition. The balls of thatl.

    Bugg (ddac6e)

  4. They always intended to pass the debt ceiling.

    There was never any intent not to do it, although back then when they passed te budget, Treasury Secretary Jack Lew had not declared the end of February he drop dead date. Last time he exteneded it way past expectattions and then suddenly announced a deadline.

    There are a lot of Republican members of the House of Represenatatives who ran on a platform of never voting for a debt ceiling increase, and they are either ignoramuses themselves, or playing on the ignorance of voters, or just plain scared because such a position makes no sense, especially if you vote for a budget that requirers borrowing.

    But for many people it’s all sound bites.

    The Senate, I believe, had passed a debt ceiling increase bill that removed the provision cutting the cost the cost of living increase for veterans pensions, which had been used to “pay for” lifting the sequester limits, without replacing that cut with something else, but Boehner found it could not pass the House, because the Democrat leaders in the House were insisting on a “clean” debt limit bill (in order to render the Republicans powerless, because actually this something OK with many)

    There were too few Republican votes, so Boehner had to put a clean debt limit to the floor. He told Nancy Pelosi he wouldn’t do it unless every Democvrat voted for it, snd in the end all but two did, one of whom is retiring. It got 28 Republican votes, mostly from the leadership, or committee chairmen (but not Paul Ryan, Chairman of the Budget Committee) and from some retiring members.

    There are 200 Democrats in the House and 232 Republicans (which would mean 3 vacancies, since I don’t think there are any independents.)

    Sammy Finkelman (c08134)

  5. Must-pass bills are about the only way the Republicans in the House can do anything, but the Democrats and the Republicans played a game of chicken and the Republicans lost.

    Sammy Finkelman (c08134)

  6. Team r has a serious case of “Seasonal Affect Disorder”.

    mg (31009b)

  7. Side note: Today (February 12) used to be Lincoln’s Birthday.

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  8. Most republican voters are as commie as the rino they voted for.

    mg (31009b)

  9. there’s nothing clean about you filthmericans and your debt ceilings

    just so you know

    happyfeet (8ce051)

  10. More crap on a shingle.
    http://www.breitbart.com/

    mg (31009b)

  11. “OH The Times, Oh The Customs”
    http://spectator.org/articles/57792/gop-cut-budget-—-2017

    mg (31009b)

  12. The British Royals are better people than ours.

    http://apnews.myway.com/article/20140214/DABV9BA81.html

    gary gulrud (e2cef3)

  13. 12, 13. Bend over Amerikkka, you are going to get what’s coming to you.

    Hard.

    gary gulrud (e2cef3)

  14. Realities:

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-02-15/californias-new-dust-bowl-its-gonna-be-slow-painful-agonizing-death-farmers

    The PDO is a regular 60 year cycle, the AMO a less consistent 25-40 year cycle. They both flipped a year apart around 2010 into their negative phase which coincidence gives us SW drought.

    It should last a good decade, it could last two.

    gary gulrud (e2cef3)

  15. The president came to Central Cali. He was not well received. And of course, he doesn’t really want to solve the problem and since global warming is causing the drought, there really isn’t anything he can do to help the farmers, right?

    The one thing that will mitigate droughts in California — a permanent feature of the state — is to restore the water flow from California’s water-heavy north to farmers in the central and south. That’s just what House Bill 3964, which passed by a 229-191 vote last week, does.

    But Obama’s plan is not to get that worthy bill through the Senate (where Democrats are holding it up) but to shovel pork to environmental activists and their victims, insultingly offering out-of-work farmers a “summer meal plan” in his package.

    “We are not interested in welfare; we want water,” Nunes told IBD this week. He and his fellow legislator Valadao are both farmers who represent the worst-hit regions of the Central Valley in Congress and can only look at the president’s approach with disbelief.

    “He’s not addressing the situation,” Valadao told us.

    “They want to blame the drought for the lack of water, but they wasted water for the past five years,” said Nunes.

    The two explain that California’s system of aqueducts and storage tanks was designed long ago to take advantage of rain and mountain runoff from wet years and store it for use in dry years. But it’s now inactive — by design. “California’s forefathers built a system (of aqueducts and storage facilities) designed to withstand five years of drought,” said Nunes.

    “We have infrastructure dating from the 1960s for transporting water, but by the 1990s the policies had changed,” said Valadao.

    Environmental special interests managed to dismantle the system by diverting water meant for farms to pet projects, such as saving delta smelt, a baitfish. That move forced the flushing of 3 million acre-feet of water originally slated for the Central Valley into the ocean over the past five years.

    Dana (9a8f57)

  16. Dana,

    It’s horrible to see what Democratic policies have done to California and the people who want to work and provide for themselves. To take something good like the water system and intentionally ruin it is worse than a crime.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  17. The flip side:

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2014/02/16/the-real-reason-for-flooding-in-somerset-levels-not-global-warming-the-only-pump-was-turned-off/

    Government is an endangered enterprise. Buyers are looking elsewhere.

    gary gulrud (e2cef3)

  18. It’s horrible to see what Democratic policies have done to California

    And that idiocy is going to affect the entire country, by way of lower supplies of agriculture from California, which, in turn, will push up the cost of items at the local grocery store.

    Regrettably, the tolerance that far too much of populace — particularly in an uber-blue state like California — for the destructive nature of liberal policymaking knows no bounds.

    How else to explain the majority of Americans who even today still blame George W Bush instead of Obama for current economic problems? How else to explain that in the ongoing US Senate race in a red state like Tennessee, that the Democrat candidate is running neck in neck with the admittedly squishy (yet, still not as liberal as his Democrat rival is) Mitch McConnell?

    Venezuela, we got your back. And don’t cry for us, Argentina.

    Mark (e03173)

  19. Mark,

    All or almost all of the things you worry about can be explained by our corrupted and inept educational system. Fix that and we can fix America.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  20. I agree the education establishment is winning now, but school choice and vouchers can help reverse that. We need to work at the state level to promote and facilitate school choice.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  21. So you have to get rid of curriculla, because the wrong things will put into curriculla. But if you have no curriculla, they can teach nothing.

    Sammy Finkelman (8eda0c)

  22. School choice is good, but then you get into, how do you prove this is a minimumaly com[etent school.

    Maybe it is enough to settle on a requirement that students pass standardized tests in a limited number of subjects – and hope the standardized testst don’t deteriorate too much.

    Sammy Finkelman (8eda0c)

  23. School choice/vouchers/charters is surprisingly something that liberals do not want to embrace. It’s telling that the freedom of choice is apparently selective and does not extend to education but only to marriage and our bodies…

    NYC, prog city itself, is in fact fighting tooth and nail to prevent freedom of choice, but I love the spit and moxie of the opposition leader.Eve Moskowitz, who unabashedly points out Mayor DeBlasio’s own hypocrisy with regard to his children’s educational choices,

    She gave as good as she got: Last fall, when it became clear that Mr. de Blasio was likely to become the next mayor, Ms. Moskowitz led nearly 20,000 parents, teachers and students in a pro-charter rally at Brooklyn Bridge. As long as Mr. de Blasio was making it personal, she noted in a New York Post op-ed that his son attends a selective, high-performing public high school. “Most parents don’t have a public school option that’s as good as de Blasio had access to for his son,” Ms. Moskowitz wrote. She added that his message to parents in neighborhoods with bad schools was simple: “Drop dead.”


    http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702304434104579382993628994458?mod=hp_opinion&mg=reno64-wsj&url=http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702304434104579382993628994458.html?mod%3Dhp_opinion

    Dana (9a8f57)

  24. the problem is actually more serious, Dana, they are implanting this stupid OS into the charter and private school curriculum, which has a very dark pedigree.

    narciso (3fec35)

  25. With regard to the water situation in Central Valley, I don’t believe education is the answer. The information is already out, facts are facts, and still, politics is at the heart of the decision making.

    What I see is self-interest and greed driving the bus. And as always in politics, there is a minimum level of deceit – including self-deceit – which by default includes a willful ignorance of the facts at hand. “Willful” being the operative word.

    Dana (9a8f57)

  26. 20, 25. Long-term goals like education are important. Voting the bums out is a medium-term goal.

    We need short term goals that hold government participants accountable while the infraction is still a recent memory.

    Swatting on the nose with a rolled newspaper?

    gary gulrud (e2cef3)

  27. I completely agree, gary. In the short term, a secession movement might get politicians’ attention.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  28. Dana,

    Thomas Jefferson was a strong supporter of education, including that it is the way to control politicians:

    1820 September 28. (to William C. Jarvis) “I know no safe depository of the ultimate powers of the society, but the people themselves: and if we think them not enlightened enough to exercise their controul with a wholsome discretion, the remedy is, not to take it from them, but to inform their discretion by education. this is the true corrective of abuses of constitutional power.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  29. 32. Along with nullification, organized civil disobedience, recalls, etc. We need to employ a bag of tools.

    When the only tool in the box is a hammer, the whole world appears as a nail.

    We need to think outside the ballot box.

    gary gulrud (e2cef3)

  30. The problem is that Democrats know this, too, and they have been using education to support their views for 40 years. We have a lot of catching up to do.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  31. 34. In other words, we need to start thinking like Democrats as we take back our country. As a Tea Party fan, I hope we’ll be just as effective as the Democrats, only neater and more polite.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  32. 33. Also Jefferson:

    The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants. It is it’s natural manure.

    I submit that the US Chamber of Commerce qualifies as tyrant.

    gary gulrud (e2cef3)

  33. “School choice/vouchers/charters is surprisingly something that liberals do not want to embrace.”

    Dana – I don’t have my arms around that. Absolutely progressive politicians, union members, and others benefiting from big government will fight tooth and nail against school choice. On the other hand I think there are large blocks of traditional Democrat voters with children victimized by the existing system who would love to see expanded school choice and would vote accordingly.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  34. All or almost all of the things you worry about can be explained by our corrupted and inept educational system.

    I wish it were that simple, DRJ. (BTW, the second sentence I penned above with garbled syntax and punctuation would suggest that corrupted education may be a big problem. LOL).

    I continue to believe that the major sticking point is that too many people (not just in the US but throughout the world too–with certain pockets like the Middle East as a strange exception) continue to buy into the idea that liberal biases imbue one with greater compassion, tolerance, beauty and sophistication, and that left-leaning politicians — no matter how lousy, dishonest and two-faced they are — reflect those qualities.

    Mark (e03173)

  35. she noted in a New York Post op-ed that his son attends a selective, high-performing public high school.

    Similarly, when people (of all political stripes and agendas) are debating the issue of education and bemoaning its current state, how many who are a part of that debate point out the very simple yet very telling fact that public school systems throughout America are dominated by liberals, have been dominated by liberals for decades, and are a perfect example of something infused with a left-leaning ethos? So a major entity of America, whether good or bad, really does reflect modern-day liberalism — berserk or otherwise — dating back several decades. But instead of focusing on that, too many people — again, of all ideological stripes and agendas — will proclaim that they’ll proudly vote in favor of new school bonds or greater school funding in the next election. They then put on a smiley face and whistle a happy tune as they walk out the front door.

    Mark (e03173)

  36. Fixing the education system is absolutely critical to our nation’s survival. Yet—The remaining dedicated teachers who actually know how to teach the classics and basics (history, math, civics, science, literature, geography) and were part of the wonderful American public school systems before they all became unionized, before curricula became politicized, before they started grade inflation, and before many not remotely competent teachers were given classes, are retiring in droves. The education system cannot suddenly “poof” and become/go back to what it needs to be–and I despair about this. Losing these valuable older teachers who are a link to the past is devastating. Many newer graduates of teachers colleges and state universities are themselves the victims of a faulty public school system. They do not know any better. How do we fix that?

    elissa (fb33a1)

  37. Loving freedom and voting accordingly:

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-02-16/if-america-continues-go-down-path-what-life-will-be

    Serfdom is base-lined into the natural course of democratic choice.

    gary gulrud (e2cef3)

  38. It’s horrible to see what Democratic policies have done to California

    “And that idiocy is going to affect the entire country”

    Mark – I think you are on to something with your reply to DRJ immediately above, although I would phrase it in the past tense when referring to the pernicious impact California has had on this country’s politics, social and cultural institutions. Erecting a wall around the state would not work because I fear some of its loonier residents would fly out under their own power. Seccession is not a solution either. Seeing sunrises over water as well as sunsets would work though.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  39. It took time to break and it will take time to fix, but we fix it by finding ways to let the market work. IMO school choice and vouchers are the best way to do that in education. As daleyrocks notes, people want their kids to get a good education. When they see that some schools do that better than others, they will choose those schools.

    As for teachers, I agree they are important but we faced that here in Texas. You don’t have to have a professionally trained teacher to teach kids. Retired teachers, military, engineers, etc., have a lot to offer — all you need is a change in rules that lets these people bring their talents into the classroom, even if they don’t have an education degree or certification. The teachers’ unions hate this but it works, especially since so many of today’s teachers don’t have degrees in the fields they teach and instead have more generic and often worthless education degrees.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  40. Nark,

    Of course our children believe liberals are better people. Our schools, entertainers, and media teach them that every day. It will be harder to take back the media and the entertainment culture. The best way to change things is by taking back our schools.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  41. Sorry! Mark, not Nark. I’m a careless typer today.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  42. “The teachers’ unions hate this but it works”

    DRJ – I think the obstacle more often is the union hierarchy than the teachers themselves. Just look at Wisconsin to see the large percentage of teachers opting out of paying union dues when given a choice.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  43. There’s a reason one of Mayor de Blasio’s first acts is to wage war on charter schools.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  44. 44. In the interest of preserving resources I’d argue against devoting any further effort toward saving California:

    http://hotair.com/archives/2014/02/16/video-la-sheriffs-kill-80-year-old-man-in-bed-in-meth-raid-gone-bad/

    If secession of the center doesn’t proceed in short order there’s nothing to save.

    gary gulrud (e2cef3)

  45. While he was in California, did President Obama mention the new Ivanpah Solar Plant? If so, did he mention that it’s so hot that birds that fly into the area are being fried?

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  46. Unfortunately charter schools have not shown themselves to be immune to fraud, incompetence and cronyism. Examples are many and shocking.

    http://www.bettergov.org/the_abcs_of_uno/

    http://www.suntimes.com/news/watchdogs/17920483-452/for-insiders-community-group-unos-charter-schools-pay.html

    http://charterschoolscandals.blogspot.com/

    elissa (fb33a1)

  47. “While he was in California, did President Obama mention the new Ivanpah Solar Plant? If so, did he mention that it’s so hot that birds that fly into the area are being fried?”

    DRJ – BWAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!!!

    Is that fate better or worse than eagles getting chopped up by wind turbines? At least you can eat fried birds.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  48. elissa – Free government money by definition attracts crooks.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  49. Without looking at elissa’s links, I’ll share from my personal experience.

    In some ways charters can be the worst of all possible worlds. In PA, anyway, they function some ways as more of a private entity than a government entity, without adequate oversight by the govt or transparency in how they function, but they are also not subject to pleasing the parents who pay tuition (because they don’t). They are ripe for a set up of shell corporations emanating from the school founder, paying each other for stuff and simply making the proprietor rich, enabled by a board of appointed cronies, sometimes with their own financial stake in the shell corporations, employment, or family connection.

    I think vouchers would promote a more honest system, as you are sending students to schools already running, already accountable to parents paying tuition and invested in the school.

    I imagine there are many charters that are run well for the sake of educating students, not as an example of educational entrepreneurship.
    Unfortunately, the legitimate criticism of the bad aspects of charters is used as a reason against school choice and the need to keep money in public schools, where there is supposedly no waste, fraud, or abuse.

    MD in Philly (f9371b)

  50. The charter schools de Blasio wants to get rid of are in East Harlem.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  51. If the Democrats want to continue winning elections, they’ll make certain that public education does not improve. Or whatever.

    Elephant Stone (6a6f37)

  52. Getting back to the topic at hand, recall when the Republicans who “all agree on principle, we just disagree on tactics” were trying to get Ted Cruz to back off from making a stand last fall on the budget?

    http://www.nationalreview.com/article/358849/new-cantor-plan-jonathan-strong

    September 18, 2013 1:00 PM
    The New Cantor Plan
    It will give the GOP its chance at a fight.

    …“We go right to the debt-ceiling fight, and that’s where the real battle is, we feel,” said Representative John Fleming. “It’s kind of like the follow-up plan, assuming that [the CR] fails. . . . The real fight will be on the debt ceiling.”

    House budget chairman Paul Ryan also urged colleagues to wage the more serious fight over the debt ceiling. “We have to stay on the right side of public opinion,” he told his colleagues. “Shutting down the government puts us on the wrong side. The fight is on the debt limit.”

    …One private calculation of Republicans pushing to focus on the debt ceiling is that Obama might embrace a shutdown as a short-lived inconvenience for the country that would be likely to gravely damage Republicans’ public image. On the other hand, the consequences of not raising the debt ceiling could be calamitous.

    “What the conservatives don’t understand is that a shutdown is terrible for Republicans, but default is terrible for everyone,” a GOP aide said.

    Of course, the GOP was so shaken by the government shutdown they didn’t fight over the October debt ceiling hike (which is what Ryan and others were talking about).

    I have always wondered why the GOP considered the ’95/96 government shutdown a “disaster.” They held the House in ’96 and picked up seats in the Senate. Of course Bob Dole lost to Bill Clinton. But, come on, Bob Dole.

    So despite the MFM’s myth that the government shutdown was a “disaster” for the GOP, it wasn’t. That doesn’t stop the GOP from buying into it, though. It certainly wasn’t a disaster for the economy, despite what liberals try to claim.

    http://dailycaller.com/2013/09/29/u-s-economy-boomed-during-19951996-shutdown/

    The ’95/96 shutdown was mostly over the budget deficit, which is pretty remote from most people’s lives and certainly nothing the vast majority of people even know about much less care. In this case shutting down the government to protect people from government, specifically the horrors of Obamacare, was likely to redound to the Republican’s credit. They tried to save the people from the very government that is now screwing up their lives. In some case killing them by destroying their health care arrangements. This is something people care about. And in any case it’s a mid-term election. So I don’t understand the trembling GOP leadership.

    Anyhoo, as late as January the GOP was making noises like it would fight over raising the debt ceiling.

    Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said on Sunday Republicans should oppose raising the debt limit without including a measure to reduce the nation’s debt, setting up a likely fight with Democrats, when Congress tackles the issue next month.

    “I think for the president to ask for a clean debt ceiling, when we have a debt the size of our economy is irresponsible. So, we ought to discuss adding something to his request to raise the debt ceiling that does something about the debt or produces at least something positive for our country,” he said on “Fox News Sunday.”

    McConnell suggested attaching approval of the controversial Keystone XL oil pipeline to a debt-limit increase and, when prompted, said changes to ObamaCare could also be an option.

    Read more: http://thehill.com/blogs/congress-blog/economy-budget/196434-mcconnell-sets-up-fight-over-debt-limit#ixzz2tX0g72Xl
    Follow us: @thehill on Twitter | TheHill on Facebook

    So, really, who’s doing more to damage the Republican brand. Ted Cruz, or these quislings? All Ted Cruz did was to expose the fraud

    Nobody believed that Boehner and McConnell and their ilk would fight over the debt ceiling if they wouldn’t fight over the budget. They are constantly looking at the hill they’re on, declaring it not the hill to die on, then decide some other hill farther away would be “more favorable ground.” Until the time comes to fight over that hill. Wash. Rinse. Repeat.

    Right now the GOP, if it were serious, would be making the case that the only reason Obama won’t give people relief from the individual mandate is because Obamacare is not about health care. It’s about wealth redistribution. He doesn’t care that you can’t buy insurance from his website (which answers Sammy’s question about why they’d go ahead with the launch and talk it up in public even knowing it wouldn’t work) or that you’d lose your health insurance and your doctor despite his lies, and despite the fact that his insurance was both more expensive and worse than what you had before. So when the Democrats try to claim the GOP is heartless and trying to kill people, they can hit right back that the Democrats are taking people’s health insurance and killing people but they don’t care because all they care about is taking people’s money. That’s what Obamacare is about, not health care.

    http://pjmedia.com/tatler/2014/02/14/pelosi-if-theres-one-things-well-never-do-its-delay-obamacares-individual-mandate/

    All you need to know is that he will tax you and give the money to people without verifying if they qualify for it. And that despite his lies they are enrolling illegal aliens into Obamacare.

    Ted Cruz talks about this and more, including the fact that the GOP isn’t serious and hell will freeze over before they make their case to the American people, in this interview with Mark Levin (via Nice Deb):

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NSIPVFNsQ7k

    Steve57 (71fc09)

  53. The education system is so utterly monstrous and embedded in our culture, I can’t see it being redeemed. It will need to simply implode and be rebuilt from the ground up. There are too many stakeholders unwilling to give up an inch of power and money, coupled with far too many parents being utterly apathetic and turning over all semblance of responsibility to the state, it’s a massive uphill battle at best.

    I don’t think people realize the extent of control and presence that public schools now have in families’ lives. And now the vast majority of these families are dependent on this public institution to feed their children, provide daycare for them, and in essence, parent them.

    Also, re Jefferson’s admonishment above, yes, he was correct (and still is), however, I doubt he envisioned public education ever having replaced the family structure and assumed the accompanying responsibilities therein. And of course, when one looks at sheer population then vs. now and the size and scope of government, the entire paradigm has so dramatically and possibly irrevocably changed.

    At the end of the day however, it all becomes moot as greed and dishonesty are at the base of human nature and those in power breathe and live that in spades. Hence, the stranglehold unions have on entire school districts, the NEA, etc. Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.

    Dana (9a8f57)

  54. daley @ 38,

    There are Democrats certainly who want a better education for their children. They see the destructiveness taking place. It’s ironic that President Obama, however, opposed giving those very constituents the choice of where to educate their children when John Boehner’s SOAR Act was on the table.

    The White House announced Tuesday that President Obama was “strongly opposed” to a bill reviving and expanding the DC Opportunity Scholarship Program, one day before the measure championed by House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) is scheduled for a vote on the House floor. But the White House did not threaten to veto the bill, suggesting that it could still pass as part of a larger compromise on education policy.

    Boehner’s bill, known as the SOAR Act, would permit new entrants to a program that gives low-income District students money for private school tuition. Boehner helped create the program in 2004, but it was ended by Democrats in 2009, with only existing scholarship recipients allowed to continue. The bill would authorize $60 million a year for the next five years, with the funds evenly divided between the scholarship program, D.C. charter schools and traditional D.C. public schools.

    Boehner and other supporters of the scholarship program — including D.C. Council Chairman Kwame Brown and former D.C. mayors Marion Barry and Anthony Williams — believe that it gives at least some disadvantaged students the chance to escape underperforming local schools. Boehner also argues that competition will force public schools to improve.

    Opponents of the program, including Mayor Vincent Gray and Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.), say that it steers attention and resources away from public schools in need and the city’s thriving charter school program.

    Freedom of choice is a fickle bitch.

    Dana (9a8f57)

  55. Dana – You are correct, but as you point out it is sickening to look at the ridiculous lengths the Democrat establishment is willing to go to preserve the status quo. Witness the DOJ fighting Louisiana’s voucher program which demonstrably benefited minority children on the grounds it may have created racial disparities in the school the minorities left. That’s Sammy logic.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  56. Comment by daleyrocks (bf33e9) — 2/16/2014 @ 5:39 pm

    Witness the DOJ fighting Louisiana’s voucher program which demonstrably benefited minority children on the grounds it may have created racial disparities in the school the minorities left. That’s Sammy logic.

    No it is not. I oppose this logic. I don’t think I’ve ever said anything resembling that.

    Sammy Finkelman (8eda0c)

  57. Comment by DRJ (a83b8b) — 2/16/2014 @ 12:09 pm

    You don’t have to have a professionally trained teacher to teach kids.

    And there’s a federal program or two that are premised upon that. Supplemental Educational Services, or SES and teach for America. SES doesn’t work too well because there’s absolutely nobody minding the store to see that anything good happens. Teach for America works better because the teachers are motivated.

    Retired teachers, military, engineers, etc., have a lot to offer — all you need is a change in rules that lets these people bring their talents into the classroom, even if they don’t have an education degree or certification.

    What’s more, what they teach people in educational schools makes people worse teachers. It takes new teachers about five years to get that out of their system.

    Sammy Finkelman (8eda0c)


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