War, schools or food?

I can’t let this story go.

It is rotten in itself. And it is a metaphor for the state of the union.

Those who should be screaming bloody murder are silent.

By next week the House will vote on and pass a $28 billion dollar package of domestic spending that will include $10 billion for schools to hire back teachers who were pink slipped last Spring and Summer.

The teacher unions are pleased. But what neither the AFT or the NEA will mention in their press releases or on their web sites is where that money is coming from.

As I reported in an earlier post, Congressman David Obey wanted to pay for the EduJobs bill by reducing the money for Race to the Top. USDE boss Arne Duncan said, “No way. Take it from food stamps for poor folks.” And that is what Congress has done.

We continue to throw money down the black hole that is the war in Afghanistan and Iraq. We continue to fund the competitive funding mess called Race to the Top. But we cut $12 billion in food stamp funding in order to pay for teachers.

It is madness. Moral bankruptcy.

From Brian Stoddard at Examiner.com :

A report issued by the Food and Nutrition Service reveals that the number of Americans receiving federal aid through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (also known as food stamps) has grown to a record number of 40.8 million through May of 2010; which was an increase of 19 percent from a year ago. This report comes on the heels of a Democrat led Senate vote on Thursday, August 05, 2010 that cut $12 billion worth of funding from the program which will be reallocated to a $26 billion assistance package aimed at helping struggling states that are seeking to avoid teacher layoffs.

From Politico :

SNAP, the federal food stamp program, is getting snapped up by Democrats these days, hungry for savings to placate deficit hawks and clear the way for legislation.

The demand to cut food stamps to fund schools comes from four sources. One is the Republican side of the aisle. They are attempting to use the federal deficit as an electoral wedge issue in November.

They are joined by Blue Dog Democrats. These right-wing Democrats say that any program that requires new funding must be paid for by cuts in other programs.

Third. But not from war funding. A trillion dollars has gone to pay for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. How many poor folks could be fed with a trillion dollars? How many teachers could be hired? How many jobs could be created?

And then there is the insistence by Arne Duncan that no domestic funding can come from his pet project, Race to the Top. It was his idea, according to David Obey, to take away food stamps from the poor to pay for the EduJobs bill.

Some on the internet want to beat themselves up for calling on people to call their senators in support of the EduJobs bill.

That’s crazy. Decent people want teachers in classrooms and classrooms with enough desks and books for every student.

We have come to this point, not because of decent people wanting teachers and desks. But because of people who would rather spend money on wars, and make the rest of us choose between teachers and food.

2 Replies to “War, schools or food?”

  1. So in Arne’s mind. one gets ” to the top” by trampling on the poor? What Democratic administration advocates this kind of tradeoff?

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