Tag archives: Obama

Hold the phone…are we getting through to Chris Matthews?

by Family Research Council

November 21, 2011

You be the judge.

First, during Tony Perkins’ interview with Chris Matthews on the 11th, Matthews opens the segment with these words:

Tony, I’ve been thinking about you a lot. I do trust your conscience. You’re more conservative than me on cultural and moral issues, maybe, although I’m not sure. When it comes to actual morality, I think we may be closer than you believe.”

Matthews goes on, “I want to get to Tony here because I find him fascinating, because I do trust him.”

Then on Weekends with Alex Witt Matthews goes on a tear criticizing the President who gave him thrills just two years ago:

What are we trying to do in this administration? Why does he want a second term? Would he tell us? Whats he going to do in the second term? More of this? Is this it? Is this as good as it gets? Where are we going? Are we going to do something the second term? He has yet to tell us. He has not said one thing about what he would do in the second term. He never tells us what he is going to do with reforming our healthcare systems, Medicare, Medicaid, how is going to reform Social Security. Is he going to deal with long-term debt? How? Is he going to reform the tax system? How? Just tell us. Why are we in this fight with him? Just tell us, Commander, give us our orders and tell us where were going, give us the mission. And he hasnt done it.”

A smoking gun? Maybe not. But our character, our views, and our thinking are shaped over time by the company we keep and the people we trust. Here’s hoping Tony continues to rub off on thought leaders (left and right) in the mainstream media.

On the Presidents Easter Prayer Breakfast Comments

by Rob Schwarzwalder

April 19, 2011

To an eclectic group of religious leaders[1], President Obama spoke movingly today at the White House about the meaning of Easter:

The humility of Jesus washing the disciples feet. His slow march up that hill, and the pain and the scorn and the shame of the cross. And were reminded that in that moment, he took on the sins of the world — past, present and future — and he extended to us that unfathomable gift of grace and salvation through his death and resurrection. In the words of the book Isaiah: But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. This magnificent grace, this expansive grace, this Amazing Grace calls me to reflect. And it calls me to pray. It calls me to ask God for forgiveness for the times that Ive not shown grace to others, those times that Ive fallen short. It calls me to praise God for the gift of … His Son and our Savior.

Remarkable: A pretty clear presentation of the Gospel from a man who arguably is Americas first post-modern President. He even quotes from Isaiah 53, a prophetic passage that describes vividly the suffering of the coming Messiah.

Heres what he said about the Bible:

… in the middle of critical national debates, in the middle of our busy lives, we must always make sure that we are keeping things in perspective. Children help do that. A strong spouse helps do that. But nothing beats Scripture and the reminder of the eternal.

Hes right. Yet Mr. Obamas reading of Scripture seems highly selective. In a speech to the Evangelical Leftist Jim Wallis Call to Renewal conference in 2006, heres what then-Sen. Obama said:

Which passages of Scripture should guide our public policy? Should we go with Leviticus, which suggests slavery is ok and that eating shellfish is abomination? How about Deuteronomy, which suggests stoning your child if he strays from the faith? Or should we just stick to the Sermon on the Mount - a passage that is so radical that it’s doubtful that our own Defense Department would survive its application? So before we get carried away, let’s read our Bibles. Folks haven’t been reading their Bibles.

This statement trivializes serious biblical interpretation. Mr. Obamas apparent philosophy of exposition is that no one can ever say with any real authority thus saith the Lord since, one is left to assume, the Lord said so many obscure, grim, and evidently impracticable things. The Bible according to Mr. Obama becomes a Rorschach blot to which we each bring our own meaning. This is particularly troubling in a President who frequently invokes the Bible in his speeches, often to justify his political stances.

The reality, of course, is that the Old Testament civil code was intended only for theocratic Israel. The ceremonial rituals of Israels religious worship were representative, and fulfilled in Christ. The moral law, however, is constant from Genesis through Revelation. The Sermon on the Mount is Jesus intensification of the Law of Moses, intended to demonstrate both the way His followers should treat others and the inability of fallen men to practice perfectly Gods standards which is why they need the Savior.

President Obama persistently refuses to acknowledge the personhood of the unborn child. He is the strongest advocate for the homosexual agenda ever to work in the Oval Office. His position on religious liberty is captured by the notion that faith is best expressed within the walls of a church, but is taken outside those walls only at the legal peril of the faithful (and if the Employment Non-Discrimination Act were enacted into law, profound intrusions by the state within those four walls would happen, as well).

It is good to read the Presidents expression of Christian faith. Now if he would search the Scriptures and apply them, as appropriate, to public policy, many believers would sing Amazing Grace with even greater gratitude this coming Resurrection day.


[1] The guest list ran the spectrum from the respected Evangelical leader Tim Keller of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York City to Nancy Wilson, moderator of the aggressively homosexual Metropolitan Community Churches.

 

Portrait of an Abortion Zealot: Glimpse of Obama in the NYT

by Cathy Ruse

April 11, 2011

In the midst of the budget debate last week an important premise was planted: That President Obama is willing to risk a lot, and lose a lot, in order to keep the federal spigot open and tax dollars flowing to Planned Parenthood.

The New York Times report on the budget negotiations included this gem:

At one crucial moment in the game of chicken over a looming shutdown of the United States government, President Obama and the House speaker, John A. Boehner, faced off in the Oval Office. Mr. Boehner, a Republican heavily outnumbered in the room by Democrats, was demanding a provision to restrict financing to Planned Parenthood and other groups that provide abortions. Mr. Obama would not budge.

Nope. Zero, the president said to the speaker. Mr. Boehner tried again. Nope. Zero, Mr. Obama repeated. John, this is it. A long silence followed, said one participant in the meeting. It was just like an awkward, O.K., well, what do you do now?

That meeting broke without an agreement. But while Mr. Obama may have held tough on the abortion provision, he and the Senate majority leader, Harry Reid, had already made a broader concession agreeing to tens of billions of dollars in spending cuts that would have been unthinkable had Republicans not captured control of the House from Democrats in midterm elections last year.

Keep in mind, Mr. Obama wasnt protecting a right to abortion, but something even more radical: the right of Americas largest abortion provider to reach into our pockets!

Planned Parenthood has almost one billion dollars in net assets and $737 million in reported revenues, not counting the $363 million from taxpayers. Isnt that a special favor for Big Business?

And what a business. From its most recent report we learn that Planned Parenthood clinics aborted 332,278 American children, about the same number of people who populate the city of Cincinnati. (For more important facts on Planned Parenthood, see this wonderful piece by Susan Wills)

The budget negotiations revealed, again, President Obamas abortion zealotry. We have the Republicans congressional leaders to thank for that. As my colleague Tom McClusky asks: Who is the hard liner on abortion?

The Future of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA)

by Peter Sprigg

March 4, 2011

The federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) was enacted in 1996 by large bipartisan majorities in both houses of Congress and signed into law by President Bill Clinton. It ensured that states would not have to recognize same-sex marriages from other states, and that the federal government would recognize only the union of one man and one woman as marriage.

Yet now, DOMA is under the sharpest attack in its historydespite the fact that four federal courts have already upheld its constitutionality, and no federal or state appellate court has ever said that it violates the U.S. Constitution. In July 2010, however, a single federal District Court Judge in Boston, Joseph L. Tauro, ruled in a pair of cases that the federal definition of marriage in DOMA is unconstitutional. In November 2010, two more federal court challenges to DOMA were filed in New York and Connecticut. In total, there are no less than ten currently pending federal court cases which involve some form of challenge to DOMA. Here are some key questions and answers about the current status of this law:

Q: What did Attorney General Eric Holder announce on February 23 about the administrations position regarding the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA)

A: In a press release and in a letter to Congress, Mr. Holder said that he and President Obama have concluded that one of the provisions of the Defense of Marriage Actthe one which limits the federal government to recognizing only marriages between one man and one womanis unconstitutional. This marked a sharp reversal, since the Department of Justice has submitted several briefs defending the constitutionality of DOMA in previous court cases.

This decision represents a shocking abdication of the Attorney Generals, and the Presidents, constitutional responsibility to take care that the laws be faithfully executed, and sets a dangerous precedent for future executive refusals to defend existing law.

Q: What motivated this change of position?

A: Politics likely played a major role, as the Obama Administration has been under intense pressure from pro-homosexual activists to stop defending DOMA. There is also evidence which suggests collusion between the Justice Department and attorneys who are challenging DOMA and the definition of marriage in court. Attorneys in the case of Perry v. Schwarzenegger, who seek to overturn Californias marriage amendment (Proposition 8) and establish a federal constitutional right to same-sex marriage, filed a Motion to Vacate Stay with the Ninth Circuit, containing detailed citations from the Attorney Generals letter, just hours after the letter was released.

Family Research Council has filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request for any communications between the DOJ and litigants and attorneys in this case or in the cases challenging DOMA in other courts.

Q: Hasnt President Obama opposed DOMA all along?

A: Yes, Mr. Obama favors the repeal of DOMA. However, it is possible to believe that a law represents bad public policy, while at the same time believing that it does not violate the Constitution. This had been the position of the Obama administration until February 23, 2011.

QHow can the Administration justify such an about-face?

A: Earlier cases challenging the constitutionality of DOMA (such as the Massachusetts cases decided by Judge Tauro) had been filed in federal court circuits in which there was controlling precedent saying that classifications based on sexual orientation are subject only to a rational basis testthe most lenient level of scrutiny, under which legislative choices are accorded the greatest deference. The DOJs briefs had argued that DOMA was constitutional by this standard.

The new lawsuits challenging DOMA in New York and Connecticut, however, were filed in federal courts located in a circuit (the Second) without any such precedent. Mr. Holder claims that this caused the DOJ to re-examine the question of the appropriate standard of inquiry, and that in turn led him to declare that classifications based on sexual orientation warrant heightened scrutiny.

Q: What does heightened scrutiny mean?

A: When a law creates a classification that treats some individuals or groups differently from others (in this case, treating opposite-sex couples differently from same-sex couples), it may sometimes be challenged as violating the Constitutions guarantee of the equal protection of the law. However, most laws are judged under a rational basis test, meaning that a legislative enactment will be upheld as long as there is any conceivable rational basis for the classification.

However, heightened scrutiny usually applies to classifications based on characteristics considered immutable and irrelevant to legitimate policy objectives, possessed by groups who are minorities or politically powerless and have been subject to a history of discrimination. The classic examples are race and sex. The Supreme Court has never said that this standard applies to sexual orientation. It would increase the chances of a court striking down laws which limit marriage or its benefits to the union of one man and one woman, such as DOMA.

Q: How did the Attorney General justify this call for heightened scrutiny.

A: Mr. Holder asserted that a growing scientific consensus accepts that sexual orientation is a characteristic that is immutable. However, he cited only one source in support of this contentionone dated 1992. In a footnote, he further claims that discrimination has been based on the incorrect belief that sexual orientation is a behavioral characteristic that can be changed.

In fact the theory that there is a gay gene or that people are born gay has been largely discredited by science since the early 1990s. Studies of identical twins, such as one in the American Journal of Sociology in 2002, support the hypothesis that less gendered socialization in early childhood and preadolescence shapes subsequent homosexuality. And evidence that homosexuals can change has come even from Dr. Robert Spitzer, the psychiatrist who led the effort to remove homosexuality from the official list of mental disorders. In a 2003 study, Spitzer found that changes [in sexual orientation] … were not limited to sexual behavior and … self-identity. The changes encompassed sexual attraction … the core aspects of sexual orientation.

Q: Who can defend DOMA if the Justice Department refuses to?

A: The courts have long recognized Congresss vital interest in defending the constitutionality of its Acts in the rare circumstances that the Justice Department refuses to provide such a defense. This happens as recently as 1983 in INS v. Chadha. The Supreme Court made clear in the 1997 case Raines v. Byrd that individual members cannot assert these interests, as Congress can only act through resolutions passed by the majority. Either chamber may do so individually.

Q: What would it mean if DOMA were struck down by the courts?

A: The immediate result would be federal government recognition of same-sex marriages that are already legal in the state where they occurred. However, if the federal definition of marriage as the union of one man and one woman is found unconstitutional, it would be only a matter of time before the same definition at the state level would be struck downincluding in the 29 states that have put that definition in their own constitutions. This is exactly the remedy sought by the plaintiffs in Perry (the Proposition 8 case), which is now before the Ninth Circuit.

Q: What should be done now?

A: Congress must continue to defend DOMA in court, since the Justice Department refuses to do so. Bills to legalize same-sex marriage must be defeated in state legislatures, and additional state marriage amendments must be adopted defining marriage as the union of a man and a woman. These make it hard for any court to find that there is an emerging consensus in favor of same-sex marriage. Finally, pro-family groups actively involved in the defense of marriage in court, such as the Alliance Defense Fund, and others involved in filing and coordinating amicus briefs, such as Family Research Council, need financial support for these efforts.

It is quite possible that the issue of same-sex marriage will reach the U. S. Supreme Court in 2012 or 2013. Pro-family citizens and office-holders must speak now, or forever hold your peace.

Gettysburg, 2013

by Robert Morrison

November 19, 2010

The City Fathers and, presumably, Mothers of Gettysburg are already planning their Sesquicentennial observance of the 150th anniversary of Lincolns Gettysburg Address. Although it wont arrive for another three years, the main address of the festive occasion will be delivered, God willing, by President Barack Obama.

Thats interesting. The city elders must be assuming that Mr. Obama will be re-elected in 2012. Or, if he decides not to run or is not re-elected, perhaps theyve concluded they want Barack Obama anyway. Its a college town, so perhaps we should not be too surprised.

President Lincoln was not the featured speaker at the dedication of the Gettysburg National Cemetery, held on this day, November 19th, in 1863. That honor went to Edward Everett, the most famous orator in America. In the midst of an already long and bloody civil war, the committee that chose Everett was sending a message. This former president of Harvard, former Secretary of State, was indeed a distinguished man who could be relied upon to do nothing unseemly on this solemn occasion.

Town residents, after all, had only recently been able to return to their homes. The summer air had been putrid with the smell of decaying flesh and the burning bodies of horses killed by the hundreds in the three days of battle.

Edward Everett had been the vice presidential candidate of the Constitutional Union party in 1860; in effect, he had been an opponent of Mr. Lincoln. To invite him to be the primary speaker was a little like inviting Sarah Palin to share the stage with Mr. Obama.

Lincoln gave no hint of being insulted. There is no record of his having said anything the least critical of the organizing committee or of Mr. Everetts invitationbefore or after the event.

Lincoln was happy to add what he might have called his poor mite. And what a mite it was. The 272 words of Lincolns Gettysburg Address used to be memorized by school children in America. At one time, newspaper columnists would be happy to point out that a candidate for high office had learned Lincolns short speech by heart.

Instead, we have today the thrill that goes up and down commentator Chris Matthews leg when Barack Obama speaks. Or, we have Nicholas Kristof of the once-powerful New York Times gushing about how Mr. Obama can recite, in a perfect Arabic accent, the words of the Muslim call to prayer.

Let me make bold to say that the world will little note nor long remember what Mr. Obama says on that important occasion. Thats because the world is not noting what he says now.

Heres a challenge: Ask a friend, preferably a supporter of the President, to quote a single line from the Inaugural Address of January 20, 2009. Or from his Nobel Peace Prize Acceptance Speech. Or from his 2010 State of the Union Address.

He was elected largely on the basis of his incomparable speaking ability, we are told. But what does he say? No one can tell you.

Heres what Mr. Obama said in Springfield, Illinois, on the 200th Anniversary of Lincolns birth:

It is wonderful to be back in Springfield, the city where I got my start in elected office, where I served for nearly a decade, and where I launched my candidacy for President two years ago, this week - on the steps of the Old State Capitol where Abraham Lincoln served and prepared for the presidency.

It was here, nearly one hundred and fifty years ago, that the man whose life we are celebrating today bid farewell to this city he had come to call his own. On a platform at a train station not far from where we’re gathered, Lincoln turned to the crowd that had come to see him off, and said, “To this place, and the kindness of these people, I owe everything.” Being here tonight, surrounded by all of you, I share his sentiments.

But looking out at this room, full of so many who did so much for me, I’m also reminded of what Lincoln once said to a favor-seeker who claimed it was his efforts that made the difference in the election. Lincoln asked him, “So you think you made me President?” “Yes,” the man replied, “under Providence, I think I did.” “Well,” said Lincoln, “it’s a pretty mess you’ve got me into. But I forgive you.”

It is a humbling task, marking the bicentennial of our 16th President’s birth - humbling for me in particular, I think, for the presidency of this singular figure in so many ways made my own story possible.

Isnt it wonderful to know that those 630,000 Union and Confederate dead did not die in vain? That Lincolns own martyrs death combined with those fallen soldiers to make possible the election of Barack Obama?

In the passage quoted above, just first 250 words of a lengthy speech, Mr. Obama manages to make eight references to himselfthis in an address ostensibly honoring the Great Emancipators birth.

Count the references to himself in Lincolns Gettysburg Address. There are none.

Maybe thats why Edward Everett had the grace to write the President: I should like to flatter myself that I came as close to the central meaning of the day in two hours as you did in two minutes.

Happy Birthday, Mr. President

by Jared Bridges

August 4, 2010

In addition to being Wednesday, today is also the birthday of FRC’s Washington, D.C. neighbor, President Obama. To mark the occasion, our neighborly FRC Senior Fellow Robert Morrison penned the president a greeting that turned out a tad too long for a Hallmark card, so our friends at The American Thinker have kindly agreed to publish it:

Today, August 4th, is your forty-ninth birthday, Mr. President. You share your special day with the U.S. Coast Guard. When I served in the Coast Guard as a Russian interpreter, I learned this birthday greeting: Sto lyet. May you live a hundred years!

The Coast Guard recently distinguished itself in attacking the BP oil spill. Although a few are grousing about the Coast Guard authorizing the use of chemical dispersants, my guess is that the embattled folks of the Gulf shore are cheering the Coast Guard. They certainly cheered the Guardsmen back at the time of Hurricane Katrina. The Coast Guard is one of the few federal agencies that nobody is mad at.

Birthdays are a good time for self-reflection. You must be wondering how things seem to have gone awry for you and your administration. You came in promising that the oceans would cease to rise, that the planet would begin to heal. You promised this, only to have billions of gallons of oil spilled on your watch. That BP, the perpetrator, was one of the major supporters of your presidential campaign hardly seems fair.

Read the rest of Bob’s birthday greeting at The American Thinker

Miracle at the New York Times, Trouble for America

by Rob Schwarzwalder

June 18, 2010

We live in a world where the extraordinary has become commonplace.

A laptop computer in a coffee shop in Tulsa can link to a climber on Mt. Everest. We walk into a typical suburban supermarket and are faced with an overwhelming variety of every imaginable foodstuff, from 300 types of ice cream to 15 varieties of mozzarella cheese. Intricate surgery can be performed remotely through electronic “arms.” Finely-crafted telescopes can take us into the far reaches of a previously unexplored universe.

These things are amazing. But this morning I am deeply gratified that I have lived to see the day when the front page printed-edition of The New York Times carries a headline that more generally would befit Rush Limbaugh’s website than the cover of the Gray Lady: “Strong Steps or Oversteps? BP Is Latest Example of Tactic by Obama.”

Do wonders never cease?

The Times cites the President’s successful effort to get BP to commit to a $20 billion compensation fund as a “display of raw armtwisting” through which Mr. Obama “has reinvigorated a debate about the renewed reach of government power, or, alternatively, the power of government overreach.” The article concludes with this: “(Mr. Obama should) avoid painting with such a broad brush that foreign and domestic investors come to view the United States as a too risky place to do business, a country where big mistakes can lead to vilification and, perhaps, bankruptcy.”

This is only the latest episode in which the President has used the pretext of a crisis to seize power. No one excuses whatever legal or ethical lapses BP committed in the Gulf. Eleven men are dead, and countless gallons of crude oil continue to spew into the water around the Gulf Coast.

Yet what would Mr. Obama have done if BP had declined setting up such a massive fund and, instead, stuck to the $75 million mandated by law? Outlawed the firms presence on our shores? Filed a massive, punitive, bankrupting lawsuit?

Mr. Obama used American concerns with our medical insurance system to ram-through an unconstitutional mandate that all citizens possess health insurance, and included in his legislation provisions that provide federal subsidies to abortion providers. Additionally, the impenetrable measure is almost incalculably expensive.

He used a recession to ram through a “stimulus” package that places the federal government in the role of doling out hundreds of billions of dollars to private industry, thereby becoming a principal source of industrial growth. This growth will collapse, however, once the paper on which it is running crumbles in the fiscal wind. Then what?

He leveraged a crisis in the auto industry to make two of the three largest American auto companies fiefs of the federal government, to the point of forcing one of their boards to fire its CEO.

He eliminated private-source education loans, making college students dependent on Uncle Sam for their post-secondary education.

He is seeking to push homosexuals into the military, diminish religious liberty, skewer the public understanding of abortion (by saying we must reduce the need for abortion his Administrations term of art he insinuates that such need sometimes exists), consolidate the private financial system into a federally-run bureaucracy, and make homosexuality culturally normative.

His Treasury Department is pumping out money at an obviously unsustainable rate, placing us on the path to hyper-inflation and, thus, federal seizure of private assets to avert complete default.

Just wait until America faces a serious military emergency - say, another 9-11 style attack. How will this President use it to advance his vision of an America where “solidarity” trumps liberty?

When America’s liberal paper of record wonders about Mr. Obama’s overreach, it’s clear something is registering with even the elites: This is a different kind of presidency, a giant step down the road to serfdom described in the 1940s by Friederich Hayek.

In 1781, Thomas Jefferson - as much a prophet as a future President - wrote in his Notes on Virginia, “Dependence begets subservience and venality, suffocates the germ of virtue, and prepares fit tools for the designs of ambition.” From entitlements to stimulus packages to assorted federal power-grabs, we are at grave risk of becoming a subservient people, intellectually anesthetized by the superficial veneer of government-induced prosperity and security at the cost of our liberty, prosperity, self-reliance and, most essentially, virtue.

The Bible warns us not to place our trust in princes (Psalm 146:3), and for a reason: Our confidence must be in God and, as citizens, in the pathway for public life laid out in the Constitution.

Is it? And if it is, shall we oppose the collapse of the America we have known and love? The answer seems clear, if only we will act on it.

Obama Will Now Aggressively Use Executive Power

by Chris Gacek

February 16, 2010

A deeply worrisome article appeared in the New York Times on Saturday (2/13/10). It has received much attention on Mondays radio programs. The article by Peter Baker is entitled Obama is Making Plans to Use Executive Power for Action on Several Fronts. Baker tells us that the President is preparing an array of actions using his executive power to advance energy, environmental, fiscal, and other domestic policy priorities. And Baker continues with this observation, Any president has vast authority to influence policy even without legislation, through executive orders, agency rule-making and administrative fiat.

Translation: now that various Obama legislative (i.e., democratic) efforts have failed, it is time to force his policies on the nation through the diktat available to the head of the American federal administrative state. Of all the items mentioned in the article, the most destructive is probably the Administrations plan to begin regulating carbon emissions via the Environmental Protection Agency. This will be enormously costly for the American economy, and it comes at a time when the science supporting man-made climate change is collapsing. (See these articles as evidence: here, here, here, here and here (listed on Mark Levins website.) The collapse of scientific support may provide some minimal chance that the federal courts might block or alter EPAs rulemaking efforts, but EPA clearly has the upper hand in any litigation. Congress needs to eliminate EPAs authority to regulate carbon emissions until some scientific clarity emerges.

In a slightly differently category is the Administrations apparent decision to stop enforcing the militarys Dont Ask, Dont Tell which is statutorily mandated and has been in effect for approximately 16 years. It seems axiomatic that if the administration wants to change the policy, Congress needs to change the law.

The article deals at length with presidential recess appointments, and President Obamas threat to make use of them. The use of holds by members of the Senate seems to have gotten out of hand. All that said, the appointment power is far different from unilateral executive branch lawmaking which was never remotely considered by our Founding Fathers. And, here, we see plans for this constitutional abuse to be taken to new levels.

America is rapidly becoming a judicial and bureaucratic oligarchy. This institutional development is a threat conservatives and libertarians need to focus on much more seriously. This development is even more dangerous when coupled with the crony capitalism (corporatism) that is emerging from government ownership or subsidization of American industries. The United States is beginning to resemble the corrupt England of George IIIs era where commercial monopolies were sold by the Crown drawing the ire of the American colonists and men like Adam Smith.

Staggering Increase in Education Spending for 2011

by Chris Gacek

February 4, 2010

Well, I checked the facts, and the Politico was correct. I only doubted the reporting due to the massive amount of President Obamas proposed increase in education spending. Could it possibly be true? Tuesdays February 2nd Politico column by Eamon Javers and James Hohman on the newly released proposed federal budget contained this text on one of the Winners Education:

Obama calls for ramped-up education spending. Department of Education outlays would increase from $32.4 billion in 2009 to $71.5 billion in 2011. Obama puts money into a laundry list of initiatives, from a $1.6 billion increase in child care funding to making permanent the expansion of Pell Grant payouts.

He has sought to please his supporters in the powerful teachers unions by pushing to rework the unpopular parts of Bushs No Child Left Behind Act. Now hes trying to put $3 billion more into K-12 education generally, with up to an extra $1 billion if Congress reworks the education system in the way he wants this year.

If you look at the 2011 budgets section for the Department of Education (pp. 63-68), go to page 68 and look for the line entitled Total, Outlays. There one finds that the actual 2009 budget for the Dept of Education was $32.409 billion and that the projected amount for 2011 is $71.479 billion. By my calculation that is a 121% increase in two years.

I am not an expert on direct loan programs, but on the same page the figures for disbursements increases from $100.7 billion (2009 actual) to $135.0 billion (2011 projected) a 34% increase over two years. This Congress wants to enact a statute to federalize the student loan programs, so the budget contains this gobbledygook comment: This measure would then use savings to make historic investments to increase college access and success, and would lay a foundation for success for Americas youngest children. What does that mean? $$,$$$,$$$,$$$.$$ Good grief.

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