This is a ludicrous editorial, Texas Dems hold water money hostage for school funding. Let me get this straight, we’re supposed to believe that the Democrats – who are in the minority in both houses and hold no statewide office – are responsible for holding up the water bill? I call BS.
State Rep. Lon Burnam, a Fort Worth Democrat, and I have a simmering disagreement over the House’s failure to finance a 50-year water plan. Burnam and other Democrats say they won’t give up water funding until they get school funding in trade.
The money for water infrastructure and more is available in the state’s almost $12 billion rainy-day fund. The idea is to put that much in a revolving fund to help entities across the state sell bonds for water projects. Burnam and others are blocking the way.
“House Democrats believe Texas should first restore the $5.4 billion cut from public education before spending money from the Rainy Day Fund for other issues,” Burnam and Rep. Chris Turner wrote in a letter to the editor published last week. “And since a drawdown from the Rainy Day Fund requires the support of two-thirds of the House, the minority party has more leverage than usual — and we intend to use that leverage to help our schoolchildren.”
I say the Dems are wrong. I don’t blame them for their tactics, but it’s not smart to use rainy-day fund money to pay for ongoing operation of schools.
Rainy-day money should be used either in a crisis or in one-time allocations to pay for things that won’t have to be paid for over and over again. If it’s used to help restore the $5.4 billion cut from schools two years ago, that same hole will have to be filled again when the Legislature meets in 2015, and again in 2017, and again in 2019, and so forth.
Burnam and others have told me it’s worth the risk that they’ll be able to come back in two years and find more stable funding. I don’t buy that.
Texas has the money this year to adequately and properly fund schools. If lawmakers choose not to do that, or if their definition of adequate funding differs from what educators or others might say, that’s their responsibility.
But it shouldn’t come from the rainy-day fund, and it shouldn’t block passage of the proposed one-time funding for water infrastructure.
So the Democrats want a deal to vote for the using the RDF to pay for water. Which begs the question, why does the GOP need the Democrats at all? Well, it’s because too many of their members don’t want to spend any money from the RDF, and their earlier scheme to fund water out of GR (General Revenue) failed. Here’s the answer, if the entire GOP caucus in the House (95 members) was for using $2 billion from the RDF to fund water, it’s entirely likely they could peel of 5 – 10 Democrats and get it passed. But the GOP is so far away from that getting all 95 R’s that they need many more Democrats then that.
And in politics, often times, to get someone to get to yes there needs to be compromise. So it’s looks totally “parisan hackish” to blame the powerless minority, when the powerful majority can’t even keep itself in check. Why is it that the Democrats are to blame and the ones that have to compromise their principals to pass Republican legislation? It makes no sense.
The blame for this lies directly with the tea party representatives, aka Perry and the wing nuts, and the voters that elected them. They are the hostage takers. Again, we have $12 billion in reserves, even with another bad budget estimate from the Comptroller, and huge needs for water, transportation, public transportation, and health care. And we’re being lead to believe that the best thing for our state is to leave that money alone, continue to neglect our priorities, and continue in the same downward spiral. Again I call BS.
Why can’t we have funding for transportation in Texas? Or public education? Or health care and Medicaid expansion? Or higher education? Or water? Or the many other things that we need in this state? The DMN’s Transportation Blog sums it up pretty well.
Transportation lobbyists say they have been counting votes on the bill and believe they have enough commitments of support. At the same time, there is the possibility that some of these “supporters” are privately telling Speaker Joe Straus that they don’t want to have to vote on a fee increase and would be grateful if the bill died in Calendars.
For the tea party, a fee increase is no different than a tax increase, and supporting one could be political suicide for some GOP members.
Many Republicans fear the wrath from the tea party right more than they value support from the business community, and Texas business has been nothing if not foursquare behind better funding of roads. Let the transportation system crumble under the stampede of new Texans, and the Texas miracle evaporates. [Emphasis added]
To bring some conservative holdouts on board, the rest of the money in a hybrid plan could come from general revenue dollars. That would mean less money for universities, public education and nursing homes, among other things, that rely, in part, on general revenue money. Using that money could assuage enough freshmen conservatives, who oppose using rainy day fund money — or just about any other increase in spending. Still, any proposal using general revenue dollars could be a nonstarter for Democrats, depending on how unified they remain. [Emphasis added]
There it is folks, that’s the GOP’s goal in Texas. Why, when we have plenty of money in our state to pay for all of these things, would our elected leaders be hoarding money, and unwilling to pay for them? Because they believe that those things above are unworthy of support. It’s why they’re leaving $100 billion in Medicaid money on the table. They have health care and can’t understand the suffering of those who don’t.
These people believe that’s just the way life is. The only way to get decent medical care and fully protect yourself from financial calamity is to get rich. Really rich. It’s the catch-all answer for everything that ails you. Anyone who doesn’t has only herself to blame.
What has become clear regarding passage of any payday lending regulation this session, is that what can pass is what the industry will allow The Lege to pass. It’s pretty easy to see why when looking at all the money the industry has spread around, Payday-Funded Pols Push Tepid Loan Reforms.
Advocates trying to reform Texas’ runaway predatory lenders have been hamstrung by the awkward degree to which this industry finances political campaigns.
Loan sharks have invested almost $4 million in Texas’ past two elections. Public officials recently doubled their industry indebtedness, jumping from $1.1 million in 2008 to $2.3 million in 2012. During that period, out-of-state predatory lenders ramped up their share of the industry’s Texas campaign expenditures to 27percent.
The Texas Senate approved a bill to regulate short-term lenders on Monday night, a milestone some thought the chamber wouldn’t reach after a personal and divisive floor fight on Thursday.
But with the measure’s author, state Sen. John Carona, R-Dallas, calling the highly altered bill an “ugly baby,” it remains to be seen whether the measure is viable enough to get through the House.
The bill passed with versions of the six amendments Carona brought with him to the floor last week, but seven other amendments got tacked onto the bill, including one from state Sen. Wendy Davis, D-Fort Worth, that would bring payday lenders back under the control of existing small-loan regulations.
That provision is similar to one in a bill state Rep. Tom Craddick, R-Midland, introduced, which was lauded by consumer advocates but has long been seen as politically troublesome.
Carona’s point seems to be that it’s better to get something, because soon the payday lenders will own The Lege completely.
If lawmakers are forced to wait to address the issue until next session, “this industry will be so much wealthier, so much more politically powerful that you won’t be able to say no,” he said. “You won’t be able to hold the line.”
But [Sen. Wendy Davis of Fort Worth] said that the lending industry, which has spent millions of dollars in political contributions and lobbying expenses on the issue, will likely ratchet up the pressure as the debate shifts to the House.
“They’re going over to the House and try to kill it,” she said. Davis told senators there are 3,500 payday and auto title storefronts in Texas, more than the number of “Whataburgers and McDonalds combined.”
Critics have accused lenders of subjecting consumers to steep interest and fees forcing them into continued debt. Industry officials say lenders are performing a valuable service to borrowers in need of cash, including the elderly and the working poor, but have said they welcome reasonable legislation to provide a “safety net” for those who chronically fall behind in repaying their loans.
Carona has said his bill is designed to break the cycle of debt for consumers who are forced to pay steep fees of or recurring loans. Under the bill, multiple-payment payday loans and auto title loans may not extend beyond 180 days and cannot be refinanced.
It would require a limited number of extensions of credit and a “cooling-off” period in which the borrower has to be without debt to any of the lenders.
It would be great if our elected leaders would actually pass a payday lending bill that is best for the people of Texas and not their campaign accounts.
The economic collapse of 2008 brought with it an onslaught of wage theft, according to the Austin-based Workers Defense Project. At the end of the week, construction workers sometimes walk away with $4 or $5 an hour, sometimes less, sometimes nothing.
“Ninety percent of the people who come to our organization have come because they’ve been robbed of their wages,” says Cristina Tzintzun, the Workers Defense Project executive director.
The organization has co-authored a report with the University of Texas, Austin, that examines working conditions in the Texas construction industry. For more than a year, WDP staff and University of Texas faculty canvassed Texas construction sites, surveying hundreds of workers and gathering information about pay, benefits, working conditions and employment and residency status.
Cheated workers keep working, Tzintzun says, because contractors dangle wages like bait from one week to another, paying just enough to keep everybody on the hook.
Two workers died when a crane collapsed under windy conditions at a University of Texas, Dallas, campus site in July 2012. OSHA cited the construction company with six serious safety violations and levied a $30,000 penalty.
Jack White/Courtesy of The Dallas Morning News
“We’re talking large commercial projects, even state and county projects,” she says. “So it’s a problem that’s widespread in the industry.”
If wage theft is a nasty cousin of slavery, Tzintzun says there’s a deeper, more fundamental sickness affecting the Texas construction industry: the misclassification of construction workers as independent contractors instead of as employees.
“We found that 41 percent of construction workers, regardless of immigration status, were misclassified as subcontractors,” she says.
It works like this: Pretend you’re an interior contractor, drop by the Home Depot parking lot and pick up four Hispanic guys to install Sheetrock for $8 an hour.
By law, these men are your employees, even if just for the day. But in Texas, as in many other states, it’s popular to pretend they’re each independent contractors — business owners. Which means you are not paying for their labor but for their business services.
With this arrangement, the contractor — you — don’t have to pay Social Security taxes or payroll taxes or workers’ compensation or overtime. Instead, you pretend the undocumented Hispanic worker you’ve just paid in cash is going to pay all those state and federal taxes out of his $8 an hour himself.
“Our estimation is that there’s $1.6 billion being lost in federal income taxes just from Texas alone,” says the Workers Defense Project’s Tzintzun. The report estimates that $7 billion in wages from nearly 400,000 illegally classified construction workers is going unreported in Texas each year, resulting in billions of dollars in revenue lost owing to institutionalized statewide payroll fraud.
“It’s really the Wild West out there,” Tzintzun says.
Homes in Texas are cheap — at least compared with much of the country. You can buy a brand new, five-bedroom, 3,000-square-foot house near Fort Worth for just $160,000.
But that affordability comes at a price — to workers, many of whom are in the country illegally and make $12 an hour or less, but also to business owners.
Let’s say you own a big Texas construction firm, and you want to run your business the right way. You try your darndest to hire only legal workers and pay them a decent salary plus benefits.
Most importantly you pay all your taxes, Social Security, unemployment — everything you’re supposed to — just like a normal company in other industries.
So, how’s that working out?
“There’s no way you can compete,” says Stan Marek, CEO of the Marek Family of Companies, one of the largest commercial interior contractors in Texas. They’ve been in business 75 years, but Marek says the past four have been extremely difficult.
“When someone is paying less per hour, no workman’s comp, no payroll taxes, [no] unemployment — we can’t overcome that,” he says.
Undocumented Laborers, Working For Cash
There are certainly no Texas high school graduates building a retaining wall in Dallas’ upscale Highland Park neighborhood on a recent day. Well, unless you count Trent, the owner of a landscape construction company. Trent, who asked that NPR not use his last name because the IRS might take an interest in his business, designs and builds landscapes in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.
“I don’t pay anyone by the hour. In fact, I treat the guys that work on my crew as subcontractors — they are self-employed,” he says.
This is a key distinction. If Trent were to classify his workers as employees, he’d have to pay taxes, Social Security, unemployment and overtime. But by saying his workers are actually independent contractors — in essence, business owners — he’s off the hook.
Trent says his workers have been working with him for years. He has between four and seven laborers per day on most projects. And he knows most of them don’t have papers. “I would say 10 percent are documented,” he says.
Trent pays his workers a fixed amount per project, in cash. If the job takes a little longer than expected, nobody asks for more money. On average, each worker makes $70 a day, more if they’re skilled.
Trent says he doesn’t know if any of his guys are paying taxes. “That’s their business,” he says. “If I were to speculate, I would probably say they are not paying their Social Security [taxes]. I would also say that they’re probably not filing their income tax returns on a regular basis.”
An Underground Economy
The University of Texas and Workers Defense Project study estimates that $7 billion in wages go unreported from nearly 400,000 illegally classified Texas construction workers each year. It’s evolved into a massive underground economy, the report says, that cheats the state and federal government of billions of dollars in taxes and revenue each year.
Trent says he’d be happy to classify his workers as employees and pay the government all it’s owed as long as his competition does the same. But the reality is that Trent often finds he’s underbid on landscape projects, even though he’s paying his undocumented workers $70 a day.
“The fact of the matter is that the people that I’m competing against have the same large pool of undocumented workers to use on their crews,” he says.
Trent says blaming him for the nation’s immigration problem is like blaming an Army corporal because a war was lost. He says he didn’t make this competitive playing field or the Texas or Mexican economies. He’s one 40-year-old man in landscape construction, he says, doing the best he can.
“If there wasn’t such a readily available supply of laborers that are looking for work in my exact line of business, then I would say I am doing wrong and that I should play by the rules,” Trent says. “I don’t feel as though I’m doing anything wrong.”
Trent says this is now the way the construction business is done in Texas, and that nobody seriously worries about enforcement. There aren’t enough IRS agents in the world to make a dent.
The cheaters are winning, driving wages down for everyone else, and our elected leaders stand by and do nothing.
For all the talk of the Social Security system running out of money, it is well established that raising or eliminating the cap on the wages subject to payroll taxes would guarantee a healthy Social Security system for many decades, and do so without cutting benefits or raising the retirement age.
Only the top 5.2 percent income earners would pay more in payroll taxes if the cap were completely eliminated; if the cap were eliminated for income over $250,000, only the wealthiest 1.3 percent would pay more. Both estimates come from the Center for Economic and Policy Research.
Nevertheless, these routes to ensuring the promises made to workers that they could rely Social Security benefits are kept is little discussed on Capitol Hill. And even though the national Democratic Party has presented itself as the defender of Social Security, Remapping Debate discovered a profound unwillingness among most Democratic senators to identify their position on the issue.
New polling shows older Americans overwhelmingly resisting President Obama’s effort to pare back cost-of-living adjustments for seniors, veterans and the disabled as part of his budget overture to the GOP.
Nearly 70% of those age 50 and older oppose lowering the annual inflation adjustment, including robust majorities of Republican, Democratic and independent voters, according to a survey by an independent firm released Monday by the AARP, the powerful seniors lobby.
Seventy-eight percent oppose applying the reduction to veterans’ benefits.
Obama will propose the inflation adjustment tweak in his 2014 budget, which will be formally unveiled Wednesday, as he tries to broker a deficit-cutting deal with Republicans who have favored the move. The proposal will likely be discussed as Obama courts GOP senators at dinner this week.
It sort of puts into perspective arguments about why politicians need just a little more public help to support things like serious gun control or climate mitigation, doesn’t it?
The fact is that politicians on both sides are often willing to support very unpopular stuff that does damage to the economy. The bottom line, though, is that it can’t hurt rich people or big corporations. As long as it it’s grandma taking the hit, who cares?
In other words the only people that are for it are those who will not be hurt by it’s effects. Instead of discussing cutting Social Security we should instead be talking about Social Security’s needed expansion.
HUFFINGTON: But they haven’t even introduced a plan. You know George you can’t say that the Congress wouldn’t pass it, they wouldn’t –
KRUGMAN: If I could interrupt this debate for a second and respond. The administration, they have a difficult choice to make. Do they talk about what they should be doing? Or do they talk, do they position themselves? In fact, nothing is going to happen.
And what they chose to do is not to talk about what they should be doing. They chose to do, if you like, a halfway cut between what we should be doing and what’s actually going to happen, which is nothing at all.
HUFFINGTON: You’re basically saying that it’s okay for the administration to simply position themselves –
KRUGMAN: I’m not so sure that’s a good idea
HUFFINGTON: instead of trying to do something for the real crisis?
KRUGMAN: I’ve talked to them. They understand this right? I’ll say a word on their behalf. They understand that we should be doing more stimulus, we should not be doing all this austerity –
They know it’s a loser and yet they persist. That’s nothing I or most Democrats voted for in 2012. There is a potential “right” way for chained CPI to be done, but there are so many caveats that it could never be done right in our current political system.
Once upon a time, there was a place called Lesterland. Now Lesterland looks a lot like the United States. Like the United States, it has about 311 million people, and of that 311 million people, it turns out 144,000 are called Lester. If Matt’s in the audience, I just borrowed that, I’ll return it in a second, this character from your series. So 144,000 are called Lester, which means about .05 percent is named Lester. Now, Lesters in Lesterland have this extraordinary power. There are two elections every election cycle in Lesterland. One is called the general election. The other is called the Lester election. And in the general election, it’s the citizens who get to vote, but in the Lester election, it’s the Lesters who get to vote. And here’s the trick. In order to run in the general election, you must do extremely well in the Lester election. You don’t necessarily have to win, but you must do extremely well. [Emphasis added]
The Republican Party of Texas and three state politicians who control the Texas Enterprise Fund (TEF) collected $5.3million in political money from donors affiliated with $307 million in Enterprise Fund grants.
An analysis of 106 Enterprise Fund awardees finds that political committees, executives or investors associated with 38 state-funded projects contributed $3.6 million since 2000 to Governor Rick Perry, Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst and House Speaker Joe Straus—the very officials who oversee TEF. TEF-linked contributors gave almost $1.7million more to the Republican Party of Texas
With a budget that passed the House last week that is far from what’s needed, this shows who is really benefitting from our current political system – the Texas Lesters.
In the wake of President Barack Obama releasing his bad budget proposal we need to seriously look at why. Why is he proposing a budget with cuts to programs that large majorities of Americans don’t want cut? It mostly has to do with this, Democracy and the Policy Preferences of Wealthy Americans.. And this.
Basically Obama is doing what the wealthy in this country want and not what the people want. But that’s the way our country works now. (See above).
Nevertheless, both cuts are bad ideas. The Medicare change is based on a model of health economics which fails to understand how health care decisions are made in the real world and relies on old (and challenged) studies, including one from the RAND Corporation, which claim such cuts reduce the use of unneeded services without reducing the use of necessary care.
As for the “chained CPI,” it’s already been dissected at length (we included a small compendium of critiqueshere).
Seniors and near-seniors today are facing a retirement crisis of tragic proportions, which a New YorkTimes’ editorial outlines. That underscores the fact that these changes are both unwise and unkind.
The politics are equally disastrous. The President’s early flirtations with these kinds of cuts contributed to a25-point plunge in support for Democrats on the question of who has better ability to handle Social Security. Polls in 2010 showed that President Obama was even less trusted than George W. Bush on the topic – even after Bush tried to privatize the program, which would have been disastrous after the 2008 financial crisis.
Polls continue to show that voters across the political spectrum oppose these kinds of cuts – “hate” isn’t too strong a word – and would even be willing to pay more in taxes to protect Social Security. These cuts might become be the most unpopular domestic policy decision in modern history.
How would that affect Democrats? When Obama and Boehner agreed on the “chained CPI” last December,CNBC ran an article headlined “How You Could Be Affected by Obama’s Social Security Plan.” Not “Obama and Boehner’s plan” – Obama’s.
Does anybody doubt how these cuts will be presented to the public – or how they’ll be remembered?
Josh Marshall does his best to try and explain.
But there’s the third point that I think is most important to understanding what’s going on here. This isn’t only about President Obama’s negotiating acumen. In conversations with the president’s key advisors and the President himself over the last three years one point that has always come out to me very clearly is that the President really believes in the importance of the Grand Bargain. He thinks it’s an important goal purely on its own terms. That’s something I don’t think a lot of his diehard supporters fully grasp. He thinks it’s important in longrange fiscal terms (and there’s some reality to that). But he always believes it’s important for the country and even for the Democratic party to have a big global agreement that settles the big fiscal policy for a generation and let’s the country get on to other issues — social and cultural issues, the environment, building the economy etc.
This has always struck me as a very questionable analysis of the where the country is politically and what it needs. But I put it forward because I don’t think these moves can really be understood outside of this context.
Time to take action. If we don’t unleash holy hell, this will go through.
Even though we’ve been warning you for a long time, it’s still hard to believe that a Democratic president is offering up the crown jewels of Democratic policy — and for a mere pittance. We need to fight back. You can call or write your congressperson or the White House if you want, but it’s most useful to start with your senators. Tell them you’re not willing to starve Granny to make the Republicans happy.
We’re going to concentrate on the Senate, because they’ll probably send a bipartisan bill to the House in order to bypass Boehner’s Hastert rule. Even if you called last week, call today. Be prepared to call every day for the next week. (Here’s the link.) Please leave a note in comments telling us how your call went.
President Obama will release a budget next week that proposes significant cuts to Medicare and Social Security and fewer tax hikes than in the past, a conciliatory approach that he hopes will convince Republicans to sign onto a grand bargain that would curb government borrowing and replace deep spending cuts that took effect March 1.
Obama will break with the tradition of providing a sweeping vision of his ideal spending priorities, untethered from political realities. Instead, the document will incorporate the compromise offer Obama made to House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) last December in the discussions over the “fiscal cliff” – which included $1.8 trillion in deficit reduction through spending cuts and tax increases.
“The president has made clear that he is willing to compromise and do tough things to reduce the deficit,” a senior administration official said, “but only in the context of a package like this one that has balance and includes revenues from the wealthiest Americans and that is designed to promote economic growth.”
All the forces were marshaled to stop Bush from cutting Social Security, those same forces need to come together again to stop Obama from doing this. The way to fix Social Security is to take the cap off. This is wrong in so many ways, and sad too. Brains and Eggs has more.
The local nonprofit WBC Opportunities – headquartered in Round Rock – is being forced to cut nearly $400,000 from its senior Meals on Wheels and Head Start programs due to federal spending cuts spurred by sequestration.
Scott Ferguson, WBCO director of development, said the nonprofit will have to adjust its $14.2 million overall annual budget to reflect the cuts. The agency serves Williamson and Burnet counties. In addition to Meals on Wheels and Head Start, it also offers emergency assistance to clients and is involved with affordable housing programs.
“As we were developing the budget, some of our federal funders were already saying, ‘we are going to have less funding than expected and you need to shorten your budgets,’” Ferguson said, “because this was coming down the pipeline.”
The cuts have led WBCO to lay off two part-time workers, reduce hours for two others and pursue additional ways to reduce its budget.
Ferguson said through the program, WBCO served about 161,000 meals to 1,400 senior citizens in 2012.
The Head Start program provides education to children 5-years-old and younger, to help them become successful school students. A WBCO facility on Bagdad Road in Leander houses the Head Start and Senior Activity Centers programs.
Ferguson said the cuts have created a waiting list for Meals on Wheels – a first for the nonprofit. But he added that current services for seniors and children will not be changed.
“No, we’re not closing any of the programs, but we won’t be able to meet the need fully of everyone that requested and qualifies for it,” he said.
Ferguson said the best way for helping WBCO is donations.
“We can use the donations to buy food and milk for our seniors so that they can continue to age with dignity and have a healthy nutritious meal each day,” he said.
Needed items for Head Start are diapers, unscented baby wipes, construction paper, manila paper, copy paper, crayons and new age-appropriate puzzles for children age 5 and younger.
Tackling issue ranging from fiscal responsibility to party unity, District 31 U.S. Rep. John Carter addressed a group of about 100 people Monday, during the Williamson County Republican Women’s monthly luncheon.
Carter spoke about the ongoing budget sequestration battles, as well as his clashes with prominent Obama administration members such as U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano.
But the former Williamson County district court judge – while known for being fiercely partisan – advised the GOP faithful they’re wasting time if they focus their efforts on trying to impeach the president.
The Round Rock Republican said he frequently gets asked about impeachment – and said it’s a hot topic among GOP bloggers – but emphasized it is not a realistic legal option.
Carter said he thinks Obama is wrong on many issues, but that doesn’t equate to treason or the other impeachment standard outlined in the U.S. Constitution – the commission of “high crimes and misdemeanors.”
“Is he doing a lot of stuff I don’t like?” Carter said at the Williamson Conference Center gathering. “You’re damn right he’s doing a lot of things I don’t like. But if ever there was a theme that we as Republicans ought to hold to, it’s the rule of law that holds people together.”
Carter downplayed the negative effects of ongoing sequestration – the automatic spending cuts that took effect March 1, when Republicans and Democrats in Washington, D.C. could not reach agreement on taxing and spending issues.
“The sky is not going to fall,” Carter said, noting the mandatory cuts will affect U.S. armed forces, but military leaders are prepared to deal with them.
Yet Carter said he is no fan of sequestration, stating: “Sequestration is the stupid man’s way to cut the budget. What’s wrong with sequestration is every program gets cut equally.”
That’s right if you’re elderly the sky’s not falling, but your food may not be coming either. That is definitely stupid and cruel as well. And we all know what a waste early childhood education is.
These are learned skills which allow children to practice self control, pay attention, control their emotions, wait their turn, follow directions and listen to teachers. These are school-readiness skills that Grunewald and other child development experts say research shows remain with children into adulthood.
These are skills essential to life success, they argue.
Ask Grunewald to demonstrate his claims and he points to re-assessment or ongoing analysis of well-known early childhood education efforts — the Perry Preschool Project in Michigan, Chicago Child-Parent Centers and the Elmira Prenatal/Early Infancy Project — by respected academics, among them James Heckman of the University of Chicago and Arthur Reynolds, now at the University of Minnesota.
Their research “substantiated the long-term effects with high rates of returns,’’ Grunewald said.
By that he means the early scholars graduate from high school and college in greater numbers than those who didn’t have early childhood education. They are less likely to have problems with the law as juveniles. As adults, they are more likely to be employed and paying taxes, healthier, homeowners and financially solvent..
As for dollars-spent benefits?
For every $1 spent on early childhood programming, the return is from $4 to $16, Grunewald says, depending on the program.
Cutting programs indiscriminately is stupid, but compromising on a solution that cuts in a sane manner is even dumber we’re supposed to believe. That Carter has to first tell the crowd that impeachment is not realistic goes to show just how far out many of Carter’s most vociferous supports are.
Whether or not the “sky is falling” or not has everything to do with where one is on the economic scale. For Carter and his supporters, things may be alright. But if you’re in need of help from the government the sky is definitely closing in.