More union bailouts who’s feeding whom? 

Barack Obama criticized Republican Representatives Tuesday for characterizing a $26 billion bill ostensibly designed to reduce teacher layoffs as a “special interest measure.” President Obama called the House Republicans’ lack of support “partisan.”

Teacher layoffs "should not be a Democratic problem or a Republican problem. It's an American problem,” said the President.

It’s not even the teachers who are getting bailed out. It’s the teachers’ unions. Without unions teachers would easily stay employed. As it is, unions buoy the entire market, hiring less qualified individuals at grossly exaggerated rates.

Indeed, unionized teachers aides earn twice as much as nonunionized aides. Yet most direct-hire aides hold advanced degrees or teaching certificates, while the typical unionized aide lacks a four-year degree.

Writes the WSJ:

Unions exist to advance the interests of their members. The problem is that unions present themselves as student advocates while pushing education policies that work for their members even if they leave kids worse off. Until school choice puts more money and power in the hands of parents, public education will continue to put teachers ahead of students.

Indeed, this $26B is a lowball estimate. The Congressional Budget Office suggests the figure will loom closer to $33B in deficit spending.

Financing for the bill comes from a credit from future food stamps. Food stamps themselves were designed as a short-term, supplemental safety net for families temporarily out of work. The original framers of the food stamps safety net probably promised their respective congressional colleagues the program would end entirely by 2010, not used as a buffer for deficit spending as we march towards 2014!

Food stamp usage has increased steadily since the program’s inception, according to the Christian Science Monitor:

The latest data released by the Department of Agriculture shows that, on a year-over-year basis, household participation has increased 25.22% while individual participation, as a ratio of the overall population, has increased 21.64% over the same period.

Bloomberg News reports that “participation has set records for 18 straight months.” More than one in eight Americans receives a monthly food-stamp supplement this fiscal year, an average of 40.5 million people.

Will ending the food stamp program not be a partisan issue?

When Congressmen in 2014 attempt to collect the debt democrats accepted, will future governors remember how earnestly at least one side of the aisle pleaded to rob tomorrow’s mouths to feed teachers today?


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Staff Report

Staff Report

A daily newspaper covering San Francisco, San Mateo County and serving Alameda, Marin and Santa Clara counties.
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