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Senator Patty Murray co-chairs the deficit commission but can’t connect dots

By Mencken’s Ghost

August 11, 2011

Democratic Senator Patty Murray of Washington State has been selected as the co-chair of the deficit commission.  She is a superb choice to address what is wrong with the country, because each time she looks in a mirror, she sees what is wrong.


It is discouraging to realize that hundreds of thousands of Washington State voters have been snookered by her platitudes, nostrums, notions, and blather.  Now shallow thinker Murray is being trusted with saving the country from the terrible fiscal effects of the very same nonsense that she has endorsed all of her political career. 


Ironically, the state motto of Washington is the Chinook Indian word “Al-ki,” which translates into “hope for the future.”  With people like Murray leading the country, there is little hope for the future.


Totally unable to connect dots, and totally without the introspection, education and self-awareness necessary to be embarrassed about not being able to connect dots, Murray co-authored an op-ed in the August 10 edition of the Wall Street Journal, showing, for all to see, that she is unable to connect dots.  Her co-author was Senator Mary L. Landrieu (D-LA), who also can’t connect dots.


The dynamic duo outlined their notions for closing the skills gap in America.  They also detailed some of the sorry facts about the failure of public education--that “90 million adults have literacy skills so low that success in postsecondary education and training is becoming more challenging,” that “high school graduation rates are falling,” that “young adults are now less educated than their parents’ generation was,” and that 67% of smaller businesses say that it is difficult to find skilled workers.


Let’s connect the dots for Murray.


Dot One is her litany of the failures of public education.  Dot Two is her work experience.  (Before entering politics, she served as a school board president, was a PTA member, and ran a grassroots campaign to save a local preschool program from budget cuts.)  Dot Three is her sponsorship of legislation while a state legislator to reduce class size and hire new teachers.  Dot Four is her work as a U.S. Senator to increase Pell grants to “make college more affordable,” to quote from her official biography.


Unable to connect the dot of public education failures with the dot of her faith and experience in central planning, bureaucracy, and endless spending, Murray can’t even see the following other dots:


Dot Five:  The damage done to public education by teacher unions, which share an ideological bed with Murray.


Dot Six:  The plummeting productivity of the public education monolith, due to the more than doubling of U.S. per-pupil spending in real terms over the last 50 years while test scores stagnated and dropout rates increased. 


Dot Seven:  The perverse effects of Pell Grants and other government money on higher education, including the cheapening of a college degree, the escalation of college costs, and the politicization of faculty (which Murray no doubt likes). 


Dot Eight:  The terrible tragedy of left-liberal welfare programs, which fueled out-of-wedlock births and single-parent families; which in turn fueled academic problems, behavioral problems, disciplinary problems, and dropout problems; which in turn fueled more left-liberal welfare programs; which in turn keep the downward spiral going downward.


Not only can’t Murray connect or see these dots, but, liker her president, she also has never worked in the private sector.  Yet, having helped to critically damage public education, she now knows what needs to be done to close the resulting skills gap so that the private sector can find qualified workers.


Naturally, she sees more central planning, more government programs du jour, and more platitudes, notions and nostrums.   To quote from her embarrassing Wall Street Journal op-ed:


A critical first step [in closing the skills gap]:  reauthorizing and reforming the Workforce Investment Act, our nation’s foundational work-force development policy.  We also need to expand innovative approaches that have produced results, such as career pathways programs that provide labor-market information to students and job seekers about in-demand jobs, and the skills and education necessary to get them.


NBB:  Nothing but blather.


The people of Washington State should be embarrassed.  But they probably can’t connect dots, either.