President Obama proved me wrong last night in his jobs-jobs-jobs speech. Since he took office, I’ve been saying that he had achieved the impossible by being worse than George W. Bush. Now he has transformed himself into Mt. Rushmore material.
Look at what he said about teachers and public schools. It was even more remarkable that a Democrat said it. He said that the United States has foolishly doubled per-pupil spending in inflation-adjusted dollars over the last 40 years, with nothing to show for it. He went on to say that teacher unions are a conduit in which money flows from gullible suburban Republican soccer moms to the campaign coffers of Democrats. He admitted that wiring classes for the Internet and furnishing them with nifty computers does nothing to raise test scores, not when bad teachers can’t be fired because of union work rules, not when teachers major in diversity and neo-Marxism in college instead of hard subjects, and not when millions of kids don’t have dads at home to kick them in the ass when they misbehave and don’t study. Even more amazing, he pissed off his construction union allies by saying that the nation doesn’t need any more Taj Mahal schools.
To the last point, he used as an example the high school in the small Penn. town of Bradford, where much of the population lives in ramshackle homes and where industry has vacated the town because school taxes and other taxes are so high. After spending gazillions on renovating the high school and building a gleaming new grade school, the school district was running out of spending schemes. But never underestimate the ability of bureaucrats to spend other people’s money. They came up with the great idea of spending a million bucks to put artificial grass on the football field, thus causing soccer moms to swoon and football dads to pat their beer bellies and grunt like real he-men. Look for test scores to skyrocket in Bradford.
Then Obama said something that made me wet my pants. To wit:
The bare-boned Catholic high school in town had to close, although it produced better results at far less cost than the public school. Why? Because working-class Catholics could no longer afford private tuition and the ever-increasing taxes for public schools. Some in my administration think this is good, because they think that religion is the opiate of the masses and competes with government for people’s souls. But I think it’s a shame that people can’t afford to exercise their right of religious freedom and send their kids to parochial schools.
Obama then turned to the subject of veterans, saying that he wasn’t going to use veterans as a political football to take votes away from a traditional Republican constituency. I actually stood up and cheered when he recited how much money is spent on veterans and how many are double-dippers.
He reminded me of my Army officer days, when, after active duty, I served in the Army Reserves for eight years. Some of my fellow reservists were patriotic and even heroes, but many of them spent their weekend drills counting their retirement points from the Reserves and from their regular jobs as teachers, firefighters, and other public-sector occupations. They would brag to tax slaves like me in the private sector that they were going to retire from the Reserves and their day jobs in 20 years with nice pensions and benefits. Unlike their private sector peers who worked ungodly hours and traveled on business extensively, they were able to climb higher on the military promotion ladder because they could get time off whenever they wanted for extra Army training, including Command and Staff College, which was a requirement to become a field-grade officer.
Shivers went up my leg when Obama went on to say that cutting FICA taxes was not a way to create jobs, jobs, jobs. The way to create jobs, jobs, jobs, he said, was to cut the income tax so that small business entrepreneurs who are taxed at the personal income tax rate aren’t penalized for creating jobs, jobs, jobs.
The Republic is saved.
I think I’m in love.