Obama, Democrats threaten to fire cops, firefighters, and teachers

Accepting his party’s nomination for reelection on September 6th at the Democratic National Convention, one of the many straw men President Obama railed against was, “I don’t believe that firing teachers or kicking students off financial aid will grow the economy.”

The Obama campaign trotted out a similar attack over the summer against Mitt Romney, repeatedly alleging he wants fewer “cops, firefighters, and teachers”. But this line of attack is nothing new – Democrats have been cynically threatening to cut those jobs first for years, every time anyone suggests reining in profligate government spending.

In 2009, as President Obama was attempting to defend his $800 billion+ “economic stimulus” bill in the face of continuing weak economic growth and high unemployment, the president argued that, “without the help the Recovery Act has provided to struggling states, its estimated that state deficits would be nearly twice as large as they are now, resulting in tens of thousands of additional layoffs – layoffs that would affect police officers, teachers, and firefighters.”

In 2010, Democratic Congressman Steny Hoyer said, “I think the Republican leadership in the House misconstrues what the American public believes is appropriate to do in this instance. They don’t want to see teachers laid off. They don’t want to see class size explode. They don’t want to see police and fire [fighters] laid off.”

In October 2011, the Democrats offered a $35 billion so-called “jobs bill” specifically targeted at funding local police, firefighters, and teachers, which was defeated in the Senate.

Leaving aside for now the fact that police, firefighters, and teachers are not federal employees, why is it always those same three occupations being threatened with cuts, the very first to be put on the chopping block by the Democrats, whenever government budgets need cutting?

Normally an organization that needs to cut its budget will begin by prioritizing its spending, then focusing cuts on lower priorities. When families need to trim their own budgets, they cut discretionary spending first, not food or rent. So simple logic suggests that Democrats consider those three classifications to be the lowest budget priorities. Or, just maybe, the politicians are being a tad cynical. Maybe they’re not laying out the grim budgetary facts so much as issuing threats. It’s kind of like the old mafia protection racket: “Nice school you’ve got there, it’d be a shame if anything were to happen to it…”

The reality is, President Obama and his fellow Democrats don’t want to cut the budget at all. In fact they’d like to continue with year-after-year increases. (Any budget “cuts” they do offer tend to be phony and under extreme duress.) So they need to scare people away from spending cuts. And saying “our opponents are going to cut 20 percent of the faceless bureaucrats in some agency you’ve never heard of” just isn’t going to fire the imagination of the average citizen/voter the same way threats against “police, firefighters, and teachers” will. People rightly admire and respect these professions, so threats against them resonate. But cynically threatening these professionals for political gain is neither admirable nor respectful. Unfortunately, such threats have been a staple of Democrats’ political rhetoric for many years.

State Democrats get in on the act too. In California, Governor Jerry Brown is threatening to cut teachers if his tax-raising ballot initiative isn’t passed by voters – but there’s very little talk of cutting the bloated education bureaucracy.

Over the long term, education spending (and government spending generally) is up dramatically. And as noted by Heather Mac Donald of the Manhattan Institute, “…since 2006, full-time [university] administrators have outnumbered faculty nationally.” But again, we rarely if ever hear any calls from the supposed champions of public education to cut any of that bureaucratic overhead, it’s always threats to cut teachers.

The right way to do budget cuts, if the goal is to maximize efficiency while minimizing the negative impacts on the public, is to find waste in the budget and cut there first, and to eliminate entirely programs that are redundant or more properly handled by the private sector.

But for politicians like President Obama and his legislative comrades, it’s better politics to maximize the negative impacts on the public, or at least to threaten them. So they talk as if every dollar spent by the government is vital to the survival of the republic, and the smallest cuts will bring pain and misery on every American, beginning of course, with every police officer, firefighter, and teacher. When Democrats complain of threats to public safety and education, remember that it is they who are doing the threatening.

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Democrats: Negotiate with foreign tyrants, but not with Republicans

Democrats pride themselves on their willingness to engage in diplomacy, to negotiate, to sit down and “dialog” with practically anyone. Senator and presidential candidate Barack Obama indicated during a recent debate that he would meet personally with leaders like Fidel Castro of Cuba, Hugo Chavez of Venezuela, and even Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran, who has called for the elimination of Israel and “Death to America.”
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SCHIP Chicanery

Even by Washington, D.C. standards, where spin and duplicity are too often the rule, the debate over the expansion of the SCHIP program has been particularly dishonest.
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The Supreme Court doesn’t exist just to rule on abortion

Within minutes of President Bush’s nomination of Judge John G. Roberts for a seat on the Supreme Court, the usual suspects went into action.
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No Rational Basis for Redefining Marriage

San Francisco Superior Court Judge Richard Kramer ruled last week that the ban on ‘same-sex marriage’ in California is unconstitutional, saying the ban violates the “basic human right to marry a person of one’s choice,” and that he could think of “no rational purpose” for limiting marriage to two people of opposite gender. If the judge is really that limited in his thinking ability, he should be removed from the bench at once.
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States Rights, Democrats’ Flavor of the Month

This week President George W. Bush offered his support for the idea of amending the U.S. Constitution to define marriage as a union between one man and one woman, and to prevent the courts from imposing same-sex marriages on the entire country by judicial fiat. Liberals, predictably, went nuts, with accusations of bigotry, disregard for the Constitution, etc.
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On the Fifteenth, Remember the Tenth

It’s tax season again, with the dreaded date of April 15th just passed, so everyone has been focused on getting their returns filed on time, grumbling as they write a check to the IRS, or celebrating the eventual return of a small part of their own money, held interest free by the government for the past year, in the form of a tax refund.

Additionally, the Bush Administration has proposed, and Congress is now considering, another round of tax cuts. Democrats, of course, object to any return of taxpayer money to taxpayers.
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Pinkos for Peace

The marches held this past weekend to oppose military action against Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein, like many such events in recent months, were organized by International ANSWER, a front group for the communist Workers World Party, and the International Action Center, whose website includes support of the oppressive and murderous regime in North Korea. I don’t know about you, but when I think of peaceful regimes, North Korea is not exactly the first country that springs to mind.
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Tort Reform, the Medicine Our Legal System Needs

Efforts to avoid costly lawsuits affect all Americans, whether they’ve been directly involved in a suit or not. Companies often settle frivolous suits out of court, in fear of greater losses at the hands of juries, driving up prices for products everyone buys. Doctors will order extra tests when diagnosing patients, just to try to avoid malpractice claims, driving up the cost of medical care for everyone. Surgeons in West Virginia have recently been involved in walkouts, to protest malpractice insurance costs that are skyrocketing due to litigation. Doctors in other states have considered similar actions.
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Get Serious

When America needs the big, important stuff done, it’s better to have adults in charge. Thus, even many who complained that “Bush stole the election” in 2000 and said he was “selected, not elected” breathed a sigh of relief after September 11, 2001, when they realized that Al Gore was not in the White House.
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Gray Davis, Anti-Choice

When Democrats like California Governor Gray Davis boast of being “pro-choice” they really mean that they’re pro-choice when the choice is abortion, because they are anti-choice on virtually every other issue. From schools, to SUVs, to smoking, to guns, on practically every issue besides abortion, the liberal Democrats are “no-choice” not “pro-choice.”
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The Home Buyer Gap

It used to be an easy choice on election day – if you wanted the race-pandering, wealth-redistributing demi-socialist, you voted for the Democrat. If you favored colorblind equality under the law, less bureaucracy and regulation, and free markets, you voted for the Republican. Well, the political waters just got a little bit murkier. The Bush Administration has launched an initiative to close the “home ownership gap” with various programs aimed at increasing the number of minority homebuyers.
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Occupation is No Excuse

Secretary of State Colin Powell headed off this week to the Middle East, and the land of make-believe, where Yasser Arafat is not a terrorist, and “our good friends the Saudis” have a new peace plan. Good luck, Mr. Secretary.
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Dealing with the Race Card

Judge Charles Pickering appeared before the Senate Judiciary Committee last week as a nominee to the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, which covers the states of Louisiana, Texas, and Mississippi. Judge Pickering is a sitting federal District Court judge in Mississippi, confirmed by the Senate for that position in 1990. The Democrats on the committee, working in conjunction with various left-wing interest groups, set out to derail Pickering’s nomination, because he doesn’t fit with their desire that all judges be liberal activists.
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Education Business As Usual

This week, President Bush signed into law a new education bill, touted by many as “landmark” reform. The bill essentially boils down to increased federal funding and more standardized testing. Failing schools will be rewarded for their failure with increased funds. It is a typical liberal “throw more money at the problem” response. As proof, Senator Ted Kennedy is enthusiastically on board.

Education Secretary Rod Paige said in April 2001, “…after decades of business-as-usual school reform, too many of our nation’s children still cannot read. After spending $125 billion of Title I money over 25 years, we have virtually nothing to show for it. Fewer than a third of fourth graders can read at grade level.” What we were offered this week is more business as usual, with a much higher price tag.
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God Bless the ACLU

In the wake of the terrorist attack on September 11th, demonstrations of patriotism and of religious observance have been pervasive. From members of Congress singing “God Bless America” on the capital steps to President Bush’s call for a National Day of Prayer and Remembrance, government leaders have joined regular Americans in these demonstrations of faith and patriotism.

Of course, not everyone is in agreement that this is a good thing. The radical secularist left, led by the ACLU, People for the American Way, Americans United for the Separation of Church and State, and others, believes these public affirmations of America’s Judeo-Christian heritage are an abomination.
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Voting Rights and Wrongs

The Voting Rights Act of 1965 prohibits discrimination based on race in voting, and also prohibits actions such as literacy tests or poll taxes designed to prevent individuals of a particular race from voting. It’s also illegal to gerrymander voting districts in order to dilute the vote of a minority group so that their candidates of choice are effectively prohibited from winning elections.
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Violence is Violence

Lest we forget, there wasn’t just one incident of school violence in the past two weeks. The story of Charles Andrew Williams, the 15-year-old high school freshman who killed two of his classmates and injured thirteen others in Santee, California is all over the national news. It’s on the front page of every major newspaper in the country. There’s ongoing analysis on every cable news channel, with panels of experts brought in to tell us what it all means, and what needs to be done to prevent it from happening again.
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School Testing, the Scientific Way

Politicians from Democratic California Governor Gray Davis to Republican President George W. Bush have made student testing in public schools a centerpiece of their education plans. President Bush’s plan would require testing of children every year in math and reading from the third through the eighth grades, and would tie federal education funds to test results.
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The N Word

California Lieutenant Governor Cruz Bustamante recently caused a great furor and was compelled to apologize profusely for accidentally using a racial epithet. Speaking last month at a Black History Month event attended by about 400 people, Bustamante apparently meant to say the word “Negro” as he recited the title of an early black organization. Evidently, he slipped and the word ‘n*gger’ accidentally came out of his mouth. He has apologized repeatedly, and there is no reason to believe that his apologies were not sincere.
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