Thursday, February 28, 2013

Obama's Education Secretary Openly Lies About The Effects of the Sequester, Washington Post Calls Him On It

Why anyone would believe a single word coming from any mouthpiece of the current Administration is far beyond me.  Just this week, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan has lied through his teeth three times regarding the apocalyptic effects of sequestration; his claims were bad enough that the Washington Post, hardly a right-leaning paper, gave his claims 4 Pinocchios, their worst rating:
Duncan’s claim, on one of the Sunday morning shows, that teachers were already getting pink slips because of the looming sequester was actually the second time he had made this assertion.

“I was on a call yesterday, people are starting to give RIF [reduction in force] notes,” Duncan said in a meeting with reporters Feb. 21, three days before his appearance on CBS. “Schools are already starting to give teachers notices.”

Oddly, however, the Education Department for days was unable to cough up the name of a single school district where these notices had been delivered. Then, on Wednesday, Duncan appeared before the White House press corps and produced a name — Kanawha County in West Virginia — with a major league caveat. “Whether it’s all sequester-related, I don’t know,” he said...

In fact, no one in the county seemed to know what Duncan was talking about, including the education reporters who cover the school district for the Charleston, W.V., newspapers. “There’s very little sequestration-related panic, at least on the education side of things,” one reporter said...

The administration has been on thin ice with some of its claims about the impact of the sequestration cuts. Duncan’s assertion that “as many as 40,000 teachers could lose their jobs” also appears to be hyperbole...

There is little debate that across-the-board spending cuts in education funding will cause pain for some schools and states. But there is no reason to hype the statistics — or to make scary pronouncements on pink slips being issued based on misinformation.

Indeed, Duncan’s lack of seriousness about being scrupulously factual undercuts the administration’s claim that the cuts are a serious problem.

Duncan made this claim not once, not twice, but three times. Let this be a teachable moment for him: Next time, before going on television, check your facts.
That's about as close as the Post is going to get to saying "liar, liar, pants on fire", so I just said it for them.


maxutils said...

The federal budget should have no influence on education spending, in any event. It's beyond the scope of its constitutional powers.

allen (in Michigan) said...

The tack the administration's taking is that sequester's a catastrophe of biblical proportions. That the 1.5% cut in the budget will result in the collapse of the economy probably resulting in widespread cannibalism and even worse, a questioning of the unquestionable truth that taxes are too low and always will be.

Arne's just toeing the administration line.