“Long Term Race to Collectivism On Schedule”
“The Race to Centralize Education”
By Ken Thornberg
The press and media today tell us that our U.S. Dept. of Education (DOE) is spending $63.7 billion dollars serving 56 million students. There is a lot of opposition to some of the GOP candidates who would like to do away with this unconstitutional sinkhole. Well, president Obama’s Education Secretary, Arne Duncan, has now told us that his department will work to make American children into “good environmental citizens” through federally subsidized school programs, beginning as early as kindergarten, that would instruct them about climate change and prepare them “to contribute to the workforce through green jobs…preparing our children to be good environmental citizens is some of the most important work any of us can do.” Of course, we must remind ourselves that this funding has come from us, not some invisible donor. And we must also remind ourselves that the National Education Assn. is not going to allow a conservative thought to interrupt their brainwashing. How many of my readers have a clue what they are actually saying in these classrooms? That’s what I thought—none of us. We have spent $3 trillion in federal funds on education, tripling what is spent today from where we began in Jimmy Carter’s era.
The Cost of Regulation Skyrockets
So what has that money gotten us? First, we are being pushed into national testing which would eventually create a national curriculum written by the most left wing educators you can find. That will help guarantee mediocrity and eliminate any local control such as we have now. What the DOE has done is tax citizens and then tell state politicians that if they want some of the money, they must “voluntarily” obey federal rules. As an example, the federal stimulus bill had a $4.35 billion pool of “Race to the Top” money, whereby if anyone wanted to compete for it, they would have to endorse the Common Core State Standards Initiative and agree to adopt its standards. To all of these are tied strong federal ropes. Second, the U.S. has finished strong among all other nations. Unfortunately, they have gone the wrong direction. Where we tested among the top 3 nations for decades, we have now dropped to 30th. So how has all that federal money helped, other than in emptying our wallets and driving our debt higher?
My friends, this isn’t about education; it is about federal power. The more states and localities can be rendered dependent upon federal dollars, the more power accrues to the liberal educational establishment. And the quicker the New World Order entrenches itself into every home.
The current annual total burden of federal regulations (not including state and local) according to a recent Small Business Administration study is about $1.75 trillion. There is a hue and cry over a White House-sponsored regulation review that says there could be a savings of $1.5 billion, hardly more than the cost of the review! So this proposal would save about one-tenth of one percent of the cost of complying this coming year. Aren’t you impressed? But get this! The $1.75 trillion is far more than the total of all individual income taxes collected in the U.S.! The number is nearly DOUBLE! And that regulatory costs figure absorbs 11.9% of the U.S. gross domestic product (GDP).
So what kind of regulations are in the hopper? The EPA still wants to install a cap-and-trade energy tax through the back door. The FCC is poised to regulate the Internet. The NLRB is threatening to establish a presumption of retaliation against any business that moves jobs from a forced unionization to a Right-to-Work state, as if it is any of their business! The Dept. of Interior is trying to create a new designation for “wild lands” that have “wilderness characteristics” as a way of blocking access to the lands in the West and is also considering vast new national monument designations under the 1906 Antiquities Act. The purpose: to lock up resources! How many of you have written your Congressmen and Senators to tell them to beware this illegal act? My readers should know that this last example could affect their business directly.
Let’s look at some stats. In 2010, federal agencies issued 3,573 rules, none of them reviewed by Congress. Of the 4,225 rules presently in the pipeline, 224 are “economically significant,” meaning they wield at last $100 million in economic impact. So much for simple, little rules! Regulatory costs exceed all 2008 corporate pretax profits of $1.463 trillion, and these same costs dwarf corporate income taxes of $157 billion.
EPA Has Taken on Hitlerian Persona
Some of my readers have had run-ins with the EPA. Said the Wall Street Journal, “It took a Presidential-level review to get the EPA to stop treating spilled milk like an oil slick.” We could not have said it better.
The EPA has publicly stated that it does not even think about the potential loss of jobs when it makes its analyses. It also considers itself, by law, to be prohibited from considering costs in coming up with its regulations for such major statutes as the Clean Air Act. It admits that its new ozone standard will NOT be met by 96% of all counties in the country! The Oil and Gas Journal reports that even Yellowstone Park would not meet the rules! Folks, something is horribly wrong with a country that touts that it is free on one hand and then plans for counties to deliberately fail in meeting new rules! Gee, do you think we will lose jobs over that one? Could it stifle investment? Manufacturer’s Alliance and MAPI have determined that 7.3 million jobs will be lost if this takes effect, plus there will be an additional $1 trillion in regulatory costs each year between 2020 and 2030. All of this while our potentate of red tape says our modern regulatory system must promote economic growth.
Given that Washington spent $3.7 trillion in 2010, a projected 2011 deficit of $1.5 trillion means that government will borrow nearly 40 cents of every dollar that it spends, making banks very, very happy and taxpayers very, very sad. That is the equivalent of financing the entire discretionary budget including defense, homeland security, international, transportation, education, veteran’s health, housing, justice, natural resources, environment, and community development spending. All borrowed. What would happen to you and your home if you ran it the same way?
Foundational Shifts Threaten Property Rights
Much of this lackadaisical attitude toward spending has been identified by several attitudes spoken to by Amity Shales, a syndicated columnist for Bloomberg. She says, “There is arrogance at the top. The federal government is dilettantish (superficial interest) with money and exhibits disregard and even hostility to all other players. It is only as a result of this that economic recovery seems out of reach.” Shales went on in her speech to talk about property rights, or better stated, the lack of them. She pointed out that the mortgage crisis arose out of a long-standing erosion of the property rights concept—first on the past of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, but also on the part of the Federal Reserve. Homeowners didn’t understand the obligations they had after being taught that home ownership was a “right.” I agree with Shales on this one—the entire concept was debased. She went on to discuss three other threats to property rights today:
- Tax increases, because it means less private property.
- The area of infrastructure. Stimulus plans, if you didn’t notice, emphasize these. This will give government an enormous license to use eminent domain to claim private property for these purposes.
- Inflation, the worst kind. Profligate spending encourages it.
Either property rights become firmly established and the courts become willing to enforce existing law rather than ignore it, or our nation is totally doomed.
One last point. The president recently spoke of Congress as a political circus, accusing it of harboring an attitude that claims “the only thing it can do to restore prosperity is just dismantle government, refund everyone’s money, let everyone write their own rules, and tell everyone they are on their own.” Can anyone see anything wrong with that? Have a nice day dreaming and fantasizing about what you would do with all that money.