We are days away from “the fiscal cliff”. Republicans are scared because of the mandatory tax increases, and Democrats are scared because of mandatory spending cuts. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan is warning of the automatic 8% cut to his department.“The sequestration will put at risk all that we've accomplished in education and weaken programs that help children, serve families, [and] send young people and adults to college.” No doubt sequestration is supremely stupid as a way to execute cuts. Something government forces upon itself and then tries to save itself from itself. Rather than go through each department and have them cut 8% as they best see fit, we just cut everything 8%. Maintaining the mediocrity… just less effectively.
But I guess those cuts are better than none, because even when government proves their own programs could be completely abolished, with no down side, they don’t. Here’s a great example of that! Almost 3 years ago in January of 2010 the Department of Health and Services published a report that had been requested by President Obama. The report showed that the Head Start program which was started in 1965, with the best of intentions,is in fact a colossal waste of time and money. It was supposed to take 3 & 4 year olds from low income families and give them an educational foundation so they would be at the same level when they enter Kindergarten as the kids from middle class and upper income families, whom had access to pre k schools.
After studying 5000 low income kids half of which participated in Head Start and the others sitting it out, they scored the same in Kindergarten tests, and again in first grade. There was no advantage for the kids who participated! So the Head Start kids wasted 2 years trying to get ready for kindergarten and the American tax payer wasted 7 billion a year. When that report came out in 2010 you might think the government would say “we gave it a great shot, but apparently it doesn’t help anyone so we should let the kids go back to playing and save that 7 billion dollars”. Well of course you didn’t think that! Because government bureaucrats need to spend money to save their jobs! So they upped the budget and threw another couple of billion at it. Yes the 2010 budget went up to 9.2 billion. Last year Republicans were called heartless and greedy when they voted for a bill that would cut Head Start’s budget by 2 billion. The 2012 budget still had 8.2 billion blown on Head Start. In 2008 President Obama said; "I want to go through the federal budget line by line, programs that don’t work, we cut". Maybe if the President did that we wouldn't be in this mess? That sounds just crazy enough to actually work! Till then we need sequestration to force the government to stop spending $1.46 for every dollar it brings in.