The Eternal Stimulus

posted at 12:00 pm on August 14, 2010 by Mike Antonucci

Only now, as the edujobs bill has overcome its largest obstacle in the Senate, are people beginning to ask questions about how this is all going to work.

The Texas constitution may keep that state from receiving $800 million.

Nebraska is in line to receive about $59 million, even though Jess Wolf, president of the Nebraska State Education Association, said, “We haven’t lost a lot of teachers at this point, (but we’re) certainly fearful that we might.”

I can’t say I’ve read every statement about the edujobs bill, but I certainly don’t recall anyone saying the money was needed to reduce fear.

Maryland should receive about $179 million, yet the Washington Post notes, “officials have no estimate of layoffs for the school year that begins in a few weeks.” The Baltimore Sun reported “most of [the state’s] school systems are not planning to lay off teachers,” and that several were hiring new ones.

The money can be used to increase teacher salaries, which will be good news in Wisconsin, where education employees are scraping by this year with average compensation increases of only 3.75 percent, instead of the average 4.13 percent they’ve enjoyed since 1993.

Even before the Senate vote, the “yo-yo effect” of pink-slipping then rehiring teachers continued.

In California, 82 Santa Cruz teachers were called back and in Vallejo a total of  58 teachers had their layoff notices rescinded, leaving only 20-30 still out. In Scranton, Pennsylvania, teaching positions will likely be safe for the fall.

Politico reports on grousing from House Democrats, stating that “some of their vulnerable members will feel like they have to walk the plank, yet again, on a politically unpopular economic-stimulus agenda, while reminding voters of their failure to handle routine budget work this year.”

What’s a measly $10 billion out of nearly $700 billion in annual spending on public education anyway? Well, it’s the notion that the people who are drowning in the ocean are bailing out the people in the lifeboats.

A few weeks ago, the Nelson A. Rockefeller Institute of Government ginned up a neat little report, based on Bureau of Labor Statistics data, on the nation’s job situation. Figure 1 is a depiction of the change in employment since the start of the current recession. The blue, yellow and green lines are the public sector. The red line is the private sector.

There’s more. After 30 months of recession, local government education employment (the category where most teachers and support employees reside) has yet to approach a one percent decline.

Of the 35 states for which we have data, 13 lost jobs in the education sector from the spring of 2009 to the spring of 2010. Mississippi was unchanged. The other 21 states had education employment increases – including New Jersey, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania.

It is highly likely that many of the teachers who were laid off this year – whose jobs we are now trying to save – were only hired because of last year’s stimulus money. They are essentially wards of the federal government. If this is the road to economic recovery, then we should simply hire as teachers all of the nation’s unemployed.

After such a huge victory in the Senate, you might think the teachers’ unions would be content to get out with the $10 billion, but they’re already raising the specter of perpetual bailouts. Richard Iannuzzi, president of New York State United Teachers, said the additional money only allows districts to delay the inevitable for a year because revenues are not suddenly going to rebound anytime soon.

The federal government is now firmly in the business of hiring and paying your local school teachers according to the flawed and self-interested projections of district administrators and teachers’ unions. It won’t be so easy to go back.

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We don’t want teachers to make one penny more. They are socialists anyway. They should enjoy working for free for the glory of the state. What’s more, their raises are more than the rate of inflation. Their buying power keeps going up. Yet they continue to vote for whomever is the most left on the ballot.

keep the change on August 14, 2010 at 12:06 PM

How much of this money is going to the underfunded teacher’s pension funds?

byepartisan on August 14, 2010 at 12:07 PM

This is exactly what the Democrats want.

Look at what happened in Atlanta. Shocking? Yeah. Looking like Europe? yeah.

Where were the Democrats?! Didn’t want to touch it because it’s political dynamite? No. This IS what they want.

They want people to distrust capitalism. This is how you induce socialism. You don’t think government salaries larger than private sectors is a fluke do ya? Look at California… Oops, I can’t reduce salaries to minimum wage because the computers won’t let me. Okay, here’s a raise, Oooh hey I can put that in the computer right away…

This is a systemic, orchestrated campaign to destroy the American system of capitalism and remake it as a socialist controlled government. Individuals looking for employment AND Individuals looking to start their own businesses have been locked out of the system. Only companies with large capital, provided by banks that, now, must cater to the political whims of Obama’s executive office so they will force union shops which increase the cost of business which, in turn, increases the political base of the Democrats are allowed.

Just getting control of the House and Senate by Republicans won’t stop this. Obama will veto everything while the SEIU and other unions now fully funded by the actions of this corrupt government over the last several months will wage a PR war unlike GOD has ever seen.

Obama HAS to lose in 2012 as well or the socialist progressives will win through sure inertia in irrevocably destroying this country.

And don’t think Obama’s support for the Mosque is because he was Muslim. I guarantee the DNC just made a boatload of cash from Saudi Arabian financiers… BP or Exxon drill for oil in America? nnoooo, that’s bad… buy it from Saudi Arabia? Good.

Skywise on August 14, 2010 at 12:12 PM

That was one of the most blatant ripoffs of public money I have ever seen just to bribe public employee unions to GOTV.

Is it November yet…?

NeoKong on August 14, 2010 at 12:12 PM

And what will next years excuse be?

You’ll notice that it’s always teachers, cops and fireman who fall under the ax first. No mention of cutting legislator salaries, per diem payments, car allowances, or staff allowances.

How convenient.

GarandFan on August 14, 2010 at 12:15 PM

Seems fairly obvious that this smoke and mirror show is all about govt growth and power. Did this bill do anything? No, as was stated this will merely postpone the layoffs until next year. As we barrel along into a “double dip” recession (although to be fair, I thought you had to come out of the first one to be labeled double dip)we can all look forward to next years “emergency” spending and bailout bill to further entwine the federal govt’s overreaching control and tendrals into the local levels.

Koa on August 14, 2010 at 12:22 PM

And what will next years excuse be?

GarandFan on August 14, 2010 at 12:15 PM

It’s all George Bush’s fault. Feel free to ask a hard question.

Tommy_G on August 14, 2010 at 12:39 PM

I think the second state bail-out is acceptable to voters. I really do. The third will not be.

I also think that Obama shot his own foot off, yet again, with the idiotic issue over the mosque at Ground zero.

He gives and he then behaves like so many black politicians, relying upon some wispy partisan group.

oy vey.

AnninCA on August 14, 2010 at 12:45 PM

I’m actually a teacher for 2 main reasons:
1. It fits with my lifestyle as a rancher’s wife (I’m his ‘hired man’ in the summer)
2. I like working with kids better than adults

I can’t complain about my salary + benefits-but every school district is different (as well as in every state) as to how we are compensated.The only complaint I have is that I should not be paid the same as someone else who did not have to get a ‘rigorous’ degree like I did. That burns me up. I also get paid the same as someone else who has 3 prep periods to my 1. That’s crap.
In our rural school-K-12 ~220 kids-local control is very real. The union here does not really have loads of influence.Our school has gone to crap bcs of the community. People are not standing up for & doing what is right. They are not stepping forward to help lead & so the same old corrupt morons keep running everything into the ground.
I know that elementary teachers are a dime a dozen, but at the HS level, things are different.
Math & science are hard to fill. Especially since here you would be the only one in your department-teaching it all.
All in all, working only 182days/yr, I figured roughly with my benefits included, I make ~$33/hr.
How can anyone complain about that?
And that’s in ND where we are paid less than every other state practically.
But in the end, I have no problem leaving teaching & getting a job in the private sector.
I would wager to say many of us science & math teachers are far more conservative minded than your avg teacher.
Perhaps it’s the courses aimed at logical thinking we went through.
Finally-public schools don’t have to take federal $$ & I believe with all the mandates attached to such $$ it’s cheaper in the long run for them to refuse it & work within their local budget.
So much $$ gets wasted.
It’s apalling.

Badger40 on August 14, 2010 at 12:47 PM

People are just now sinking into the reality of a long-term depression. Next year? They’ll not even object to kids being in classrooms of 35 or more.

We’re finally beaten down. There is no fix. There is no real hope, even.
We’re a country spiralling downward, and the public is ready to accept that reality.

Look for the fight to go out of even the teaparty.

Everyone is down to brass tacks now. And I think the voices which shift to solutions and out of DC talk will be the ones people really hear.

I personally think people have known, for several years, that this nonsense of us being a completely consumer country was nuts.

They just went along for the ride.

Well, the ride has ended.

AnninCA on August 14, 2010 at 12:48 PM

The first stimulus was a state bailout plan, too, and I still can’t figure out why the GOP couldn’t figure out how to make that clear to the public. But they didn’t. It became a crazy GOP message about “strings attached.”

I think Sarah straightened out that message pretty well in this interview.

But look for the lingering effects of the rest of the GOP’ers, with stiff hair.

They really aren’t all that bright.

AnninCA on August 14, 2010 at 12:51 PM

Badger40 on August 14, 2010 at 12:47 PM

You’ll always have a job. Math and science?

Oh please.

AnninCA on August 14, 2010 at 12:53 PM

I think we are nearing the end of the begining here. It’s obvious that the Fed Gov and the big spending States are approaching economic implosion. The only question is when.

bitsy on August 14, 2010 at 12:58 PM

Our Congress has failed
(they have to spend and grab more and more control, they are the BORG of the Republic).

The White House has failed
(Both party leaders have let us down, grabbed more control over our lives and want even more now thru OBAMACARE).

The courts have failed
(Gay marriage, Arizona not being able to protect our borders, McCain/Feingold limits to free speech, etc).

The voters have failed
(We’ve continued to elect career politicians that want to grab power, take our freedoms and write us a check with other peoples monies…….and WE THE PEOPLE haven’t held them to account for it).

November 2010 (and the primaries before that) are perhaps our last chance to plug the holes in the U.S.S. United States of America. We must elect more CONSERVATIVES, Founder and Constitutionalist friendly representatives to help us plug the leaks or this ship is going down…..and the world will sink into the abyss of darkness and totalitarianism.

PappyD61 on August 14, 2010 at 1:01 PM

These people see the edge coming and they just don’t care. They are all just jockeying for position to be the one that snatches the last couple billion before the car goes flying off the side of the cliff.

tommyboy on August 14, 2010 at 1:03 PM

I personally think the US is actually bankrupt. And both the GOP and Dems will have to take responsiblity.

We have simply reached the end of a cycle.

And we’re now back to what could be a fairly interesting spot……pre-global domination.

It’s not that disastrous. Just pull out, regroup, and we’ll be fine.

AnninCA on August 14, 2010 at 1:06 PM

Badger40 on August 14, 2010 at 12:47 PM

Hate the unions, not the union members.

The outrage here is the entire bill, not the fact that some states don’t need it. If it only went to states that ‘need it’, it would be a bailout of democratic-voting states, and that would be just as bad. This simply delays the need to address the festering problem of public-employee unions.

slickwillie2001 on August 14, 2010 at 1:10 PM

The Dept of Education should be dissolved.

notagool on August 14, 2010 at 1:27 PM

I will be in favor of more money for teachers when we get a fair amount of reliable evidence that children are learning more. Until then, the evidence all indicates that more money has just been a major cause of poorer educations for our kids.

snaggletoothie on August 14, 2010 at 1:28 PM

I personally think people have known, for several years, that this nonsense of us being a completely consumer country was nuts.

They just went along for the ride.

Well, the ride has ended.

AnninCA on August 14, 2010 at 12:48 PM

Uh… we’ve ALWAYS been a consumer country.

Skywise on August 14, 2010 at 1:30 PM

At least one thing is for certain. When this latest stimulapalooza bill of Pelosi’s does a proverbial nosedive and crashes into a smoldering smokey hole in the ground, the Democrats will not even have so much as wiggle-room in trying to pin the blame on Bush!

The colossal failure of this one, they and they alone will own.

pilamaye on August 14, 2010 at 1:31 PM

The lure of free money is a potent one.

After a while, the collective population develops the powerful notion that “work” as in expending effort to accomplish something is for suckers. Why sweat, why take personal risks, why open yourself up for possible failure if government can take care of all your needs?

Was a time when getting free money from government was anathema to most Americans. Now, it is expected. From the politicians point of view such is vital, necessary in order to win votes, maintain power.

So, looking at free money….seems nobody gives a damn as to where it is coming from anymore…except for those who are being robbed, having their life and livelihood crushed by government in order to give free money to the masses.

coldwarrior on August 14, 2010 at 1:34 PM

You’ll notice that it’s always teachers, cops and fireman who fall under the ax first. No mention of cutting legislator salaries, per diem payments, car allowances, or staff allowances.

How convenient.

GarandFan on August 14, 2010 at 12:15 PM

Exactly. I’ve been ranting about this exact thing for the last couple of days.

When state budgets run a deficit and there is talk of cutting the budget, the statists immediately start the teachers, cops and firemen routine instead of saying they’re going to stop spending elsewhere.

Those are the professions they know people are going to say, “OH NOES!!! WE CAN’T CUT THAT!!”

It’s a despicable shell game.

They might as well just hold up a baby with a gun to it’s head and say they need money or they’ll pull the trigger. It’s the same type of coercion.

ButterflyDragon on August 14, 2010 at 1:42 PM

You’ll always have a job. Math and science?

Oh please.

AnninCA on August 14, 2010 at 12:53 PM

Did I complain about losing my job? Where did you get that? If that’s what your reply to me means.
I actually will always have a job no matter what happens bcs I’m willing to do anything to help support my family.
Including working as a waitress, fast-food, Wal-mart greeter, oil fields, driving truck, ditch digging-all venerable professions.
So is the reply sarcastic in that I’m not in with the rest of the unemployed so my comments are not worth something?
I am confused as to what you mean here. So I must assume.
For all of us who worked hard to get a degree (not talking about ‘easy’ degrees), we are marketable.
But you certainly don’tneed one to market yourself if you’re smart about it.
A chemistry teacher I know quit teaching to work as a chemical analyst for a local company, related to the oil fields.
Can’t do that if you’re a teacher certified to teach PE or English.
There’s advantages to working your a$$ off academically &/or physically.
No one in this country should be unemployed-but we all make choices.
Some refuse to move away from family, choosing to remain unemployed, etc.
I’ve lived all over & no matter the job market, I’ve always been able to find employment.
It didn’t always pay my bills, but I always found something to make $$ at.
For those struggling with unemployment, I’m not dissing you.
I have some friends who have dealt with constant unemployment through their lives.
Some of it was their fault, some not.
I’ve always found that though indeed things may get worse, they do get better.
Prayers to all of you out there trying to find a job.
Finally-all states with surplus economies should quit taking federal $. That includes my state of ND.
I was very disappointed our governor accepted stimulus $$.
We have been doing very well without it.

Badger40 on August 14, 2010 at 1:47 PM

I so wanted one of the prop kids, (blond boy – should have been you) to grab the pen from Nancy’s hand screaming “STOP! My future children won’t be able to afford this!”

Canadian Infidel on August 14, 2010 at 1:51 PM

This bill has absolutely nothing to do with teachers.
It has everything to do with $26 billion the teacher’s unions can spend on democrat campaigns.

mrt721 on August 14, 2010 at 1:51 PM

It has everything to do with $26 billion the teacher’s unions can spend on democrat campaigns.

Agreed. All of the stimulus bills have been designed to funnel billions into Democrat campaign coffers.

tommyboy on August 14, 2010 at 1:57 PM

I did want to address something about kids & learning. I think a lot of people have this perception that a teacher is there to fill a kid up with knowledge & when they fail, it is mostly the teacher’s fault.
It is a combination of everything & one bad apple in that everything can turn the tide in a kid.
With kids, sometimes all it takes is that one person to make the difference in an attitude.
But ultimately, it’s up to the kid themselves.
Parents do what they can to set the stage for the kid, but society plays so much of a huge role that it can negate everything a parent has done.
Public education should not be the social experiment that it’s become.
Fads in education are so ridiculous & a waste of time & $$.
When I started teaching at the school I’m at, curriculum mapping was the in thing. And they paid to send me to ‘training’.
Curriculum mapping in a small school is worthless.
Large schools it makes sense.
This federal one size fits all approach is insane.
I agree with the one above who said to dissolve the Dept of Education.
It is the local communities’ & businesses that should take the responsibility in marketing their young for the work force.
We do not have a right to education. Like we don’t have a right to libraries or fire departments.
People need to stop taking ‘stimulus’ $$ tat’s already been around forever in the form of ‘grants’ for everything under the sun.
Govt institutions should not get $$ with the idea that if they don’t spend it they’ll lose it.
That promotes waste.
Ah I know I’m preaching to the choir here.

Badger40 on August 14, 2010 at 2:00 PM

ButterflyDragon on August 14, 2010 at 1:42 PM

Why is it the states don’t cut spending on ‘continuing education’ for state employees like bully training, sensitivity training, why not cut $$ spent on coffee filters & coffee, new office furniture, nice govt fleet vehicles, travel (how bout a web cam meeting?), etc.
One big thing I see federal $$ wasted on is ‘educational materials’ like pencils, erasers, key chains, book bags, flyers, etc. used to advertise programs like tobacco prevention, sexual harassment awareness, God the list could go on forever.
There really is a TON of $$ wasted on those kinds of things.
Do we really need the feds to pay for key chains to help save young people from smoking?!

Badger40 on August 14, 2010 at 2:05 PM

Was a time when getting free money from government was anathema to most Americans.

coldwarrior on August 14, 2010 at 1:34 PM

You know, that is funny how that’s changed. Like being in Special Ed at school. no body wanted to be there when I was in school. Sorry-but we all thought if you had to go there, you were really stupid. Just the threat of going there made your grades go up.
Now all the kids wanna go there bcs they know they can get the answers & have someone do the work for them.
With regards to welfare-type assistance, my daughter is a single mother with no college but yet has attained a decent paying job & bcs the housng market’s insane bcs of the oilfields where she lives, she applied for some assistance on rent.
The only way she could get any meaningful help was if she quit her job & stayed at home to become a welfare queen.

Badger40 on August 14, 2010 at 2:09 PM

Somewhere out there, in a parallel universe, there’s a country where the press cares about the citizens of that country and is willing to take on the entrenched politicians who are wasting money and driving the country into a ditch. Alas, as I said, that’s a parallel universe, in this country, all the major media will allow the Democrats to get away with this stuff, not report it, and accuse Republicans of wanting to starve teachers and not allow our children to receive a good education.

Lord, I can’t wait until November and if the Republicans do the same stuff, this time, I’m going to encourage Sarah Palin to start a 3rd party.

bflat879 on August 14, 2010 at 7:47 PM

Badger40 on August 14, 2010 at 2:09 PM

Reminds me of another girl who was told flat-out that the best way to get financial aid for college was to have an illegitimate brat.

At least her story got some time in the news, I know for a fact there are hundreds like her who don’t.

Dark-Star on August 14, 2010 at 8:50 PM

I’m starting to think that all the effective parts of the “stimulus” were stripped out when they dropped the condoms that Nancy Pelosi had in there. Yeah, that Nancy Pelosi is one great “party girl.”

J_Crater on August 16, 2010 at 12:10 AM

Dark-Star on August 14, 2010 at 8:50 PM

I went through college a divorced mother. Borrowed $$ to go to school AND live on & now I’m paying it back.
I could have been on a bunch of programs, though I did receive the standard PELL grants etc for attending college.
But I did not go on any welfare even though I could have bcs it was humiliating.
To really get most types of welfare I notice that you have to be willing to not work & sit on your a$$ at home to collect the paycheck.
Being lazy drives me nuts.
But not everyone it seems.

Badger40 on August 16, 2010 at 9:25 AM