Oops: Arne Duncan may’ve been a bit overenthusiastic in his dire sequester warnings

posted at 10:01 pm on February 27, 2013 by Erika Johnsen

This morning, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan was the latest Cabinet member to hit the briefing room and lament the many ghastly ways in which sequestration would man-handle his department’s many absolutely essential functions. Via Politico:

 “Kids are gonna get hurt, kids are gonna get hurt. That’s just the reality,” he said. His visit to the briefing room followed recent appearances by Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood and Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano.

Duncan expressed real frustration with Congress for being unable to avoid the spending cuts due to begin taking effect on Friday. The dysfunction is “unimaginable,” he said, and makes him “angry” because students will be “taking steps backwards because folks in Washington can’t get their acts together.”

Which certainly does sound serious, but also just happens to make it sound like growing the Department of Education specifically, and big government generally, is unequivocally the best and only remedy for furthering kids’ welfare in this country.

His presentation was similarly dramatic to the claims he made on CBS on Sunday, insisting that “there are literally teachers now who are getting pink slips, who are getting notices that they can’t come back this fall.” But, when questioned further about that claim in his press briefing today, well… awkward:

When he was pressed in a White House briefing Wednesday to come up with an example, Duncan named a single county in West Virginia and acknowledged, “whether it’s all sequester-related, I don’t know.”

And, as it turns out, it isn’t.

Officials in Kanawha County, West Virginia say that the “transfer notices” sent to at least 104 educators had more to do with a separate matter that involves a change in the way West Virginia allocates federal dollars designated for poor children.

She said those 104 notices will ultimately result in the elimination of about five to six teaching jobs, which were likely to be cut regardless of the sequester.

Ahem. It would appear that the “firemen first” principle is alive and well.

Politicians have been trying to outdo each other in deploying what the neoliberal Washington Monthly founder Charles Peters coined in 1976 as the “firemen first” principle — the notion that “the public will support (the Clever Bureaucrat’s) valiant fight against the budget reduction only if essential services are endangered. Thus, C.B. always picks on teachers, policemen, firemen first.”

So an already rattled nation is being spooked by horror stories of three-hour airport security lines, delayed background check for gun purchases and criminals running freely through the streets. All this for a spending cut that the Congressional Budget Office estimates will be around $44 billion in 2013, a tiny sliver of the federal budget. Imagine the squeals if it included significant cuts.


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Just eliminate the department altogether. Mucho savings!

John the Libertarian on February 27, 2013 at 10:04 PM

Kids are going to get hurt??

How about their future in Utopia?

Electrongod on February 27, 2013 at 10:04 PM

Just eliminate the gov’t period…

Scrumpy on February 27, 2013 at 10:06 PM

”Kids are gonna get hurt, kids are gonna get hurt. That’s just the reality,”

Hmmmm, I wonder what Obama thought of Arne employing hysterical hyperbolistic rhetoric of that nature…

SWalker on February 27, 2013 at 10:08 PM

I never have understood this SecEd Duncan selection.

He comes from the Chicago school district. That alone should automatically put him beneath pond scum when looking for knowledge on how to positively effect education. But, in the Obama administration, he is the boss.

We are so screwed.

WestTexasBirdDog on February 27, 2013 at 10:09 PM

Now might be a good time to propose eliminating the Dept. of Education.

If the sequester is going to impact what are state and local responsibilities then the federal tentacles have sunk far too deeply into our lives.

Charlemagne on February 27, 2013 at 10:09 PM

Just eliminate the gov’t period…

Scrumpy on February 27, 2013 at 10:06 PM

But what about that sugary drink that is shipped with that round food thingy????

I am so confused right now….
I need GOVERNMENT!!!!!

Electrongod on February 27, 2013 at 10:13 PM

Trot them all out and let them all get hysterical for the cameras.

When sequestration hits and the country doesn’t collapse and dogs and cats aren’t living together, they’ll look the fools.

ButterflyDragon on February 27, 2013 at 10:14 PM

Jeffrey Lord has the right idea:

Abolish the Department of Education

It was Carter’s thank you to the NEA for their support. It’s been past time to eliminate it, especially considering education hasn’t been improving on its watch.

INC on February 27, 2013 at 10:14 PM

Just eliminate the gov’t period…

Scrumpy on February 27, 2013 at 10:06 PM

But what about that sugary drink that is shipped with that round food thingy????

I am so confused right now….
I need GOVERNMENT!!!!!

Electrongod on February 27, 2013 at 10:13 PM

Let me see if I can’t shock you out of that confusion…

“I’m from the Government, I’m here to help You”… <—- insert evil grin here…

SWalker on February 27, 2013 at 10:15 PM

BTW did you know there are 3 federal laws:

that prohibit federal departments or agencies from directing, supervising or controlling elementary and secondary school curricula, programs of instruction and instructional materials

There is no justification for a federal DOE except.

INC on February 27, 2013 at 10:18 PM

…except that the Left wants its chance to meddle and subvert those laws.

INC on February 27, 2013 at 10:19 PM

”Kids are gonna get hurt, kids are gonna get hurt. That’s just the reality,”

Hmmmm, I wonder what Obama thought of Arne employing hysterical hyperbolistic rhetoric of that nature…

SWalker on February 27, 2013 at 10:08 PM

I love what Gutfeld said the other night (paraphrase) “I’m sick of this country being run on what might happen to freaking children”

I kinda agree with that.

Anyway, I remember being a kid when no one paid us hardly any mind at all.

ccrosby on February 27, 2013 at 10:21 PM

SWalker on February 27, 2013 at 10:15 PM

Now you are scaring people.

BTW, I got a notice from the IRS today asking me to rate their level of customer service after they annoyed me with a bogus notification that said I owed them when I didn’t.

So if I tell them they are morons I’ll prolly get audited.

SparkPlug on February 27, 2013 at 10:22 PM

students will be “taking steps backwards because folks in Washington can’t get their acts together.”

Arne, you’re a folk in Washington! And so is your boss and I’m tired of him using this tired canard too as if he is not in Washington.

Brat on February 27, 2013 at 10:22 PM

I wonder how much money could be saved by firing everyone whose job title includes the word “Diversity”.

Steven Den Beste on February 27, 2013 at 10:23 PM

“I’m from the Government, I’m here to help You”… <—- insert evil grin here…

SWalker on February 27, 2013 at 10:15 PM

Are you married??

:)

Electrongod on February 27, 2013 at 10:23 PM

Let me see if I can’t shock you out of that confusion…

“I’m from the Government, I’m here to help You”… <—- insert evil grin here…

SWalker on February 27, 2013 at 10:15 PM

If you ran for office in CA, that might be you…

ccrosby on February 27, 2013 at 10:24 PM

So if I tell them they are morons I’ll prolly get audited.

SparkPlug on February 27, 2013 at 10:22 PM

Happens to me every year..

Electrongod on February 27, 2013 at 10:24 PM

;-)

ccrosby on February 27, 2013 at 10:26 PM

Happens to me every year..

Electrongod on February 27, 2013 at 10:24 PM

Just a simple phone audit..
Just to clarify…

Electrongod on February 27, 2013 at 10:27 PM

This is all part of a very deliberate, long term plan to completely demolish the GOP and make way for several decades of dominant progressive electoral victories.

Get informed, understand that the NBC news are happily helping this effort along.

http://theulstermanreport.com/2013/02/27/whi-delivers-obama-sequester-media-campaign-launched-within-hours-of-last-update/

karenhasfreedom on February 27, 2013 at 10:29 PM

Hmmmmm………all those years as a cop and I never knew that the Feds were paying my salary. And here I always thought it came from local property taxes.

GarandFan on February 27, 2013 at 10:29 PM

Hmmmmm………all those years as a cop and I never knew that the Feds were paying my salary. And here I always thought it came from local property taxes.

GarandFan on February 27, 2013 at 10:29 PM

Welcome to the USSA..
You don’t know how lucky you are boy….

Electrongod on February 27, 2013 at 10:32 PM

It appears that Obowma’s bluff…

… has been called.

Seven Percent Solution on February 27, 2013 at 10:37 PM

It appears that Obowma’s bluff…

… has been called.

Seven Percent Solution on February 27, 2013 at 10:37 PM

Yep..

Now if we can get this info to recipients of the ObamaPhone..

“Romney sucks…BAD!!!”
But Romney wouldn’t do what Obama is doing..
So you mam…would have fill in….and do for yourself..
But then there is Santa Clause….

Nevermind.

Electrongod on February 27, 2013 at 10:44 PM

Hmmmmm………all those years as a cop and I never knew that the Feds were paying my salary. And here I always thought it came from local property taxes.

GarandFan on February 27, 2013 at 10:29 PM

Just cause you didn’t know you were da Man… Don’t mean you weren’t da man… o_O

SWalker on February 27, 2013 at 10:47 PM

This morning, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan was the latest Cabinet member to hit the briefing room and lament the many ghastly ways in which sequestration would man-handle his department’s many absolutely essential functions. Via Politico:
==============================================

Theoretically,Team Blue should be in Full BatSh*t Shrill
UnGlued Rehetric OverLoad/OverDrive by Friday,in more Doom/
Gloom Cat 0 Strophic Fear Mongering!!!!!!

canopfor on February 27, 2013 at 10:49 PM

It appears that Obowma’s bluff…

… has been called.

Seven Percent Solution on February 27, 2013 at 10:37 PM

Seven Percent Solution:

Yup,……and so,……Let It Begin:)

canopfor on February 27, 2013 at 10:51 PM

These people lie about everything.

I’m beginning to think Les Mis really won Best Picture…

dpduq on February 27, 2013 at 10:53 PM

All this for a spending cut that the Congressional Budget Office estimates will be around $44 billion in 2013, a tiny sliver of the federal budget. Imagine the squeals if it included significant cuts.

It cannot be overemphasized. WE. MUST. REGAIN. THE. NARRATIVE.

Tossing off inaccurate references to “spending cuts” when no such thing is even contemplated is playing directly into liberal hands.

Perhaps in the real world the phrases “spending cuts” and “budget cuts” could be equated. But this ain’t the real world, and we have to stop calling cuts to spending that hasn’t taken place “spending cuts.” And of course, we have to set about educating one and all that “budget cuts” in DC don’t really mean cutting anything at all.

Humphrey on February 27, 2013 at 11:05 PM

“taking steps backwards because folks in Washington can’t get their acts together.”

So lets get Washington out of the education business. More accountability at a local level.

tommer74 on February 27, 2013 at 11:30 PM

Just another two-bit Chicago liar from the worst school district in the free world. Perfect for the Obama administration.

Jaibones on February 27, 2013 at 11:56 PM

Yeah, $44-billion. Isn’t that what the Fed is printing in new money every month? Who’d notice if they turned off the printing presses for a month?

ss396 on February 28, 2013 at 12:04 AM

It figures President Macbeth would have a cabinet member named Duncan.

viking01 on February 28, 2013 at 12:19 AM

Arne Duncan’s goddamned retard. Go back to perveting children Arne, it’s what you are known for.

rayra on February 28, 2013 at 12:57 AM

So lets get Washington out of the education business. More accountability at a local level.

Washington never should have had a say in the first place. The Education Department is just Jimmy Carter’s sop to the (illegal) teachers’ unions that helped get him elected. Worse, it’s more and more a tool for federal bureaucrats to use to homogenize and sterilize and secularize the message that oozes through the public schools: government is good, God is… who?

Humphrey on February 28, 2013 at 1:03 AM

I will never forget when Arne Duncan was made head of the Chicago Public Schools. He was all of 32 years old,,which is bizarre in and of itself. His mommy was a big associate/booster whatever of Major Daley. When Daley had the press conference announcing Duncan as his pic to run the department, this same woman..Arne’s mama, came to the podium and gave a very long rambling speech about how proud she was of her boy.

I’m not kidding. It was screwy with a capital “S”. Why did Obama pick this clown? Took his cues from Daley I guess.

Edith Stifle on February 28, 2013 at 1:35 AM

Arguing to end Federal interference in education is pointless as long as the unions hold sway, until that monopoly is broken it will be SSDD. Expecting anything different is meeting the definition of insanity.

insidiator on February 28, 2013 at 7:28 AM

It’s not just Big Bird this time. They’re releasing criminals from jail for God’s sake. There’s gotta be…laws against this sorta thing

Slade73 on February 28, 2013 at 7:54 AM

Trot them all out and let them all get hysterical for the cameras.
When sequestration hits and the country doesn’t collapse and dogs and cats aren’t living together, they’ll look the fools.
ButterflyDragon on February 27, 2013 at 10:14 PM

They will never look like fools. They have the absolute protection and absolution of the NYT, MSNBC, CNN, CBS, ABC, WsPo, HuffPo, McClatchey, all the Unions, Soros, POLITICO, Buffett, Gates, and all the rest of the fifth column in this country,

Old Country Boy on February 28, 2013 at 8:29 AM

The U.S. Department of Education is nothing more than a sinkhole that is sucking the life out of our children’s future. Their FY 2012 discretionary appropriations totalled $68 billion, a 15% increase over 2008. Add to that annual expenditure a bonanza of $98 billion from the Recovery Act and you begin to get a feel for the extent to which our pockets are being picked.

Do our children benefit from this oxymoronically-named government bureacracy? Do they learn more or more effectively because of the $2 billion the bureacracy itself consumes? Are they smarter because we tossed $74 million into International Education and Foreign Language Studies? Do they benefit from $57 million being squandered on Regional Education Laboratories? Or how about the proposed $5 billion for Strengthening the Teaching Profession?

Oh, and don’t forget that we put about a quarter of this on our Country Credit Card… It’s time to euthenize this beast.

HotJavaJack on February 28, 2013 at 8:55 AM

They will never look like fools. They have the absolute protection and absolution of the NYT, MSNBC, CNN, CBS, ABC, WsPo, HuffPo, McClatchey, all the Unions, Soros, POLITICO, Buffett, Gates, and all the rest of the fifth column in this country,

Old Country Boy on February 28, 2013 at 8:29 AM

Why wasn’t Fox included in that list?

astonerii on February 28, 2013 at 8:58 AM

Oh, and don’t forget that we put about a quarter of this on our Country Credit Card… It’s time to euthenize this beast.

HotJavaJack on February 28, 2013 at 8:55 AM

Nope, the only thing going on the Country Credit Card is welfare, including social security and medicare. I will never consider any other spending to be on that credit card. The people who created and own that debt are the deadbeats of our society.

Yes, even the retired rich social security recipient in my book is a deadbeat. Particularly the childless ones!

astonerii on February 28, 2013 at 9:09 AM

Looking more and more that Woodward was trying to appear the martyr for added credibility. I think he is going to regret that conversation, but not for the reasons he was insinuating!

astonerii on February 28, 2013 at 9:14 AM

Looking more and more that Woodward was trying to appear the martyr for added credibility. I think he is going to regret that conversation, but not for the reasons he was insinuating!

astonerii on February 28, 2013 at 9:14 AM

damn, wrong thread!

astonerii on February 28, 2013 at 9:16 AM

Someone explain to me again why the 10% of conservatives who stayed home in November thought it was a good idea to do so……..

goflyers on February 28, 2013 at 9:57 AM

I would not completely abolish the Dept. Of Education, but I would cut it down to a small research and advisory group of about a dozen employees with salaries in line with the private sector. Public education should be the responsibility of the states and curriculum should be determined by local boards under the approval and review of the local community.

kemojr on February 28, 2013 at 10:20 AM

Has everyone trotted out to the mic with their sequester catastrophe yarns? I’m still waiting for the Surgeon General to warn that if the sequester kicks in Obamacare will cost more.

MarkT on February 28, 2013 at 10:28 AM

”Kids are gonna get hurt, kids are gonna get hurt. That’s just the reality,” he said.

So the WH story is that kids will be hurt by a few billion less in spending increases, but won’t be hurt by $6 trillion in new debt. The daily hypocrisy from this wretched bunch continues to reach new lows.

MrKleenexMuscles on February 28, 2013 at 11:07 AM

Secretary of Education Arne Duncan – just another lying bag of shit, like every other official in this administration.

woodNfish on February 28, 2013 at 11:57 AM

It’s amazing, but the lowest levels of management associated with the day to day operations of the Government appear to have far more latitude in dealing with the sequester than the President himself.

The Architect has chosen not to cut salaries of vital individuals (such as janitors) but instead to defer new equipment purchases.

Perhaps the President ought to order the Architect to furlough workers — thus shortening the nose on the Pinocchio representing him by quite a bit.

unclesmrgol on March 2, 2013 at 10:20 AM