The really remarkable thing about President Obama's rhetoric about the economy in this election season is just how little it has changed since 2010.
Those who expected new ideas from this administration for getting the economy back on track must have been sorely disappointed, as the widely-anticipated "reset" on economic issues has really just been a "repeat."
Once again, he's trotting out the same old straw men and warmed-over policies he has pounded relentlessly for the last 3-1/2 years: He inherited the worst economy since the Great Depression, Republicans have stymied the recovery by refusing all compromise and the only way we will remain competitive in the world economy is by "investing" in things like education, renewable "green" energy and infrastructure development.
This "investment" angle has become so repetitive it's easy just to ignore. But what does it really mean? When the president says he wants to invest in education, what, exactly does he want to invest in it?
It can't simply be better education results, because 40 years of soaring costs for public education have already failed to do that. Since 1970, the per-pupil cost of a K-12 education has exploded from about $55,000 to about $150,000 in inflation-adjusted terms. Yet math and reading scores have stagnated, and science scores have actually declined.
Surely, President Obama can't believe that "investing more in education and training" and "recruiting an army of new teachers" in math and science constitutes new and innovative education policy. We've been trying it for decades, and despite hiring 3 million more teachers and spending $210 billion more per year on public education, taxpayers have nothing to show for it.
If taxpayers and students have not benefited from this public largesse, who has? Teachers unions, of course. Not coincidentally, they are one of the Democratic Party's most powerful constituencies and the single biggest obstacle to education reform in America today
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