The White House has actually recommended cuts in
U. S. Department of Education
programs. (They are on S-5.) “The Budget proposes to terminate 23 small and narrow-purpose elementary and secondary education grant programs, saving $494 million,” reads the explanation from the U. S. Office of Management and Budget. “States and school districts that view these issues as a high priority can support them with funds provided under broad-purpose Federal education programs, such as Title I, Teacher Quality State
Grants, and other programs.”
“The Budget redirects the savings from these terminations for priority education
programs that have a demonstrated record of success, like Reading First, or that hold significant promise for increasing accountability and improving student achievement, like the Math Now program.”
The trick to creating such programs is, of course, to make them sound indispensable.
Unfortunately, what they wind up subsidizing is, well, what we usually write about. Thus, particularly in a lame duck administration, curtailing, let alone terminating, them is problematic.
Meanwhile, most of the Democrats and Republicans running for president would increase total federal spending. “The eight candidates proposed a combined total of 189 items that would increase federal spending, 24 items that would decrease it, and 238 items whose budgetary impacts are unknown—in addition to dozens of sub-items further detailing program components,” the National Taxpayers Union Foundation found on January 29. “The four respective frontrunners in the two parties (John McCain, Mitt Romney, Hillary Clinton, and Barack Obama), proposed overall fiscal policy agendas whose net effect would raise annual federal outlays between $6.9 billion and $287.0 billion. “
Malcolm A. Kline is the executive director of Accuracy in Academia.