In New Mexico yesterday and probably in several other appearances, President Barack Obama criticized the House Republicans' Pledge to America on several fronts. To me, only because I tend to look at the real numbers during most months, his most obviously off-base critique had to do with federal education spending (as carried at Jake Tapper's Political Punch blog at ABC):
Obama said the Republicans would to cut education spending by 20 percent in order to pay for some of the tax breaks, a charge House Republicans say is inaccurate.
Tapper is one of the few establishment media reporters left who isn't afraid to question liberal authority, but he missed a golden opportunity to dig into facts that might have left him wondering why the Republicans are being so timid.
According to the September 2009 Monthly Treasury Statement (go to Table 3 at the link), the Department of Eduction spent $53.4 billion during fiscal 2009. This year, projecting the August 2010 total of $81.6 billion for another month, it will probably come in at about $89 billion.
Does anyone have any idea what marvelous benefits have come about as a result of the current year's 65% or more increase in spending? Neither do I.
Cutting this year's spending by 20% next year would still leave the Department of Education spending about $70 billion per year -- still over 30% above fiscal 2008. Again, for what tangible benefit?
Jake Tapper and others in the press could easily have and definitely should have checked out the numbers yours truly did, and didn't. C'mon, people. Stop taking transcription and do a little work, why don't you?
Cross-posted at BizzyBlog.com.