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U.S. News and Commentary



Sunday
Mar032013

National PTA president blames Congress for sequester designed by Obama

Most of us think of field trips and bake sales when we hear the term PTA, and political affiliation is usually not part of service in that organization.

However, Betsy Landers, president of the national Parent-Teacher Association has issued a statement about the sequester, and it looks like Landers is advocating for President Barack Obama.

It also looks like Landers is omitting key information to members about who bears responsibility for the origination of the sequester.

Landers’ statement noted “estimated” cuts to the federal Dept. of Education at $2.4 billion.

The department web site reports $68.1 billion in discretionary appropriations, and the site also notes something else: “It is important to point out that education in America is primarily a State and local responsibility…”

Landers statement included the following:

  • “National PTA disappointed with the lack of a bipartisan solution…”
  • “Congressional Inaction on Sequestration Harms Students and Families…”

Despite Landers’ claims, even legacy media are finally getting around to admitting the sequester was, as author Bob Woodward first noted, a White House product. Gene Sperling, a lawyer who is director of Obama’s National Economic Council, admitted under pressure from a pundit on alphabet network NBC that the White House did “put forth the design” of the sequester. Obama had denied that during a debate and he has cast blame on Republicans in Congress.

Jay Carney, Obama’s press secretary, has admitted the president hasn’t compromised because Obama wanted another tax increase.

What most media haven’t acknowledged is that Democrats have received a cornucopia of tax increases—taxpayers just haven’t felt the pinch yet because all the ObamaCare Tax Bill provisions haven’t kicked in yet. In January, all Americans saw payroll tax rates return to higher levels and the president appeared to be pleased because he hasn’t campaigned to restore them.

Besides that, the Democrat-controlled Senate worked a new homebuyer's fee into mortgages. You pay that fee for the life of the loan, and it is a de facto tax.

Landers said:

“By not achieving bipartisan action to replace sequestration, Congress has failed our nation’s children and their families.”

Landers has unfortunately brought the PTA, an organization served and funded by members of all political parties, into the Democrat message bearers’ machine.

Will Landers’ statement spark a new organization for parents weary of politics in education, similar to backlash against AARP?

Whatever the case, Landers did her members no favors by making a claim that is extremely misleading and partisan.

As federal dollars have increased over the decades and central planners have seized more control over education, our children are not succeeding even at a level when far fewer dollars were spent per pupil. That doesn’t speak well of the feds’ role in education, and it’s very unfortunate there’s no one smart enough in the department’s leadership  to realign the budget to accommodate cuts of an “estimated” $2.4 billion out of a budget thirty times that amount.

As for Sperling, who took issue with claims made by Woodward, Obama’s economic adviser hasn’t made much difference to ordinary Americans struggling with rising prices for everything due to Democrats’ policies on taxes, energy and regulation as well as White House monetary policy.

As former Sen. Jim DeMint pointed out in his book The Great Awakening, "The federal government provides only 7 percent of the funding for public education yet essentially controls our public school system and is responsible for 41 percent of the administrative costs."

(Commentary by Kay B. Day/March 3, 2013)

Please see the full text of the news release about the sequester issued by the PTA.

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