Saturday, October 8, 2011

More Proof that Education in America is Failing

From Dean Baker's Beat the Press blog:
Speaker Boehner Commits Huge Gaffe, Can't Do Simple Arithmetic

Republican House Speaker John Boehner committed an enormous gaffe yesterday according to a Washington Post article. Mr. Boehner claimed that:

"Our unemployment rate has been higher than 8 percent for more than 21 / 2 years, far above what the Obama administration promised with the ‘stimulus.'”

Actually, the stimulus did not promise to keep the unemployment rate below 8 percent as Mr. Boehner would know if he ever looked at the administration's discussion of its stimulus proposal at the time. The report claimed that the stimulus as proposed would create between 3-4 million jobs by the end of 2010. However, the bill passed by Congress was substantially smaller than the stimulus requested by the president. The expected effect would therefore be in the range of 2-3 million jobs.

However, the economy was in much worse shape than the administration recognized at the time. It expected the unemployment rate to peak at 9.0 percent even without any stimulus. At the time, the economy was losing close to 700,000 jobs a month. The unemployment rate had already risen to 9.4 percent by May when the first stimulus related checks were just going out the door.

The best evidence available shows that the stimulus worked almost exactly as planned, creating 2-3 million jobs. However, the economy needed 10-12 million. The Obama administration's error was in underestimating the severity of the downturn, not overpromising for the benefits of the stimulus.

This is apparent to people who can read and know arithmetic. The Washington Post should have highlighted the fact that Mr. Boehner apparently either has difficulty with arithmetic or was deliberately trying to mislead the public.
Call me cynical, but I believe that somebody who gets a B.A. degree in Business Administration from the private Xavier University probably has math skills greater than a 5th grader. So my best guess is that Boehner is lying through his teeth for partisan advantage. He is part of the problem and not the solution. It is liars and cheats like Boehner who are destroying America.

I don't think education in America is failing. I think politics and politicians in America are failing. They are sold out to Wall Street and the ultra-rich. They politicians are bought and sold among the elite to do the bidding of the elite but hide behind stories that twist the truth and confuse the electorate.

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