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  • Biden Campaigns Against Wasteful Spending

    The White House yesterday launched yet another signature initiative to cut wasteful spending, once again setting the Administration’s key utility infielder, Vice President Joe Biden, to the task.

    This latest campaign follows a previous effort launched in 2009 directing the cabinet secretaries to track down a whole $100 million—yes, million—in wasteful spending. In the summer of that year the White House then trumpeted that they had over-performed by a whole $2 million. Meanwhile, the budget deficit topped $1.4 trillion.

    Two full years into the Administration, with agency budget officers and the Office of Management and Budget well-equipped to identify waste, and the Administration launches a wasteful spending campaign? Didn’t the Administration just release a budget a few months ago?

    The key word here seems to be campaign. Acknowledging the country’s disgust with Washington spending, a slumping economy, and a looming election, President Obama turned to a little political showmanship employing once again the parlor game of cups.

    This latest effort is reminiscent of an effort almost 20 years ago during the Clinton Administration. President Clinton created the National Performance Review, headed by Vice President Al Gore, to find ways for government to reinvent itself to perform better at lower cost.

    By all accounts, Gore was extensively involved in the first phase. One popular tale had Gore visiting a government office and walking the halls. Finally, he found a cubicle with a worker in it. But the worker wasn’t working. He was finishing a crossword puzzle, which was added to an overflowing trash can of crossword puzzles.

    The Vice President asked him about it and the worker replied, “Mr. Vice President, I’m so glad to see you. I was hired five years ago as an accountant out of school. Every day I show up to work on time, I only take my allotted time for lunch, and I never leave early. But nobody has every told me what I’m supposed to do, so all I do is crossword puzzles. Can you help me? I’d really like to earn my living.”

    Gore shook the man’s hand, checked his union card, and patted him on the shoulder, promising to look into it.

    As he then moved down the hallway Gore found another worker, professionally dressed and with a stack of finished crossword puzzles. When he inquired about it, the Vice President was told almost the same story, except this worker had been diligently idle since the Kennedy Administration and was nearing retirement.

    As he walked away, the Vice President shook his head and wrote down in his notebook, “Serious problem with redundancy.”

    Posted in Ongoing Priorities [slideshow_deploy]

    5 Responses to Biden Campaigns Against Wasteful Spending

    1. Harry Schell says:

      Paying Biden to run this campaign is a waste of taxpayer money.

    2. George Colgrove, VA says:

      The media is really doing a good job boosting this story. Yesterday they reported that Obama is CONSOLIDATING the entire federal government websites to fewer pages which are better coordinates contents. This and other CONSOLIDATIONS were reported to save $33 billion this fiscal year alone – if I read what they were saying correctly. In short the democrats are doing what I have been saying they would.

      Today I read on federal news sites that the federal workforce, through suggestions and votes are making their own cuts. Yeah Right! That and a dollar will get me a cup of coffee. I used to be a democrat county chair and I can tell you they can win this in the same way they won it in 2006. If the republicans keep on voting on large DoD budgets and "cooperate" on the entitlements to keep their large DoD budget alive (as what happened in 2006 and what got Obama in in 2008) it is conceivable that the democrats can do it again in 2012.

      These "cuts" which are more for show than anything else will be visible and look real. The media will do its job and be the spokes people promoting the idea.

      What I see so far is congress is laying out large spending measures – This week is just under $200 billion alone. The congress was only able to squeeze out a couple hundred million dollars in net cuts in their so-called $38 billion "cuts" – after shifting much of the savings over to the already high DoD budget. If Obama/Biden are successful, their ads will show democrats cut more than the republicans – true or otherwise – it just wont matter.

      What the republicans need to do is to get out there and take the reins and start getting REAL BILLS on the floor for REAL CUTS. Consolidation is the word. Lets cut by consolidate first – it is what I have been saying all along. There is so much to consolidate. IF Obama says he can consolidate and save $33 billion – go for $66 billion republicans!

    3. Richard_FL says:

      You talk about the blind leading the blind…………….this is nothing short of a world class vaudeville show………………what a joke!!

    4. Bill Boykin, Gainesv says:

      Educational Bureaucracy’s Double-Whammy

      The USDOE costs us over $60 billion, enough to pay for the health insurance of the 15 million citizens who cannot afford insurance. In addition, our poorly educated population costs us $trillions and uneducated citizens can cost us our liberty.

      Incestuous relationships, that undo the original good intentions of the USDOE, continue to grow. There is an industry of, less than useful, supporters of USDOE.

      Why do many people drop out of school? A while back a local teacher said “…kids in our classrooms don’t see much point in school.” She said “…School Superintendent Francis Gallo Central Falls, R.I. gave us her opinion…’not every teacher is living up to their vocation’.”

      Facts back up the conclusion that teachers are largely victims of the bureaucracy—with tap root in the USDOE. The USDOE, in its connections to colleges of education, produces poorly educated teachers. Of course, some teachers work on their own to become well educated by studies outside the bureaucracy.

      On MSNBC, Andrea Mitchell 27 May 2011 at 1:30 PM interviewed a Finnish education authority who said that their teachers must have a master degree in the subject matter. Finland is ranked far higher than the USA in most areas of education. It is not that our teachers do not have master’s degrees say in math, English, history, art, science, etc., but that colleges of education teach “how” to teach, not subject matter. Subject matter is taught in the subject matter departments of mathematics, physics, chemistry, etc.

      On NPR, 10 May 2011 at 7:30 AM it was stated that US News was investigating colleges of education. They were not cooperating. Students interviewed related their course work experiences and a budding biology teacher was required to take only one biology course. What courses do budding teachers take?

      CNN 4 June 2011 mentioned that many high school graduates with better than a “B” grade average had to take remedial college courses. Engineering professor and colleagues at top colleges related their experiences with ill-prepared students in math and science.

      The bureaucracy has its Top 25 Colleges of Education (Vanderbilt, Harvard, Texas, Stanford, Columbia, etc.). When one examines the courses and curriculum in these colleges of “education” it is clear that there is almost no subject matter that would help a teacher expertly teach any of the subject areas needed by a great nation.

      Harvard’s “Learning and Teaching” program description gives insight into the current process: “Students in the L&T program share a range of interests including: students and adults as learners, the preparation and professional work of teachers, the organization of schools, and the role of communities in learning. The program's core course and liberal requirements provide flexibility to accommodate each student's interests and needs. L&T students are encouraged to explore the interdisciplinary nature of teaching and learning by taking courses that address topics such as curriculum development, the history and philosophy of education, teacher leadership, human development, technology, the arts, public policy and the impact of race, class, gender, and identity on education.”

      A search of the program descriptions of the Top 25 results in twenty five variations on the same theme.

      Why is this? Are the relationships between the USDOE and colleges of education so comfortable that our “guardian” of education fails its mission? How can it be justified when a college of education has as many how-to-teach courses on the books as some colleges of engineering? It was far more “comfortable” for me to teach in my area of funded research, rather than subjects that took more preparation time. A faculty member proposes a new course when a new subject seems needed by the department and college. When a new elective course goes on the books it must have a sufficient number of students take the course or it can be removed from the books. So there is the incentive to lead students to take the courses. With almost all courses in a college of education on “how” to teach and the faculty doing “research” in these areas the student is “encouraged” to take these non-subject-matter courses so they must work hard to educate themselves. Unfortunately, it is too comfortable to let “education” take its own course so that far too many teachers have little expertise in their subject areas.

      It is clear from my experiences that children, regardless of their immediately obvious natural abilities, do not do well unless they have early loving care that includes reading with them. Orphan children, months old, learn quickly to understand. They read at a few years of age. Some teachers in first grade overcome learning shortfalls of their pupils with great care and time. Some colleges of education have a course to practice teaching in public housing areas. That’s commendable, but very sterile.

      The USDOE funds college of education “research”. This “research” goes deeper and deeper into “how” to teach and broader and broader in “community relations”. Courses, again, almost all on “how” to teach, are getting more and more into political activism, while the budding teacher must take an excessive number of course in order to take a minimal number in the person’s subject matter that they plan to teach.

      Education policy has been largely for the “educators” not the budding teachers. The USDOE needs to be eliminated. Colleges of education need to downsize the number of courses.

      Here are just a few of the typical courses:

      Middle School Education

      Credits: 3.

      Examination and development of beliefs about teaching, learning, children, subject matter and the purposes of early childhood education in a democratic society.

      [So education has become a “religion” that beliefs about a democratic society must be taught.]

      Global Issues in K-12 Education

      Credits: 3.

      Overview of current global issues and strategies for incorporating them into the K-college curriculum.

      [When a child needs certain skills to compete in this world, why should an entire course be taught on current global issues?]

      Teaching Mathematics in the Inclusive Elementary School

      Credits: 3; Prereq: 3ECD or 3EMR.

      An analysis of content, materials and methods of teaching mathematics in the inclusive elementary classroom. Course prepares the future teacher of mathematics for facilitation of instruction to meet the needs of all children, including children with disabilities.

      [Some thought that children with certain gifts were disabled. We were not smart enough then to not teach down to them. Are we any smarter now? A teacher friend in St. Louis complained about being required to teach math--- a subject she knew nothing about.]

      It seems that the budding teacher, who teaches for the love of teaching, would be far better off if he or she received a degree in subject matter courses (art, math, history, science, English, etc. or the professions) and worked for a while. The State of Florida allows such people to serve an apprenticeship in a school to get the teaching certificate. Many people want an inner satisfaction in life. Teaching and mentoring is greatly satisfying.

      Should we continue the programs of USDOE and colleges of education that are “comfortable” for a few? I think not. The USDOE double whammy will lead to national instability—in a technical sense.

    5. Bobbie says:

      hypocrites in government don't practice what they preach. they're just setting things up to take things down to force global government on the world.

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