Sequestration impact on Federal Education Programs, Automatic across the board reductions in discretionary programs, Obama stimulus and failed energy spending helped create huge deficit
“Why was Obama in constant contact with Tony Rezko in 2004 when Rezko was conspiring with William Cellini to use TRS, Teacher Retirement Fund, assets for political gain and personal enrichment?”…Citizen Wells
“What do you think a stimulus is? It’s spending – that’s the whole point! Seriously.”…Barack Obama
“…and Socialist governments traditionally do make a financial mess. They [socialists] always run out of other people’s money. It’s quite a characteristic of them.”…Margaret Thatcher
Much is being said about the impact of sequestration on federal education spending.
From the NEA.
“Impact of Sequestration on Federal Education Programs – State-by-State
Across-the-board cuts known as “sequestration” are scheduled to go into effect on March 1, 2013 unless Congress acts. These cuts – nearly $3 billion for education alone — would result in:
- Services cut or eliminated for millions of students.
- Funding for children living in poverty, special education, and Head Start slashed by billions.
- Ballooning class sizes.
- Elimination of after-school programs.
- Decimation of programs for our most vulnerable—homeless students, English language learners, and high-poverty, struggling schools.
- Slashing of financial aid for college students.
- Loss of tens of thousands of education jobs—at early childhood, elementary, secondary, and postsecondary levels.
From Idea Money Watch.
Q. What is sequestration? (Pronounced se″kwes-tra´shun)
A. Sequestration is a fiscal policy procedure adopted by Congress to deal with the federal budget deficit. It first appeared in the Gramm-Rudman-Hollings Deficit Reduction Act of 1985.
Simply put, sequestration is the cancellation of budgetary resources — an “automatic” form of spending cutback. (Learn more here.)
Q. Why is sequestration important now?
A. The Budget Control Act of 2011 (BCA) established a 12 member Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction (or “super committee”) charged with reducing the deficit by an additional $1.2 – $1.5 trillion over ten years. The BCA also included a sequestration hammer should the super committee fail, a provision intended to “force” the super committee to act.
Despite the threat of sequestration, the super committee failed. Announcing its inability to reach an agreement on November 21, 2011, the members of the bipartisan committee stated that “after months of hard work and intense deliberations, we have come to the conclusion today that it will not be possible to make any bipartisan agreement available to the public before the committee’s deadline.”
So, as established in the BCA, sequestration was triggered when the super committee failed to reach an agreement. Sequestration generates automatic cuts for each of nine years, FY 13-21, totaling $1.2 trillion. Sequestration was originally scheduled to take effect on Jan. 2, 2013. However, it was delayed for two months – until March 1, 2013, by the deal struck on New Year’s Eve, called the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012.
Now, without Congressional action to prevent sequestration, the first round of cuts will take place on March 1, 2013.
The 2013 cuts apply to “discretionary” spending and are divided between reductions to defense ($500 billion) and non-defense ($700 billion).
Q. What must occur in order to avoid sequestration?
A. Sequestration can only be avoided if Congress passes legislation that undoes the legal requirement in the BCA and that President Obama will sign before March 1, 2013.
While advocacy efforts to prevent sequestration are beginning to spring up, the strongest efforts focus on preventing the deep cuts to defense spending.
Q. Can the Executive Branch reconfigure sequestration cuts?
A. No. The cuts are automatic, across-the-board reductions to all discretionary programs unless exempted by the BCA. (A list of exempt programs is available here.) The Executive Branch will have no authority or ability to redistribute the cuts.
$ 3 billion in education cuts because our spending is out of control.
How did that happen?
Here is part of the reason.
A $840 billion Obama stimulus program.
From The Foundry October 18, 2012.
“The 2009 stimulus set aside $80 billion to subsidize politically preferred energy projects. Since that time, 1,900 investigations have been opened to look into stimulus waste, fraud, and abuse (although not all are linked to the green-energy funds), and nearly 600 convictions have been made. Of that $80 billion in clean energy loans, grants, and tax credits, at least 10 percent has gone to companies that have since either gone bankrupt or are circling the drain.”
“So far, 34 companies that were offered federal support from taxpayers are faltering — either having gone bankrupt or laying off workers or heading for bankruptcy. This list includes only those companies that received federal money from the Obama Administration’s Department of Energy and other agencies. The amount of money indicated does not reflect how much was actually received or spent but how much was offered. The amount also does not include other state, local, and federal tax credits and subsidies, which push the amount of money these companies have received from taxpayers even higher.
The complete list of faltering or bankrupt green-energy companies:
- Evergreen Solar ($25 million)*
- SpectraWatt ($500,000)*
- Solyndra ($535 million)*
- Beacon Power ($43 million)*
- Nevada Geothermal ($98.5 million)
- SunPower ($1.2 billion)
- First Solar ($1.46 billion)
- Babcock and Brown ($178 million)
- EnerDel’s subsidiary Ener1 ($118.5 million)*
- Amonix ($5.9 million)
- Fisker Automotive ($529 million)
- Abound Solar ($400 million)*
- A123 Systems ($279 million)*
- Willard and Kelsey Solar Group ($700,981)*
- Johnson Controls ($299 million)
- Brightsource ($1.6 billion)
- ECOtality ($126.2 million)
- Raser Technologies ($33 million)*
- Energy Conversion Devices ($13.3 million)*
- Mountain Plaza, Inc. ($2 million)*
- Olsen’s Crop Service and Olsen’s Mills Acquisition Company ($10 million)*
- Range Fuels ($80 million)*
- Thompson River Power ($6.5 million)*
- Stirling Energy Systems ($7 million)*
- Azure Dynamics ($5.4 million)*
- GreenVolts ($500,000)
- Vestas ($50 million)
- LG Chem’s subsidiary Compact Power ($151 million)
- Nordic Windpower ($16 million)*
- Navistar ($39 million)
- Satcon ($3 million)*
- Konarka Technologies Inc. ($20 million)*
- Mascoma Corp. ($100 million)
*Denotes companies that have filed for bankruptcy.”
WE warned you.
Obama is doing to the US education system what he and his cronies did to Illinois.
From Citizen Wells March 29, 2012.
“Obama, Blagojevich and their cronies used the citizens of Illinois, Teachers Retirement System, hospitals and taxpayer dollars for their own benefit.”
“2003: “Of the five funds, the one in the sorriest shape is the Illinois Teacher Retirement System, which provides the pensions for suburban and downstate teachers. Its ratio of assets to liabilities stood at a mere 52 percent last year, so poor that it was considered among the five worst-funded plans in the country.”
“In 2002, the year after Obama made the pitch, the Illinois Teacher Retirement System reported an 18% increase in assets managed by minority-owned firms. Ariel’s share grew to $442 million by 2005.
In 2006, after the federal investigation became public, the teacher pension board severed its relationship with Ariel, concluding that Ariel’s investment returns were insufficient.”
“In addition to lining their own pockets, the money gained through the scheme was funneled to the campaigns of Blagojevich and Obama. Prosecutors have identified two $10,000 payments that were made to Obama’s US Senate campaign through straw donors Joseph Aramanda and Elie Maloof, which originated from a kickback paid by investment firm, Glencoe Capital, to secure approval for a $50 million deal.
Aramanda and Maloof also each gave Obama $1,000 for his failed run for Congress in 2000. Once Obama became a US Senator, Aramanda’s son was granted a coveted intern position in Obama’s Senate office in Washington during the summer of 2005, based on a request which the Obama’s camp has admitted came from Rezko.”
“Mr. Obama also recently pointed to his work on the Illinois pension issue as a model for what he would do as president to promote minority-owned companies.”