Obama Jobs Plan Spends on What We Need the Most

Barack ObamaAre your calendars out? How about your markers? The jobs plan introduced by President Barack Obama during last night's primetime-interrupting speech (sigh, football, sigh) has made the teachers of America happy.

Are you getting this? Teachers. The folks who are not exactly fans of the president. Not after his whole "merit pay" for merit earned bit last year anyway.


But it seems our president is singing a different tune in the wake of widespread teacher layoffs and stimulus funds effectively disappearing. Last night, our president couldn't be more clear. His $450 billion proposal wouldn't just reform Medicare and eliminate tax breaks for wealthy Americans. Obama wants to give our kids a shot at the future.

And gasp, Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers, per The Huffington Post, is actually singing his praises.

Now I'll be honest. I didn't watch the president's speech. There was a little person in my house who needed to take a bath and get ready for bed and the second day of school (ahem, Mother Nature, first day WOULD have been Wednesday but you decided to deliver a whole lot of rain on the Northeast). But after I got her moving this morning, I was pleased to log on and see an educational initiative in the midst of this jobs plan.

We have a tendency, here in America, to put education last when we're broke. Just look at the elder Americans crying "fixed income, fixed income" every time they vote against a school budget in those states where the average taxpayer has a say. But to put it plainly, screw our kids, and we screw our future. Kids who are denied top notch education turn into college kids who are clueless, turn into adults who don't know where to turn. It's the concept of spending money to make money. Turn our backs on our kids now, and as great as it might seem to save some dough, we'll end up spending more in the long run.

Now President Obama's jobs plan will ostensibly set aside $60 billion for the repair of 35,000 schools and teachers' jobs. You can bemoan spending. Or you can think about what happens to kids who graduate from school with no skills, no ambition, and no future, and the burden they put on the American economy. Americans love to moan about how the welfare state is such a drag, but keeping kids from ending up there is going to cost us something.

Are you ready to pay up?


Image via Becky F/Obama

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