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Wednesday, June 16, 2004
Kerry Must Know How to Make a Dollar Go a Loooong Way

By Steven Taylor @ 8:12 pm

Kerry Wants Federal Afterschool Program

Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry said Wednesday he would create a federal program that would pay to keep schools open until early evening to help working parents.

Kerry, visiting an after-school and summer school program center, said he would spend an additional $1.5 billion on after-school programs. He said he would get the money for keeping schools open until 6 p.m. from repealing President Bush’s tax cuts for people earning more than $200,000 a year.

1) Would someone remind the Senator that he is running for President of the United States not mayor or school superintendent. This kind of stuff always bugs me. After-school care isn’t the president’s job.

2) He can’t pay for everything by repealing the tax cut for the $2000k+ crowd. After all, I thought he was going to pay for health care:

Kerry would repeal tax cuts for families making $200,000 a year or more and spend that money for health care.
or Bioterrorism Threat
Kerry spokesman David Wade said that some proposals would be paid for by eliminating the Bush administration’s tax cuts for Americans who earn more than $200,000 a year. Other elements would be financed through cuts in other federal programs.

and a trust fund for No Child Left Behind:

Laura Capps, spokeswoman for the John Kerry campaign, argued that the Bush administration has fallen short of providing enough money for the mandates of No Child Left Behind.

Capps said Kerry would like to create a $200 billion education trust fund to pay for education improvements with money from the repeal of Bush’s tax breaks for those earning more than $200,000 a year.

To name a few…

Somehow I am guessing that all of this can’t possibly add up.

Filed under: 2004 Campaign
  • The American Mind linked with Kerry's House of Ketchup #15

Click here to go to the main page.


  1. Would someone remind the Senator that he is running for President of the United States not mayor or school superintendent. This kind of stuff always bugs me. After-school care isn’t the president’s job.
    But enabling more funds for families *is* the president’s job. Funneling money into schools with specific goals like keeping schools open 2 hours later helps parents because 1) parents don’t have to pay a sitter everyday for 1-2 hours which 2) adds money to the parents pockets (at $3-5/hour that’s $15/25-30/50/week) is a relatively huge “tax break” for parents 3) it gives pre-teens a place to go that’s safe. Midnight basketball programs, for example, are remarkably effective at getting kids off the streets and involved in something and 4) it puts more money in educators hands for tutoring options, extra learning, expanded arts programs, athletics, music (the stuff that is all to often cut when budgets are slim and 5) it continues a message that education is important because all societies spend money on what they think are important.

    Comment by Eric — Wednesday, June 16, 2004 @ 8:59 pm

  2. That’s tongue-in-cheek satire, right?

    Comment by Steven — Wednesday, June 16, 2004 @ 9:23 pm

  3. I can’t tell. Maybe because I know too many teachers who would make the exact argument. (provided they get paid)

    Comment by Rob M — Wednesday, June 16, 2004 @ 11:37 pm

  4. Why not cut taxes to make the concept of one parent staying home more of a reality?

    Oh wait, that would mean cutting taxes…

    Comment by Charlie On the Pennsylvania Turnpike — Thursday, June 17, 2004 @ 6:00 am

  5. Keeping the school open for two more hours? How about keeping the school open on WORK DAYS!! Do you know how often the public schools are closed in California during the school year? EVERY holiday on the calendar that most businesses DON’T get off, in-service holidays every few weeks, early dismissal every other week, week-long breaks in the spring, NOT including Easter.

    Eric - you must not have kids or understand the school year, but what is needed is for schools to simply be open during their normal hours 8-3 instead of all these holidays for teachers. Don’t forget summers, too.

    So what if they are in school for 2 extra hours if they don’t have school at all for several work days out of each month.

    Comment by Director Mitch — Thursday, June 17, 2004 @ 11:32 am

  6. Since its obvious the rest of the comments were directed at me, i’ll address one by one:

    No it wasn’t satire.

    No I am not a teacher.

    Tax cuts will not encourage more stay at home mom’s or dad’s, because the even if a parent paid no taxes many times one family can’t afford to live on a gross income, so they need to supplement.

    I have kids - 3 young ones and the oldest is in public schools. The school puts out a calendar in September so I know well in advance when the days off will be. Not hard to plan around that.

    Anyone who has spent time in a classroom knows that teachers get more time off than other occupations, by and large. It’s needed. Teachers work constantly - grading, parent/teacher, supervision, continuing education, standardized testing supervision. A lot of that is done outside the classroom.

    Since we’re not going to pay teachers a lot, if you’re going to attract quality educators, you have to give them something. Time off is both needed and incentive to get & keep teachers.

    Comment by Eric — Thursday, June 17, 2004 @ 5:34 pm

  7. Please show me in the Constitution (the part that outlines the President’s duties) that enabling more funds for families fits in. PLEASE.

    Following your logic why not keep the schools open 365 days a year, 24 hours a day?

    While you are it please show me where it says that public schools are supposed to be turned into glorified baby sitters.

    Comment by retired military — Thursday, June 17, 2004 @ 10:17 pm

  8. Since when does every detail have to be written into the constitution for the president to act? Presenting a budget to the congress that the congress acts on is what part of a presidents job today. Within that there are specific spending proposals targeting specific programs. End of answer to ridiculous part of question.

    Following my logic says that keeping schools open for an extra hour or two until past 5, when most parents get off work, is very reasonable and, among other things, acts like a tax break for people who need it - parents, especially poor ones.

    If you have ever been in a classroom you know that education involves a lot more than just making kids do math problems. Providing opportunities for math clubs, sports clubs, music, art, science, rotc - all the things that societies want their kids to aspire.

    Comment by Eric — Thursday, June 17, 2004 @ 11:24 pm

  9. Eric

    You said
    “But enabling more funds for families *is* the president’s job. ”

    I stated that IT WASNT. AND IT ISNT.

    Then you changed it to
    Since when does every detail have to be written into the constitution for the president to act? ”

    Well you brought up the President’s job description not I. I merely responded to your ridiculous assertiom with the document that outlines said job description. Should I look at a McDonald’s menu to find your job description or do I go to the school board?

    “Following my logic says that keeping schools open for an extra hour or two until past 5, when most parents get off work, is very reasonable and, among other things, acts like a tax break for people who need it - parents, especially poor ones.”

    Your logic may be correct, sound, and 100% accurate. That doesn’t make it morally right to use other people’s money to follow said logic. Why should I pay for someone else’s childcare who may or may not be working, etc. I grew up poor. I didnt have after school care, etc. I got along just fine. We need to stop the nanny state and the baby state. Make people take responsibility for their own children instead of making other people pay to raise them.

    BTW I was an A/B student, couldnt take calculas in high school as they didnt offer it, and was never a member of any club. I was working after school to help out at home.

    In the military I qualified for WIC but never used it because I was making enough to feed my family.

    It is easy to do it if you just try instead of waiting on Hillary’s village to raise your kids. People should try it on their own again. Children have been getting along for hundreds of years without midnight basketball and after school childcare.

    Comment by retired military — Friday, June 18, 2004 @ 9:43 pm

  10. I’m not going to comment about your personal life other than to say that everyone receives help from many different sources throughtout their lives - friends, family, schools, government, businesses, charities, etc. No one is an island.

    Slightly off topic….I can’t understand why Kerry saying he’s wants to spend money on after school programs is considered something “unpresidential” by this site and all the commenters (save me). But when Bush goes to Ohio and promotes marriage, I hear nary a peep.

    Seems to that if one is troubled by Kerry talking about after school programs, one should be troubled that Bush is wasting our money talking about marriage as well.

    Comment by Eric — Tuesday, June 22, 2004 @ 3:19 pm

  11. Eric,

    I could provide a long dissertation on why after school programs aren’t in the Presidential purview, but I don’t have time at the moment, so maybe later. I would note that it is far outside the scope of the US Constitution.

    And if Bush were proposing huge amounts of tax dollars to pay for promoting marriage, I would gripe. Indeed, to demonstrate some consistency, I was critical of a Bush proposal for federal dollars for pre-marital counselling. I would argue that this, too, is outside the scope of the office.

    I don’t mind Bush symbolically promoting marriage, nor do Imind Kerry sayng tht education is important. However, really, I wish they’d both stick to the actual responsibilities of the White House.

    Really, to argue that this type of policy is the realm of the president is to misunderstand federalism.

    Comment by Steven — Tuesday, June 22, 2004 @ 3:35 pm

  12. That’s an argument I can buy. Although I would disagree from a practical point of view. That being that a president will show his commitment to a particular social program/idea by putting forward spending proposals. Just talking about something, without proposing funding, in today’s society, often does little. And then there’s the blurry line of being the defacto party leader, yada yada etc…. Further, I can’t think of a leader in my lifetime that didn’t want to put money towards his/her own social program.

    And yes, its not fair of me to say that the president has a responsibility to fund after school programs. Its the broader idea that the president has a responsibility for the country’s well-being and that his policies guide and shape that well-being. And spending more on after school funding, to me at least, has positive social ramifications.

    Comment by Eric — Tuesday, June 22, 2004 @ 4:22 pm

  13. Of course part of what often divides Republicans from Democrats is this type of issue. I honestly do not think it is the President’s job to be responsible for the country’s well-being at the micro-level (i.e., the local level). That’s the job of governors, mayors, school boards, and more than anything, citizens themselves. The President has no business worrying about after school programs.

    Comment by Steven — Tuesday, June 22, 2004 @ 4:29 pm

  14. But, isn’t that kind of funding like a block-grant that Republicans are so fond of? They want the money for programs and the responsibility to manage it. I would argue that Kerry is just making a proposal for exactly that.

    The problem that we encounter is that the funding for so many things at the local level are, in fact, federal. Land management, education, road construction, etc.

    I would say that its ok for a president to refer to after school programs as a way to better kids, reduce crime, yada yada and that the government should spend money on it… but restrict himself from getting more specific. Whether you agree or disagree with the subject, I don’t think that’s so unreasonable.

    Comment by Eric — Tuesday, June 22, 2004 @ 4:49 pm

  15. Grant grants are preferred over categorical grants in aid if grants must be given, which is way things have evolved since the 1960s. On balance, there are large number of items that I would stop funding from Congress, and lower federal taxes to allow the states to deal with these issues at their level.

    Roads at least fall under “internal improvements” which is mentioned in the Constitution.

    And only 7-8% of funding for education comes from the feds-the rest is state/local.

    Comment by Steven — Tuesday, June 22, 2004 @ 4:58 pm

  16. Its becoming harder and harder for local & state governments to govern in the advent of ballot-measure governing.

    Here in Washington state, you have a strong anti-tax groups that put ballot measures out every year. A lot of those are voted in. But many of those measures adversely affect services - police, fire, education, etc. People don’t realize that they’re voting against those things indirectly.

    I won’t argue at all that somethings are much better handled locally. Many things even. But not all. And education is one where I think there should be more federal spending. Not blanket spending mind you, but spending on programs that work. Better educated kids, to me, are the ultimate Internal Improvement.

    Comment by Eric — Tuesday, June 22, 2004 @ 5:23 pm

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