Education, science, and job training are on the chopping block in an effort to cut spending. States and the federal government are proposing deep cuts to these programs, in addition to others. This strategy is contrary to what politicians say is important in securing the future for the next generation.
The Republican leadership released a partial list of their proposed cuts to alleviate some of the pressure from House Republicans about the lack of specifics regarding their $100 million spending cut pledge. The leadership says they intend to make good on their promise but House members say it is not moving fast enough.
States Propose Cuts
The federal government is not alone in their cutting programs under the promise of reining in spending. In Nevada, newly elected Governor Sandoval released his budget with heavy cuts to K-12 and higher education, social services, and local governments. The only group to not only avoid the chopping block but also pick up money is big business. The governor proposed cutting K-12 funding by nine percent and higher education funding by 18 percent.
The Nevada governor also proposed taking money from local counties to fund the stateÂ’s budget. He also left the counties with unfunded mandates and programs, even after the governorÂ’s association sent a letter to Congress asking them to not do the same thing to the states.
The state of Washington wants to cut instructional funding to 50 percent of 2008 levels. Arizona is looking at education cuts totaling $875 million. The governor of FloridaÂ’s new budget calls for cuts between $3.3 billion and 4.8 billion.
Federal Government Proposed Cuts
In addition to proposed cuts in education, the GOP has proposed cutting the Office of Science budget by 20 percent, $2 billion from job training, $1 billion from healthcare for the uninsured, $200 million from assistance for blind and disabled children, and $760 million from the WIC nutrition program.
No one is so naive as to say that cuts are not necessary but cutting programs that aid the needy and provide for the direct development of the country is irresponsible. Out of 34 countries, the United States ranked 17th in science, 14th in reading, and 25th in math. Canadian 15-year-olds are, depending on the subject, a half a year to over a year ahead of their counterparts in the U.S.
Everyday other countries are outpacing us in technology. How can we compete when the government decides that programs required for future development are not important?