Catch-22

As I mentioned in my last post, McCain and Palin are caught in a bit of a Catch-22: talk about their proposals and risk outing themselves as Republicans, or talk like Democrats-Lite, which everyone knows is horseshit. Matt Yglesias provides a great example.

I think that’s passionate and just about right on the merits. Unfortunately for her, it’s total bullshit that has nothing to do with what her campaign is proposing. Instead, McCain’s tax and budget policies have the following inflation-adjusted consequences for education:

  • Cuts in Head Start.
  • Cuts in Preschool.
  • Cuts in elementary school.
  • Cuts in college aid.

And that’s in aggregate terms. In per capita terms, the cuts will be bigger. And of course beyond the narrowly educational, McCain will also cut back on S-CHIP and his health care tax changes will result in a decrease in the level of prenatal care in the United States. At the same time, we’re heading into an economic slowdown that will force state and local government to cut back on their investments in early education, primary and secondary education, and higher education. In principle, the federal government cut step in to fill the gap, but McCain has no plans to do so. The result of all this would be to kneecap efforts to improve education at the very time, as Palin said, our commitments in this area “have got to be really ramped up.”

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