Thursday, February 17, 2005


No Missile Left Behind

President Bush's "No (Millionaire's) Child Left Behind" act is partially based on test scores. School funding is cut if students perform poorly on standardized tests.

Maybe we should apply this rationale to President Bush's "Son of Star Wars" missile defense program. After all, it keeps failing standardized tests...

Molly Ivins observes that the "Bush budget takes pennies from hungry kids, feeds billions to Star Wars" For example:
With President Bush's proposed budget, may it die in committee, no pause is necessary. Read any overview of the proposal, and you can see exactly who's getting screwed: children.

Good Lord, what a nasty document. The cuts are in health care, childcare, Head Start, nutrition programs, food stamps and foster care. Because budgets are such abstract things -- add a little here, cut some there, all produced by the Department of Great Big Numbers -- it's hard to see what they actually mean to real people's lives.
Nothing compared to the $9.9 billion being squandered on the missile defense boondoggle this year. (Did you notice that the system flunked yet another test this week, at a cost of another $85 million?)

If we cut one or two billion dollars from the missile defense program ever time they flunked a test, it would "get their attention" just like cutting the budget of underperforming schools "gets the attention" of teachers and administrators.

Some may argue cutting "missile defense" spending would cause it to fail. However, shouldn't that argument apply to "underperforming" schools as well?

Besides, there is a difference between children and technology: if we put off spending money on technology, the technology improves. If we put off educating our country's children, they are forever "left behind."


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