By now I’m sure most of you have seen the typically moronic attacks on Sarah Palin’s slashing of funds for Special Needs students in Alaska. I say typically, because we’ve seen this odd type of arithmetic used by the Democrats before, and I say moronic because it just is so easy to disprove that you wonder how desperate they have to be to use such nonsense in the first place.
The first I saw of this funding shenanigans was from CNN’s own Soledad O’Brien. Part of Republican Convention coverage included this as part of an interview with McCain Advisor Nicolle Wallace. O’Brien said/asked:
“One area that has gotten certainly people sending to me a lot of e-mails is the question about as governor what she did with the special needs budget, which I'm sure you're aware, she cut significantly, 62 percent I think is the number from when she came into office. As a woman who is now a mother to a special needs child, and I think she actually has a nephew which is autistic as well. How much of a problem is this going to be as she tries to navigate both sides of that issue?”
Now, unfortunately, Wallace was not ‘up’ on that particular subject. Her reply was useless and did not really answer the question. And I have to wonder who sent the email(s) to O’Brien. Because they sound like they come from the Democratic Party itself. Want to give the public a scare? Tell them the Republicans are slashing funding for whichever program you choose. Sometimes it works. Sometimes it doesn’t. Wallace should have said, simply, “Special Needs funding in Alaska was not cut at all. Look it up, Toots.”
Nobody can imagine O’Brien or her handlers to have truly done their homework on this, can they? It's not as if O'Brien is a disinterested party, either. So what is the basis of this lie about Palin’s record? Well, it seems that Palin moved certain school items from one place to another in order to streamline the education budget. Thus “slashing” the schools budget!
Here’s what happened to Special Needs funding, according to FactCheck.org:
According to an April 2008 article in Education Week, Palin signed legislation in March 2008 that would increase public school funding considerably, including special needs funding. It would increase spending on what Alaska calls "intensive needs" students (students with high-cost special requirements) from $26,900 per student in 2008 to $73,840 per student in 2011. That almost triples the per-student spending in three fiscal years. Palin's original proposal, according to the Anchorage Daily News, would have increased funds slightly more, giving intensive needs students a $77,740 allotment by 2011.
So why the claim that Palin slashed special needs funding? Again, from FactCheck.org.:
According to Eddy Jeans at the Alaska Department of Education and Early Development, funding for special needs and intensive needs students has increased every year since Palin entered office, from a total of $203 million in 2006 to a projected $276 million in 2009.
Those who claim that Palin cut special needs funding by 62 percent are looking in the wrong place and misinterpreting what they find there. They point to an apparent drop in the Department of Education and Early Development budget for special schools. But the special schools budget, despite the similar name, isn't the special needs budget. "I don’t even consider the special schools component [part of] our special needs funding," Jeans told FactCheck.org. "The special needs funding is provided through our public school funding formula. The special schools is simply a budget component where we have funding set aside for special projects," such as the Alaska School for the Deaf and the Alaska Military Youth Academy. A different budget component, the Foundation Program, governs special needs programs in the public school system.
These funding foul-ups are old hat for the Democrats. If they propose 150% increase in funding for wart-removal research and the Republicans say, “it’s too much, let’s just hike funding 50%,” the Dems then trot out the same nonsense as always to the willing press hand-maidens: “The Republicans want to slash funding by 100%!” And that’s how it’s reported. Whenever I read the reports of funds being heartlessly slashed I consider the source and ignore it. It’s usually Leftist lies and their typical faulty arithmetic.
One commenter at MichelleMalkin.com had this reminder:
MSM did exactly the same thing with the “Republicans slash medicare benefits” story for over six months during 1996 Presidential campaign.
Every night Leno and Letterman parroted the Dems’ line of Republicans “cutting” benefits.
Truth: Reps. wanted about a 4% increase, while Dems. wanted a 6% increase. The 2% smaller increase was called a “cut” by Dems. In January 2007 Clinton signed a 5% increase and called it “medicare savings”.
Problem: MSM went along the whole year and NEVER explained the facts to the public; they just repeated the Dem. line.
As I said they’ve done this before. They will do it again. Don’t expect the MSM to check the information they get from the Dems. It’s no longer the job of the MSM to discover the facts and publish them. So you have to do that yourselves!
This election season the Dems have someone with a solid record to run against. Thus the lies are bigger, the smears uglier, the fear on the Left palpable. While Obama can snidely refer obliquely to Palin as a pig, he remains a man of no accomplishment, no record, no substance. His opponent remains a man of substance, record, and many accomplishments. Obama thinks he can use Sarah Palin as a target to get folks looking the other way. But Obama is still standing there, directing the hate, hiding behind his race to cover his basic flaws.
Don’t be fooled. Do your homework. It’s your country.