By Bonnie Erbe, Thomas Jefferson Street blog.
It's true: the O'budget redefines government as we know it. The idea of putting minor off-budget items (such as wars) back on-budget is brilliant. Keeping those costs hidden, a Bush concoction, was never anything but wicked wizardry. Making college more affordable and improving public schools, is among the most important things this president will do:
Obama proposes a huge expansion of the government's role in making college more affordable and putting it within reach of more students. He seeks to link growth of the Pell Grant program to inflation for the first time since the program began. He also seeks to overhaul the student loan system by ending a massive program of government-subsidized loans made by private lenders. Instead, he would boost direct lending by the government.
By me, the answer to almost every economic problem is education. Well-educated people, data show, hardly ever end up in poverty. They make wiser spending and political choices. They are more concerned about the environment, because they know without protecting the environment, there will be no tomorrow.
But the breadth of President Obama's spending is dazzling and one hopes it doesn't send up spinning toward a reenactment of the Weimar Republic, when Germans pushed wheel-barrows full of marks to the bakery to buy a loaf of bread.
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By Bonnie Erbe