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Liberal Omnibus Bill: Yes to Spending, No to School Choice

The omnibus spending bill passed by the House last week and being debated in the Senate this week sends two liberal messages:

1) Yes to Extravagant Spending

Despite the recession and the $1.4 trillion budget deficit, the House passed a $410 billion omnibus spending bill last week. The bill contained such ridiculous provisions as earmarks for tattoo removal in California, a lobster museum in Maine, and a Totally Teen Zone Georgia.

In fact, the bill has over 9,000 earmarks in it, and combined with the colossal $1.1 trillion stimulus bill, increases spending for discretionary programs a staggering 80 percent from $378 billion to $680 billion.

This is virtually unprecedented in American history, as these programs have already recently had significant increases. From 2001 through 2008, these programs grew 23 percent faster than inflation, with education increasing 35 percent, health research increasing 37 percent, and veterans benefits increasing 54 percent. Yet, rather than ask federal agencies to join the American people in some recessionary belt-tightening, the President and Congress are increasing spending by 80% and funding ridiculous earmarks like over a million dollars to combat Mormon Crickets in Utah, and over $330,000 to build a school sidewalk in Texas.

2) No to School Choice

As if the spending provisions in the omnibus bill were not atrocious enough, the bill does something else too: it gives a death sentence to the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program. The program awards scholarships of up to $7,500 a year for almost 2,000 low-income students to attend private schools and has been instrumental in giving children a chance to break free from failing, violence-ridden schools. Yet the bill stipulates that any future funds to the program will require the reauthorization by Congressa back-door attempt to kill the program.

Watch the below video to learn more about the benefits of this program from the recipients themselves.

Recent studies are showing that vouchers are working. Families are more satisfied with their childrens education with school choice, students are safer, test scores are going up, and even public schools are getting better thanks to the competition.

But the DC public school system isnt doing as well. D.C. spends some $14,000 annually on each child in its public schools, one of the highest per-pupil costs in the nation, yet DC ranks 51st — dead last — in test scores among the 50 states, and only slightly more than half of students graduate. The DC Opportunity Scholarship Program provides parents and students a better option than this failing school system.

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