Thursday, September 02, 2010

"Oceania Was Always At War With Eurasia" of the Day

Remember when President Obama promised to "restore science to its proper place"? Remember when he vowed to "restore fiscal discipline"?

Well, based on this August 20th New York Times op-ed by former Times magazine senior editor Paul Tough, liberals no longer care:
Head Start, which provides preschool programs to poor families, is a prime example of the Senate committee’s true attitude toward evidence-based decision-making. In January, the Health and Human Services Department released a study of Head Start’s overall impact. The conclusions were disturbing. By the end of first grade, the study found, Head Start graduates were doing no better than students who didn’t attend Head Start. "No significant impacts were found for math skills, pre-writing, children’s promotion, or teacher report of children’s school accomplishments or abilities in any year," the report concluded.

And how did the Senate panel react to this dismal evidence? They set aside $8.2 billion for Head Start in 2011, almost a billion dollars more than in 2010. Of course, the fact that Congress spends billions of dollars each year on unproven programs does not itself argue that the government should start spending hundreds of millions of new dollars on new unproven programs. But it does undercut the argument that federal education dollars should be reserved only for conclusively proven initiatives.
Got that?--a study showing wasted spending is evidence favoring funding further un-verified programs.

I reported on the Head Start study here. I just never imagined it could be inverted to justify increased government spending. Must be the new "science" of "fiscal discipline."

(via Maggie's Farm via Samizdata)


Warren said...

It's not like the $8.2 billion is wasted. Think of all the democratic voters it employs.

Here's an even better idea. Use the money to fund an expedition to discover unicorns.

Assistant Village Idiot said...

The whining about "science" was never that. Creationism is a relatively harmless error, but it is a proxy for "religious people who won't just take our word for things," and that is what they consider dangerous. Actual unscientific attitudes that waste billions? No problem, so long as they are a proxy for liberal beliefs instead.

It's a way of spreading the wealth to the right people. Warren was spot on.