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#102 Feb 14 2012 at 12:31 AM Rating: Excellent
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the CBO historical data has become harder to find


Step 1: Type "cbo historical tables" into Google Search
Step 2: Click on first link.
Step 3: Cut a hole in a box...
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#103 Feb 14 2012 at 10:25 AM Rating: Good
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Smasharoo wrote:

the CBO historical data has become harder to find


Step 1: Type "cbo historical tables" into Google Search
Step 2: Click on first link.
Step 3: Cut a hole in a box...


I'm pretty sure Gbaji would misunderstand step 3 and end up with a box on his head, which would make finding the CBO data quite difficult for him.
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#104 Feb 14 2012 at 1:13 PM Rating: Good
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Interesting article in the NYT today.

Foreign-born, rich parents in NYC are increasingly choosing to send their kids to public school (having the luxury to choose their district), because they actually teach children about class and racial diversity.

It's a piece specifically about the city itself, since affluent foreigners are hardly something found in all districts of the US. But I thought it was interesting.

And, realistically, American public schools need three things very, very badly.
1. They need the funding for small class sizes (both overall and classroom). Schools where teachers can get to know every student (over time) actually perform far better than schools with 700 students, even if class sizes are the same.
2. We need to trust teachers. We assert that teachers are just babysitters in Amaerican culture, but that's really downplaying the issue to the point where it's just wrong. Our problem is that teachers are liable for bad grades and child's behavior, but aren't given any authority to actually address issues. They aren't babysitters so much as scapegoats.
3. We need to stop creating a school environment that isn't conducive to learning. This means making classrooms true safe spaces, it means removing the competitive aspect of schooling, it means letting kids play, it means a serious reduction in the emphasis placed on testing, it means a willingness to actually foster learning over memorization, and it (most importantly) means that equality across schools needs to be truly important.

For example, take Finland.

Their schools are amazingly successful, and it's because they don't do any of the crap Americans do. Education isn't a business, it's something they see as an intrinsically valuable and important part of their nation.

Oh, best part? Schools are kept small, and class sizes as well. Everything is publically funded, so disparity between rich districts and poor districts is extremely small. If necessary, students will receive one-on-one teaching, to encourage learning. That means a much higher number of schools, and number of teachers. But their schools systems is also led by educators all the way up. In the US, most superintendents have backgrounds in business, and run schools accordingly. And that's an awful system.

Best part? They spend 30% less per student than we do in the US.

Yes, just throwing money at a school won't help. It WILL help if that money is used and dispensed by educators, and not businessmen. It will help if that goes to building a new school, to halve class sizes.

[EDIT]

Another good article, specifically on why Americans have trouble understanding the Finish model, so they can't see they problem within our own system.

Edited, Feb 14th 2012 2:20pm by idiggory
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#105 Feb 14 2012 at 1:24 PM Rating: Decent
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gbaji wrote:
I mentioned the CBO historical data. The problem (as I've pointed out in the past) is that since Obama took office, the CBO historical data has become harder to find (a coincidence, I'm sure). Used to be front and center at the top right of the first page.


Publications
=> By Subject
=> Budget and Economic Information
=> Budget and Economic Outlook

3rd or 4th link on resulting page:
http://cbo.gov/doc.cfm?index=12699&type=1

That wasn't all that difficult you twit. Tables F4 and F5 are relevant here.

And no, veterans benefits are not considered part of defense spending. Retirement and disability benefits are covered other "Other retirement / disability" on the mandatory outlays table (F5) while health care, social services, etc... are covered under non-defense discretionary spending (F4).

Discretionary outlays—the part of federal spending that lawmakers generally control through annual appropriation acts—totaled about $1.35 trillion in 2011, or close to 40 percent of federal outlays. Slightly more than half of that spending was for defense. The remainder went for a wide variety of government programs and activities, with the largest amounts spent for education, training, employment, and social services; transportation; income security (mostly housing and nutrition assistance); veterans' benefits (primarily for health care); health-related research and public health; international affairs; and the administration of justice.
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#106 Feb 14 2012 at 1:39 PM Rating: Good
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That's fine, but then we shouldn't be considering teachers' benefits a part of education spending.
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#107 Feb 14 2012 at 1:40 PM Rating: Decent
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idiggory, King of Bards wrote:
That's fine, but then we shouldn't be considering teachers' benefits a part of education spending.


Active benefits (while you're employed) are part of education (or defense) spending. It's the benefits that are applied after you're retired that are counted separately.
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You guys keep tossing facts out there like they mean something.


#108 Feb 14 2012 at 1:42 PM Rating: Good
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Still applies with regards to pensions, which is the largest part of the debate on education spending.
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#109 Feb 14 2012 at 1:50 PM Rating: Decent
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idiggory, King of Bards wrote:
Still applies with regards to pensions, which is the largest part of the debate on education spending.



OK, military funding is a federal issue. In all cases that I'm aware of, teacher pensions are funded at the state level. For your point to be valid, you're going to have to show a clear link between federal education funding and state fulfillment of teacher pension funding, since, you know, teachers aren't federal employees. I don't doubt there is a link, but its likely tenuous at best, and without some hard facts, it's a red herring.

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You guys keep tossing facts out there like they mean something.


#110 Feb 14 2012 at 1:51 PM Rating: Good
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I wasn't aware that we were limiting this conversation to federal spending, especially considering the thread has been about proposed legislation in a specific state.
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#111 Feb 14 2012 at 1:57 PM Rating: Default
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idiggory, King of Bards wrote:
I wasn't aware that we were limiting this conversation to federal spending, especially considering the thread has been about proposed legislation in a specific state.


The subject of military spending is (almost) irrelevant at the state level though. The whole conversation of military vs education spending is apples and oranges if you're talking about a state-specific issue.
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You guys keep tossing facts out there like they mean something.


#112 Feb 14 2012 at 1:57 PM Rating: Excellent
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I'm pretty sure a 50% cut would be too much, but 15%~20% wouldn't be too unrealistic a suggestion.
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#113 Feb 14 2012 at 2:16 PM Rating: Excellent
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BrownDuck wrote:
idiggory, King of Bards wrote:
I wasn't aware that we were limiting this conversation to federal spending, especially considering the thread has been about proposed legislation in a specific state.


The subject of military spending is (almost) irrelevant at the state level though. The whole conversation of military vs education spending is apples and oranges if you're talking about a state-specific issue.


We're talking about amounts people are willing to spend on various social services. Whether those are local, federal, or state shouldn't matter.

Plus, it's also perfectly acceptable to argue that education spending should be a federal issue, not a state one.

There's no good reason to remove any from the conversation.
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#114 Feb 14 2012 at 2:22 PM Rating: Default
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idiggory, King of Bards wrote:
BrownDuck wrote:
idiggory, King of Bards wrote:
I wasn't aware that we were limiting this conversation to federal spending, especially considering the thread has been about proposed legislation in a specific state.


The subject of military spending is (almost) irrelevant at the state level though. The whole conversation of military vs education spending is apples and oranges if you're talking about a state-specific issue.


We're talking about amounts people are willing to spend on various social services. Whether those are local, federal, or state shouldn't matter.

Plus, it's also perfectly acceptable to argue that education spending should be a federal issue, not a state one.

There's no good reason to remove any from the conversation.


Well if you'd remove your blinders, you'd see that I was responding directly to a statement made by Gbaji about federal spending and accounting. Also, any previous comments I made on the subject were directed toward federal education spending which as we just clarified, does not generally include teacher pensions. That's something you injected into the conversation, and not something I was particularly addressing.
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You guys keep tossing facts out there like they mean something.


#115 Feb 14 2012 at 2:28 PM Rating: Good
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BrownDuck wrote:
idiggory, King of Bards wrote:
BrownDuck wrote:
idiggory, King of Bards wrote:
I wasn't aware that we were limiting this conversation to federal spending, especially considering the thread has been about proposed legislation in a specific state.


The subject of military spending is (almost) irrelevant at the state level though. The whole conversation of military vs education spending is apples and oranges if you're talking about a state-specific issue.


We're talking about amounts people are willing to spend on various social services. Whether those are local, federal, or state shouldn't matter.

Plus, it's also perfectly acceptable to argue that education spending should be a federal issue, not a state one.

There's no good reason to remove any from the conversation.


Well if you'd remove your blinders, you'd see that I was responding directly to a statement made by Gbaji about federal spending and accounting. Also, any previous comments I made on the subject were directed toward federal education spending which as we just clarified, does not generally include teacher pensions. That's something you injected into the conversation, and not something I was particularly addressing.


No, you were addressing me specifically on the subject of whether or not veterans benefits should be lumped in with defense spending. That's how we got onto this tangent about teacher's benefits. It had nothing to do with federal vs. state--that was your own separate issue with gbaji.

Quote:
And no, veterans benefits are not considered part of defense spending. Retirement and disability benefits are covered other "Other retirement / disability" on the mandatory outlays table (F5) while health care, social services, etc... are covered under non-defense discretionary spending (F4).


His stance was that they shouldn't be considered defense spending, mine was that they should.
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#116 Feb 14 2012 at 2:44 PM Rating: Good
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idiggory, King of Bards wrote:
His stance was that they shouldn't be considered defense spending, mine was that they should.


Well whether they should be or not, they currently are not. I was responding to a comment he made, but didn't realize the source of the point of contention. My bad.
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gbaji wrote:
You guys keep tossing facts out there like they mean something.


#117 Feb 14 2012 at 2:55 PM Rating: Good
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No problem, lol. That gave me many +1 opportunities. :P
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#118 Feb 14 2012 at 3:53 PM Rating: Excellent
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idiggory, King of Bards wrote:
Another good article, specifically on why Americans have trouble understanding the Finish model, so they can't see they problem within our own system.

I saw a similar article a while back in... The Christian Science Monitor? Anyway, same premise -- why don't we look at countries with successful school systems and emulate them rather than trying to reinvent the wheel. A couple of the common traits were better teacher pay (which can be coupled with better accountability) and targeting schools in the worse economic areas with the most funding rather than the US model where schools in wealthy districts wind up having the most cash and schools in depressed districts stay depressed.

Not said, but I think relating the second point especially, is our strange state/local fiefdom model for school administration/funding. I think a more federalized system would be better but that's just me.
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#119 Feb 14 2012 at 4:01 PM Rating: Excellent
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It might also be nice if schools focused more on academics then sports programs.
#120 Feb 14 2012 at 4:04 PM Rating: Good
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BrownDuck wrote:
gbaji wrote:
I mentioned the CBO historical data. The problem (as I've pointed out in the past) is that since Obama took office, the CBO historical data has become harder to find (a coincidence, I'm sure). Used to be front and center at the top right of the first page.


Publications
=> By Subject
=> Budget and Economic Information
=> Budget and Economic Outlook

3rd or 4th link on resulting page:
http://cbo.gov/doc.cfm?index=12699&type=1

That wasn't all that difficult you twit.


Used to just be able to point to cbo.gov and say "click the link in the top right of the page". I think you're missing the point. If I reference the cbo historical budget data, then that's the reference. It's publicly available data from a known source. If you want to verify that data, you're free to download the pdf and view it yourself. Yes. A direct link helps, but they don't provide the tables in html format anymore, so each person has to download the files themselves.

Quote:
And no, veterans benefits are not considered part of defense spending. Retirement and disability benefits are covered other "Other retirement / disability" on the mandatory outlays table (F5) while health care, social services, etc... are covered under non-defense discretionary spending (F4).


It is under the other source cited though. Which is part of the point I was making. Certainly, when someone speaks of reducing "military spending", they're probably not speaking of veterans benefits.

Edited, Feb 14th 2012 2:04pm by gbaji
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#121 Feb 14 2012 at 4:04 PM Rating: Decent
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Belkira wrote:
It might also be nice if schools focused more on academics then sports programs.


But then how would all those inner city youths with single (or non-existant) parents have a shot at a decent community college level education while representing a big university sports team. Athletes can't go pro on their own, Belkira.
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gbaji wrote:
You guys keep tossing facts out there like they mean something.


#122 Feb 14 2012 at 4:07 PM Rating: Decent
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BrownDuck wrote:
idiggory, King of Bards wrote:
I wasn't aware that we were limiting this conversation to federal spending, especially considering the thread has been about proposed legislation in a specific state.


The subject of military spending is (almost) irrelevant at the state level though. The whole conversation of military vs education spending is apples and oranges if you're talking about a state-specific issue.


Yes. Exactly right. If we're going to have any conversation which involves comparing spending on military (which is done almost entirely at the federal level) and education (which is done mostly at the local and state levels), we can't restrict our conversation to just state funding or federal funding. We have to look at all funding and costs at all levels. It's certainly ridiculous to compare federal military spending to federal education spending and conclude that we over spend on one and underspend on the other.
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#123 Feb 14 2012 at 4:13 PM Rating: Decent
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Jophiel wrote:
gbaji wrote:
Quote:
And veterans benefits absolutely factor into defense spending. They are specifically part of the system we use to support those in the defense program, to repair the damage done to them through it, and to attract people to the program in the first place.
But I'm reasonably certain that wasn't the part of the military spending that was proposed to be cut and spent instead on education.

Smaller military = less veteran benefit obligations. No one is saying "Let's dump all our tanks into the ocean but keep paying the tank drivers".


This assumes the mission changes. Now I know that's what some want to have happen, and is in fact why they propose cutting military spending. They assume that if we cut the military spending, then we reduce what the military can do, and thus will reduce what we try to do with it. But that's not a valid assumption. What usually happens (and has happened) is that the military comes up with new standards and insists that it can provide the same mission capability with fewer people and resources.

Which means we do the same things, just with fewer people. Which means, everything else staying the same, that we'll have the same total number of casualties over time. They'll just represent a higher percentage of the total. And guess what? The costs to provide those services will be the same. Now if we're limiting our conversation to just "normal" benefits, then the costs will obviously be lower if there are fewer people. However, if that's the case then my argument about it not mattering where the costs are is valid as well. If instead of that person working in the military he works at the DMV. Our tax dollars are still providing for his benefits, one way or another.


Given that the high calculations for the costs of the wars include the health costs directly associated with our military actions, I think it's fair to point out that this number wont decrease just because we decrease the number of people in the military. One can argue that they will actually increase, in fact.
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#124 Feb 14 2012 at 4:13 PM Rating: Excellent
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It might also be nice if schools focused more on academics then sports programs.
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#125 Feb 14 2012 at 4:14 PM Rating: Good
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gbaji wrote:
It's certainly ridiculous to compare federal military spending to federal education spending and conclude that we over spend on one and underspend on the other.


Not necessarily. While the bulk of a public school system's funding may come in at the state level, it's not an unreasonable expectation that the federal government might provide more funding for impoverished or depressed school districts in the form of grants, training programs, etc... such that said districts might improve the quality of education offered to their students.

Just because the majority of public education funding is at the state level now doesn't mean it has to be. Given a choice of where my tax dollars were spent, I'd certainly spend my share improving inner city schools than say, paying marines to **** on dead enemy combatants.
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gbaji wrote:
You guys keep tossing facts out there like they mean something.


#126 Feb 14 2012 at 4:23 PM Rating: Decent
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BrownDuck wrote:
gbaji wrote:
It's certainly ridiculous to compare federal military spending to federal education spending and conclude that we over spend on one and underspend on the other.


Not necessarily. While the bulk of a public school system's funding may come in at the state level, it's not an unreasonable expectation that the federal government might provide more funding for impoverished or depressed school districts in the form of grants, training programs, etc... such that said districts might improve the quality of education offered to their students.


Sure. But that's a separate assessment of the need for such funding at the federal level. I don't think it's fair to compare the dollars spent on each of those things at the federal level and make a broad pronouncement that one is underfunded, and the other overfunded.

Quote:
Just because the majority of public education funding is at the state level now doesn't mean it has to be. Given a choice of where my tax dollars were spent, I'd certainly spend my share improving inner city schools than say, paying marines to **** on dead enemy combatants.


But that doesn't change the totals, right? So you pay less state taxes and higher federal taxes to shift the spending from one level to the other. And having done that, don't you now make the federal spending higher relative to the military spending? Since it is really just a matter of where the money is taxed, isn't it more fair to just compare the total amounts spent on both at all levels?


And frankly, it's also important to include the amount spent privately. Not on a one for one level, but it should be mentioned. Because if, for example, someone were to propose to eliminate private schools and make them all public (like in Finland maybe), you'd have to account for that extra cost for all those students who are currently not receiving their eduction funding from any level of government. That's the true full cost of education in America, and it's important to include it (even if the math isn't particularly direct). I suppose we could count all the kids attending private school and multiply by the current average per-child cost of public education and arrive at a number we'd have to add.


Don't feel like doing it myself right at the moment, but can we agree that this is a relevant figure as well?
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