Time with the stroke of a PEN

            It would appear that the states and the federal government are about to get a lot cozier than they have been in the past; money will do that to you! In a country that has history where states don’t like to be told what to do by the federal government, I am sure it will make for some very new and interesting relationships.

             President Obama this week gave the states what they have been asking for a long time. California and a host of other states said they wanted stricter air pollution controls on automobiles. Under Ol Geo Bush, that was never going to happen. Bush felt the auto industry like many other industries could police themselves. Change for the people would come as soon as the companies could pull it off without hurting their bottom line. As we have found in the last few months Detroit has no bottom line. Their bottom fell out last year.

            Now they are willing to do anything to get a pull on the federal tit; anything to the point of giving Americans better gas mileage. The irony of it being to do it they will be using technology they already have. I mean if you’re re-tooling the plant from the top down lets make a few changes in the fuel encomium section. When President Obama signed legislation allowing the states to set higher fuel standards, Detroit with bailout receipts still fresh in its pockets knew better than to protest.

            Consequently the flood of money about to hit the American educational system is long over do. It will according to some be not enough and to others way too much. But few will disagree, that our system has been on life support for way too long. What Obama is proposing may seem like overkill compared to what we have been paying out the last eight years; but without a strong shot in the arm there is no way out of the problems we are facing in this area.

            We all remember ol Geo’s Bush plan of, “No child left behind.” Unfortunately whatever credit we can give the ideas behind the plan, a plan without funding was nothing but window dressing. Whereas that conservative initiative counted on the local municipalities and states to continue funding of educational programs with increased support form the Feds coming with increased monitoring and increased verifications of success. By the time they figured out what success was, the program had gone down the tubes. The Obama team has seen the writing on the wall and is now funding the program or remnants there of it. The money will be coming from a mishmash of funding from the bailout and federal coffers and it will seem like water to Noah’s Ark when it hits.          

             The new President true to his word is keeping his promises to address education and job issues. Yet Detroit and our Educational system must remember that checks from the government are not going to keep coming forever. In many cases these are one shot offers to prop up failing systems that like Detroit had serious problems long before anyone started passing out bailout money. It remains to be seen if we have fixed or just prolonged some problems that need new solutions and better ways to be addressed if they are ever to be solved. But then again you got to start somewhere, even if it is with just the stroke of a pen.


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