The truth has a way of finding its way to the surface. Sometimes it just kind of pops out, defying the lips of its keeper. Sometimes it takes a twist of fate to free it. Recently, the truth has surfaced in the debate about the education budget.
Sometimes it just kind of pops out. The Republicans have been lockstep so far in putting together the state budget. They have also been lock lipped, if you will. In person, on TV, in email, in the paper, they have been saying the same exact things. However, one rookie representative let the cat out of the bag. He said what many of his colleagues are too wise to say. In the May 14-15 edition of the Big Rapids Pioneer, Representative Phil Potvin said “It’s kind of like one of your kids coming to you and yelling and screaming at you saying, ‘Dad, I want my allowance.’ ‘What do you mean you want your allowance? You haven’t emptied the basket, you haven’t mowed the grass and I sure don’t appreciate your language and your attitude.” This is the same guy who exactly one month earlier donned a “No Whining” button at a Republican fundraiser in response to teachers, students, and parents rallying outside. To summarize: Teachers are whiners. Teachers have not been doing their jobs. And politicians are our daddies. The truth finds its ways out.
Sometimes it takes a twist of fate. Politicians have been using crisis as a way of ushering in sweeping change for years. Some prominent examples include the New Deal in response to the great depression, the increased spending on science and education in response to the Soviet’s launch of Sputnik, and the Patriot Act in response to the 9-11 terrorist attack. The newest version of this is the Chicken Little act happening around the country in response to state budget shortfalls. The cuts to education, we were told, were necessary to balance the budget. That sounds reasonable. Cuts were made to education for that same reason under the Granholm administration. However, when additional revenue came in above expectations, before the budget was even passed, only part of it was earmarked for schools. Those additional funds are only being made available with strings attached. So much for the budget being the reason for the cuts. The truth finds its way out.
Campaigns seem to be the one place where truth has difficulty escaping. In an interview with annarbor.com prior to the election, our Governor indicated that present levels of funding were sufficient. In an interview with the Cadillac news prior to the election, our daddy Phil Potvin said we “need to properly support the education system.” Now the truth be known.