Carcieri: Head Start “Biggest Waste of Federal Money”

That’s the assessment from our Governor here in Rhode Island — that Head Start for preschoolers is “the biggest waste of federal money.” A bigger waste of money than, say, building a highway and not testing the concrete? A bigger waste of money than starting an unnecessary trillion dollar war? A bigger waste of money than giving more and bigger tax breaks to the richest 2% of the state’s population?

Speaking less rhetorically and more from experience, I have seen more than one child literally saved by their enrollment in Head Start. I am thinking specifically of a child with teeth rotting out of her head and no one would have done anything about it if the Head Start social worker hadn’t made sure that child got medical and dental care. This is just one rather extreme example — there are so many ways in which problems recognized and addressed in Head Start improve a child’s chances for a better future.

But let’s hear what the Governor has to say:

Show me empirical evidence that Head Start has done anything. I think it’s been the biggest waste of money, frankly. What Head Start needs to do is get into the early education business, which is teach kids vocabulary and things they need early on. Head Start, I think, is the biggest waste of federal money. What I’ve said, if you want to do early childhood education, particularly in urban areas, get Head Start integrated into what we’re trying to do with kids. If you want empirical evidence that a program has been a dismal failure, I’d put Head Start at the top of the list. That doesn’t say it can’t be changed or morphed into something that could be effective, but as it is I think it’s totally ineffective.

While Head Start, along with countless other programs, could doubtlessly be improved, calling the program the “biggest waste of federal money” is an incredible misrepresentation of reality. In a just world, there would need to be some recompense for these wrong words. If it were up to me, the Governor would now be required to spend the next 6 months working a full 40-hour week in a Head Start classroom. Then he could review his statement above and see if he would like to make any modifications.


6 thoughts on “Carcieri: Head Start “Biggest Waste of Federal Money”

  1. that reminds me that Governor Carcieri never paid us taxpayers back the $15,000 he handed a lawyer to explain to him why he opposes gay marriage. if he doesn’t have opinions of his own he shouldn’t be governor. and maybe he can explain ‘what we’re trying to do with kids.’ since he wants to toss out a program with proven benefits in favor of something he doesn’t bother to name or explain. maybe it will cost us another $15,000 for a lawyer to tell him what his opinion is on education. He’s already made it clear that he doesn’t think he has to talk to actual students in the public schools.

  2. I always thought that Head Start was in “the early education business.” I’m sure I read that somewhere. Doesn’t that program do something with numbers and letters? I was pretty sure that it did. Not to mention the obvious health benefits that accrue from just being in the program.

    But if it’s a contest of empirical studies he wants, then I say bring it. Aside from his self-serving, tautological, bootstrapping comments about “empirical” studies, I really do want to help him out. On Thursday, I list some studies that he might actually want to read. And being a public spirited citizen, I won’t charge $ 15,000. I give it to him for free. Just my little contribution to the common good.

  3. “Misrepresentation of reality”?

    You are too kind.

    Try: Lie.

    So many Republicans don’t even try to tell the truth any more. There have been numerous studies showing that intervention at an early age is many times more effective than interventions later in life.

    IOW, the cost-benefit analysis says it’s best to spend the money when the kid is young.

    But Republicans would rather spend more–much, much more–to incarcerate society’s laggards. And they’re supposedly the “business-savvy” party? Make me puke.

    That’s just another lie that they perpetrate shamelessly.

    Geoff, one of these days we on the left side of the aisle have to realize that those on the other side have not the slightest interest in facts or proof. I wasted many hours on Anchor Rising in an attempt to debate the Yahoos. They weren’t interested. Any facts they didn’t like were ascribed to me being a socialist. That was their trump card.

    “Oh Yeah? Well, you’re just a Socialist!” And yes, it always did sound like a five-year old on a playground.

    With apologies to five-year olds.

  4. Klaus, I couldn’t agree more with your observation about those on the right having little interest in facts or proof. Why let facts and proof get in the way of an erroneous position?

    However, what concerns me is that here we have the Governor of Rhode Island, a guy who should know what he’s talking about, totally trashing a program vital to the health and development of kids. People with scant information about, in this case, Head Start will take the Governor’s comments to heart and use them to justify the punishment of a discreet class of people.

    My goal is not the engage in a debate with the Governor, although if he wants one his office can tell me when and where and I’ll show up. No, my hope is to inform the large number of people, who not hearing anything to the contrary, will uncritically credit the Governor with telling the “truth” about government programs.

    I have to say that I was nearly dumbfounded when the Governor made his comments last week. I thought “it has to be a mistake or a mis-quote.” Today proved me wrong. His comments were worthy of a patron of a local tavern dispensing his version of conventional wisdom. No facts, no proof, no discussion – Head Start is “totally ineffective” because he said it was.

    But even more troubling than that is what has become a pattern of the Governor’s targets of disdain. Before it was unwed mothers on FIP making “bad choices”, then it’s kids on RIte Care, now it’s kids in Head Start, and let’s not forget those illegals who are costing us all those millions. However, there’s no mention of the nearly $ 70 million in tax cuts that we don’t get this year b/c they were granted to a wealthy few in the name of economic development. Intentional or not, the singling out of the poor and middle class to carry the state’s economic burden to the exclusion of the wealthy is class warfare writ large.

  5. Geoff, you are also absolutely right. We have to get the word out to the 70% of the population that isn’t die-hard Republican.

    True Republicans are a minority in this country. We need to keep reminding people why that’s true.

  6. Don’t believe one optimistic word from any public figure about the economy or humanity in general. They are all part of the problem. Its like a game of Monopoly. In America, the richest 1% now hold 1/2 OF ALL UNITED STATES WEALTH. Unlike ‘lesser’ estimates, this includes all stocks, bonds, cash, and material assets held by America’s richest 1%. Even that filthy pig Oprah acknowledged that it was at about 50% in 2006. Naturally, she put her own ‘humanitarian’ spin on it. Calling attention to her own ‘good will’. WHAT A DISGUSTING HYPOCRITE SLOB. THE RICHEST 1% HAVE LITERALLY MADE WORLD PROSPERITY ABSOLUTELY IMPOSSIBLE. Don’t fall for any of their ‘humanitarian’ CRAP. ITS A SHAM. THESE PEOPLE ARE CAUSING THE SAME PROBLEMS THEY PRETEND TO CARE ABOUT. Ask any professor of economics. Money does not grow on trees. The government can’t just print up more on a whim. At any given time, there is a relative limit to the wealth within ANY economy of ANY size. So when too much wealth accumulates at the top, the middle class slip further into debt and the lower class further into poverty. A similar rule applies worldwide. The world’s richest 1% now own over 40% of ALL WORLD WEALTH. This is EVEN AFTER you account for all of this ‘good will’ ‘humanitarian’ BS from celebrities and executives. ITS A SHAM. As they get richer and richer, less wealth is left circulating beneath them. This is the single greatest underlying cause for the current US recession. The middle class can no longer afford to sustain their share of the economy. Their wealth has been gradually transfered to the richest 1%. One way or another, we suffer because of their incredible greed. We are talking about TRILLIONS of dollars which have been transfered FROM US TO THEM. All over a period of about 27 years. Thats Reaganomics for you. The wealth does not ‘trickle down’ as we were told it would. It just accumulates at the top. Shrinking the middle class and expanding the lower class. Causing a domino effect of socio-economic problems. But the rich will never stop. They just keep getting richer. Leaving even less of the pie for the other 99% of us to share. At the same time, they throw back a few tax deductible crumbs and call themselves ‘humanitarians’. Cashing in on the PR and getting even richer the following year. IT CAN’T WORK THIS WAY. Their bogus efforts to make the world a better place can not possibly succeed. Any ‘humanitarian’ progress made in one area will be lost in another. EVERY SINGLE TIME. IT ABSOLUTELY CAN NOT WORK THIS WAY. This is going to end just like a game of Monopoly. The current US recession will drag on for years and lead into the worst US depression of all time. The richest 1% will live like royalty while the rest of us fight over jobs, food, and gasoline. So don’t fall for any of this PR CRAP from Hollywood, Pro Sports, and Wall Street PIGS. ITS A SHAM. Remember: They are filthy rich EVEN AFTER their tax deductible contributions. Greedy pigs. Now, we are headed for the worst economic and cultural crisis of all time. Crime, poverty, and suicide will skyrocket. SEND A “THANK YOUâ€? NOTE TO YOUR FAVORITE MILLIONAIRE. ITS THEIR FAULT. I’m not discounting other factors like China, sub-prime, or gas prices. But all of those factors combined still pale in comparison to that HUGE transfer of wealth to the rich. Anyway, those other factors are all related and further aggrivated because of GREED. If it weren’t for the OBSCENE distribution of wealth within our country, there never would have been such a market for sub-prime to begin with. Which by the way, was another trick whipped up by greedy bankers and executives. IT MAKES THEM RICHER. The credit industry has been ENDORSED by people like Oprah Winfrey, Ellen DeGenerous, Dr Phil, and many other celebrities. IT MAKES THEM RICHER. Now, there are commercial ties between nearly every industry and every public figure. IT MAKES THEM RICHER. So don’t fall for their ‘good will’ BS. ITS A LIE. If you fall for it, then you’re a fool. If you see any real difference between the moral character of a celebrity, politician, attorney, or executive, then you’re a fool. No offense fellow citizens. But we have been mislead by nearly every public figure. WAKE UP PEOPLE. THEIR GOAL IS TO WIN THE GAME. The 1% club will always say or do whatever it takes to get as rich as possible. Without the slightest regard for anything or anyone but themselves. Reaganomics. Their idea. Loans from China. Their idea. NAFTA. Their idea. Outsourcing. Their idea. Sub-prime. Their idea. High energy prices. Their idea. Obscene health care charges. Their idea. The commercial lobbyist. Their idea. The multi-million dollar lawsuit. Their idea. The multi-million dollar endorsement deal. Their idea. $200 cell phone bills. Their idea. $200 basketball shoes. Their idea. $30 late fees. Their idea. $30 NSF fees. Their idea. $20 DVDs. Their idea. Subliminal advertising. Their idea. Brainwash plots on TV. Their idea. Vioxx, and Celebrex. Their idea. The MASSIVE campaign to turn every American into a brainwashed, credit card, pharmaceutical, love-sick, celebrity junkie. Their idea. All of the above shrink the middle class, concentrate the world’s wealth and resources, create a dominoe effect of socio-economic problems, and wreak havok on society. All of which have been CREATED AND ENDORSED by celebrities, athletes, executives, entrepreneurs, attorneys, and politicians. IT MAKES THEM RICHER. So don’t fall for any of their ‘good will’ ‘humanitarian’ BS. ITS A SHAM. NOTHING BUT TAX DEDUCTIBLE PR CRAP. In many cases, the ‘charitable’ contribution is almost entirely offset. Not to mention the opportunity to plug their name, image, product, and ‘good will’ all at once. IT MAKES THEM RICHER. These filthy pigs even have the nerve to throw a fit and spin up a misleading defense with regard to ‘federal tax revenue’. ITS A SHAM. THEY SCREWED UP THE EQUATION TO BEGIN WITH. If the middle and lower classes had a greater share of the pie, they could easily cover a greater share of the federal tax revenue. They are held down in many ways because of greed. Wages remain stagnant for millions because the executives, celebrities, athletes, attorneys, and entrepreneurs, are paid millions. They over-sell, over-charge, under-pay, outsource, cut jobs, and benefits to increase their bottom line. As their profits rise, so do the stock values. Which are owned primarily by the richest 5%. As more United States wealth rises to the top, the middle and lower classes inevitably suffer. This reduces the potential tax reveue drawn from those brackets. At the same time, it wreaks havok on middle and lower class communities and increases the need for financial aid. Not to mention the spike in crime because of it. There is a dominoe effect to consider. IT CAN’T WORK THIS WAY. But our leaders refuse to acknowledge this. Instead they come up with one trick after another to milk the system and screw the majority. These decisions are heavily influensed by the 1% club. Every year, billions of federal tax dollars are diverted behind the scenes back to the rich and their respective industries. Loans from China have been necessary to compensate in part, for the red ink and multi-trillion dollar transfer of wealth to the rich. At the same time, the feds have been pushing more financial burden onto the states who push them lower onto the cities. Again, the hardship is felt more by the majority and less by the 1% club. The rich prefer to live in exclusive areas or upper class communities. They get the best of everything. Reliable city services, new schools, freshly paved roads, upscale parks, ect. The middle and lower class communities get little or nothing without a local tax increase. Which, they usually can’t afford. So the red ink flows followed by service cuts and lay-offs. All because of the OBSCENE distribution of bottom line wealth in th
    is country. So when people forgive the rich for their incredible greed and then praise them for paying a greater share of the FEDERAL income taxes, its like nails on a chalk board. I can not accept any theory that our economy would suffer in any way with a more reasonable distribution of wealth. Afterall, it was more reasonable 30 years ago. Before Reaganomics came along. Before GREED became such an epidemic. Before we had an army of over-paid executives, bankers, celebrities, athletes, attorneys, doctors, investors, entrepreneurs, developers, and sold-out politicians to kiss their asses. As a nation, we were in much better shape. Strong middle class, free and clear assets, lower crime rate, more widespread prosperity, stable job market, lower deficit, ect. Our economy as a whole was much more stable and prosperous for the majority. WITHOUT LOANS FROM CHINA. Now, we have a more obscene distribution of bottom line wealth than ever before. We have a sold-out government, crumbling infrastructure, energy crisis, home forclosure epidemic, 13 figure national deficit, and 12 figure annual shortfall. The cost of living is higher than ever before. Most people can’t even afford basic health care. ALL BECAUSE OF GREED. I really don’t blame the 2nd -5th percentiles in general. No economy could ever function without some reasonable scale of personal wealth and income. But it can’t be allowed to run wild like a mad dog. ALBERT EINSTEIN TRIED TO MAKE PEOPLE UNDERSTAND. UNBRIDLED CAPITALISM ABSOLUTELY CAN NOT WORK. TOP HEAVY ECONOMIES ALWAYS COLLAPSE. Bottom line: The richest 1% will soon tank the largest economy in the world. It will be like nothing we’ve ever seen before. The American dream will be shattered. and thats just the beginning. Greed will eventually tank every major economy in the world. Causing millions to suffer and die. Oprah, Angelina, Brad, Bono, and Bill are not part of the solution. They are part of the problem. THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS A MULTI-MILLIONAIRE HUMANITARIAN. EXTREME WEALTH MAKES WORLD PROSPERITY ABSOLUTELY IMPOSSIBLE. WITHOUT WORLD PROSPERITY, THERE WILL NEVER BE WORLD PEACE OR ANYTHING EVEN CLOSE. GREED KILLS. IT WILL BE OUR DOWNFALL. Of course, the rich will throw a fit and call me a madman.. Of course, they will jump to small minded conclusions about ‘jealousy’, ‘envy’, or ‘socialism’. Of course, their ignorant fans will do the same. You have to expect that. But I speak the truth. If you don’t believe me, then copy this entry and run it by any professor of economics or socio-economics. Then tell a friend. Call the local radio station. Re-post this entry or put it in your own words. Be one of the first to predict the worst economic and cultural crisis of all time and explain its cause. WE ARE IN BIG TROUBLE.

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