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U.S. Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney pauses during a rally at Consol Energy's Research and Development facility outside Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania April 23, 2012. REUTERS/Jason Cohn
Mitt Romney packed a lot of bull into three short sentences on education funding in Wednesday night's debate:
I’m not going to cut education funding. I don’t have any plan to cut education funding and grants that go to people going to college. I’m planning on continuing to grow, so I’m not planning on making changes there.
  • In May, Romney falsely claimed that public sector employment had grown by 145,000 under Obama (it had shrunk by more than 600,000) and suggested firing those 145,000 nonexistent public workers—like teachers. Does that sound like someone "planning on continuing to grow" or "not planning on making changes" in education?
  • In June, Romney mocked President Obama for wanting to hire more teachers. Does that sound like someone who is "planning on continuing to grow"?
  • As governor of Massachusetts, Romney slashed higher education funding:
    According to the Boston Globe, fees and tuition jumped 63 percent at Massachusetts’ once-stellar system of public higher education from 2003 to 2007, as Romney slashed state funding year after year, for a total of $140 million, or 14 percent, in four years. Not surprisingly, average student debt in Massachusetts jumped 25 percent while Romney was governor. Between 2001 and 2011, tuition and fees have more than doubled at the state’s community colleges, state university and UMass campuses, but the bulk of the added burden piled up under Romney.
    Is that a record that makes you believe he wouldn't cut education funding?
  • The budget plan that made Paul Ryan a Republican star would eliminate Pell Grants for more than a million students over 10 years and reduce them for millions more. If maintaining grants to help people go to college was a priority for Romney, would he have chosen a running mate who flatly says Pell Grants are "unsustainable"?

Romney's intro to these claims on education funding was a super-zingy "Mr.—Mr. President, you’re entitled, as the president, to your own airplane and to your own house, but not to your own facts—(laughter)—all right?" But these aren't Obama's facts. The facts of Romney's own record, his words on the campaign trail, and the budget his running mate produced that Romney called "marvelous" are very clear on the direction education funding would go in a Romney presidency.

Originally posted to Daily Kos Labor on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 08:24 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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