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Mitt Romney flip flopping heads
The United States lost more than 100,000 teaching jobs between June 2011 and June 2012, part of the 300,000 teaching jobs lost since June 2008. But this summer, teacher hiring was at its strongest level since 2006, with 79,000 teaching jobs added. That's not enough to make up for the 300,000 lost, of course, and it doesn't keep up with growing numbers of students. But it's a start, and one that President Obama wants to continue with a jobs bill that would put teachers to work. Mitt Romney? That depends whether you believe what he said in the debate or what he's said before and since.

In May and June, Romney wanted to fire teachers he claimed we had and mocked President Obama for wanting to hire more. But at the debate, Romney said "I reject the idea that I don't believe in great teachers or more teachers" and "I’m not going to cut education funding." A week later, talking to the Des Moines Register editorial board:

[President Obama] wants to hire more school teachers. We all like school teachers. It’s a wonderful thing. Typically, school teachers are hired by states and localities, not by the federal government. But hiring school teachers is not going to raise the growth of the U.S. economy over the next three-to-four years.
As Sam Stein notes, that's not quite a direct contradiction of what Romney said in the debate. But it sure looks like, away from the spotlight of a nationally televised debate, Romney is tilting back toward his view that teacher jobs are pointless and unhelpful to the economy and generally dispensable. Which, even if he doesn't believe that teachers are a good investment in an educated population, is a pile of horseshit. Public sector job losses, including teachers, have weighed down the economy, slowing the recovery and boosting unemployment. Under President Obama there's been, just barely, net positive job creation. Imagine if the 680,000 public sector jobs that have been lost had not been lost. Imagine even if the 300,000 teaching jobs had not been lost. Or get really wild and crazy and imagine this:
If public sector jobs grew at the rate seen in the Presidencies of George W. Bush and Ronald Reagan, we would have somewhere around 7.0% unemployment, if not lower.
Romney wants us to believe that teaching jobs have nothing to do with economic recovery. But in reality the loss of teaching jobs has demonstrably slowed the recovery. On top of that Romney is trying to claim he values education even as he argues—implicitly at times, explicitly at other times—that we have too many teachers and don't need more, that ever-more kids can just be crammed into classrooms with fewer and fewer teachers. Does this sound like someone who would, as president, invest in quality education for all our kids?

Originally posted to Daily Kos Labor on Thu Oct 11, 2012 at 07:58 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Life in Walkerville, Wisconsin (8+ / 0-)

    I was an AFT member.  When Walker and his Republican allies vilified our teachers we had a meeting over all of our affiliates after the passing of ACT 10.  When we went around the room asking what the impact was in their area the most frightening thing I heard was from the Department chair of the Education Department at the State College.  Most of her students were looking to shift their majors to anything other than Education.  The rest were closer to graduating but looking for work outside of Wisconsin.  

    What will be have for teachers in the next five to ten years?

  •   the "Kill the Dept. of Education" dog whistle (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    nanorich, JeffW, Larsstephens
    [President Obama] wants to hire more school teachers. We all like school teachers. It’s a wonderful thing. Typically, school teachers are hired by states and localities, not by the federal government. But hiring school teachers is not going to raise the growth of the U.S. economy over the next three-to-four years.

    yksitoista ulotteinen presidentin shakki. / tappaa kaikki natsit "Nous sommes un groupuscule" (-9.50; -7.03) 政治委员, 政委‽ Warning - some snark above ‽

    by annieli on Thu Oct 11, 2012 at 08:52:41 AM PDT

    •  Half a truth is sometimes WORSE than none. (0+ / 0-)

      Taken by itself, this statement -

      "But hiring school teachers is not going to raise the growth of the U.S. economy over the next three-to-four years."

       - seems to make sense ... the greatest positive economic impact of increased hiring of public school teachers will, generally, not be felt until their students graduate.  Still, it's kinda shortsighted of a Presidential candidate to set his economic horizon only 3 to 4 years out ... don't most economic forecasts consider the next 10 years?

      But, with the recent purge of teachers and other public sector employees, our overall employment picture remains bleak - we are actually experiencing what the Freedman gang considered absolutely impossible - a crisis of demand. Mittch-a-Sketch's understanding of economic matters is exclusively from the supply side, and carries with it as a matter of faith that there will ALWAYS be sufficient demand, which would make any attempt to stimulate demand foolhardy.

      Too bad you don't seem to understand how things REALLY work in THIS world, Willard.  Could it be because you were born on Kolob, and are far more concerned about the world you are destined to inherit, populate and rule than this one?

      OF COURSE the New Right is wrong - but that doesn't make WRONG the new RIGHT!

      by mstaggerlee on Thu Oct 11, 2012 at 12:13:30 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Ask him about the class sizes his boys were in... (10+ / 0-)

    "The Democratic Party is not our friend: it is the only party we can negotiate with." Rebecca Solnit The Rain on Our Parade.

    by Jacoby Jonze on Thu Oct 11, 2012 at 08:53:07 AM PDT

    •  Well, that's just it. (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      annieli, conniptionfit, Mr MadAsHell, RWR

      Romney and the Regressives don't hate education--They hate non-profit education. They don't hate teachers--they hate public employees. They don't hate jobs--They hate jobs that don't bring profits to shareholders.

      The goal pursued by the Regressives for the last 40+ years has been to dismantle government because it provides essential services that we can't live without on a non-profit basis. Their goal is to discredit, take down, and eliminate anything and everything that cuts into what they arrogantly see as their god-given right to monopolize whatever they can for the highest prices the traffic may bear.

      The reason Regressives get into government is to run it so badly that people hate it and look for alternatives in the private, for-profit market. This is no accident. Regressives get into government for the same motivations that would move a group of hard-core vegans to take over a slaughterhouse: To tear it apart from the inside, render it utterly dysfunctional, and run it into the ground so that it is irreparably damaged.

      Al Qeada is a faith-based initiative.

      by drewfromct on Thu Oct 11, 2012 at 09:08:47 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Hurting public ed hurts private biz and jobs (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        drewfromct, Larsstephens

        Private business needs well educated employees to perform well, compete and grow. Teaching jobs have a multiplier effect that generates private sector jobs. Hurting public education hurts everyone except for the few who profit on privatizing public education.

        As usual Romney favors a few profiteers over the common good.

        look for my eSci diary series Thursday evening.

        by FishOutofWater on Thu Oct 11, 2012 at 09:21:15 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  I'll never forget when Romney said ... (9+ / 0-)

    ... more student's per classroom has no effect on learning.  This is a point that is so counter to common sense for anyone who has a child in a classroom, or anyone who has ever been in a classroom themselves.

    I hope President Obama brings this up at some point.

  •  Government spending on teachers = waste (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JeffW, conniptionfit, ferg

    Government spending on tanks and shit the military doesn't even want = vital to preserving jobs and growth.

    Keep Calm and Carry On. But kick some unholy ass if the situation warrants.

    by GOPGO2H3LL on Thu Oct 11, 2012 at 08:55:55 AM PDT

    •  And who cares if teachers (6+ / 0-)

      pay taxes and buy stuff with their salaries....they don't effect the economy.


    •  Government spending on teachers (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      GOPGO2H3LL, ferg

      brings little to no money to Romney and his billionheir friends. Bloated military budgets that overspend on unneeded multi-billion dollar weapon systems is a cash cow for the MIC that brings more profits to the investor class.

      If you want to know why somebody does something, Follow The Money. Profit at the expense of workers, consumers, taxpayers, and the environment is the only motivation of the ruling class.

      Al Qeada is a faith-based initiative.

      by drewfromct on Thu Oct 11, 2012 at 09:12:09 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Yep, the money is as green either way, but (0+ / 0-)

      with teachers the whole society gets long term benefits in all sorts of places, and with military stuff it either gets used up in stupid wars, or rusts or turns obsolete when not used, so only the businesses who build and store the stuff in the few and red areas to which Rs direct the contracts get any benefit at all. And just how many of those latter now are threatening layoffs if Romney does not win?

  •  Romney's economic baramoter (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    only reads tax cuts and deregulation.  It doesn't mention middle class employment or robust aggregate demand.  Those things have gone from staples of economic policy making to communist plots.

  •  Fewer teachers equals more unemployment (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JeffW, drewfromct

    That's part of the R strategy. Make Obama's numbers look bad. But even worse, teachers have unions and unions are poison to the Rs.

    "Good morning, brothers Koch. I see you're doing well. If I had me a shotgun, I'd blow you straight to hell." w/apologies to R. Hunter

    by RUKind on Thu Oct 11, 2012 at 08:56:50 AM PDT

  •  Math (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    nanorich, JeffW, conniptionfit, ferg

    Only on Planet Clueless does 100,000 people having $50,000 in their pocket not equate to economic growth. Its simple math.

    I thought this clown was this epic business man?????

    He's a moron.

  •  r-money is an asshole (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    annieli, JeffW, conniptionfit

    he would cause immense harm to this nation.

    "The real wealth of a nation consists of the contributions of its people and nature." -- Rianne Eisler

    by noofsh on Thu Oct 11, 2012 at 08:59:55 AM PDT

  •  Okay, here's a debate question for you, Mittster (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    nanorich, JeffW

    How can hiring more people (who will spend money and therefore boost the economy) to train more people (who will get better jobs and spend money and therefore boost the economy) NOT help the economy?

    Tom Smith Online
    I want a leader who shoots for the moon. The last time we had one, we got to the moon.

    by filkertom on Thu Oct 11, 2012 at 09:00:36 AM PDT

  •  Note to MSM: (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JeffW, Mr MadAsHell

    In "Groundhog Day," everyday is the same. I know Bill Murray. I've seen Bill Murray. Mitt Romney is no Bill Murray. Mitt Romney is never sequentially the same.
    Pay attention!

    Fuck Big Brother...from now on, WE'RE watching.

    by franklyn on Thu Oct 11, 2012 at 09:01:06 AM PDT

  •  I am an adjunct Professor in Illinois (5+ / 0-)

    When I lost my "real" job in October 2008, I went back to school to get certified to teach high school history and Social Studies.  We had 89 people get either their certifications of their Bachelor's in May 2010.  We had THREE people get jobs in the Fall.  One's father worked in the school district that hired him, one is working in Dubai, and the third got her gig because she could coach girl's golf.  Illinois State University is one of the largest producers of teachers in the Midwest and it  also feeds the Chicago Public School district and that was the job market.

    I live downstate by Peoria, the CLOSEST job I was really interested in was 70 miles away.  I substitute teach, I teach one college course a semester for about $2K, and I grade the written portions of California's Standardized Aptitude tests for ESL students for a company for $10.00 an hour.

    Austerity hurts the job market.

    "The working class mind is strange and unpredictable" -- Ty Lookwell

    by Illinibeatle on Thu Oct 11, 2012 at 09:01:23 AM PDT

  •  Teaching jobs aren't created (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    through tax cuts, so they don't count.

    I'm beginning to think that's how these guys think. From Romney to Jack Welch on down, they can't accept that the economy is improving without more massive tax cuts for the rich. They just can't fathom it.

    Yeah, well, you know, that's just, like, your opinion, man.

    by NMDad on Thu Oct 11, 2012 at 09:01:30 AM PDT

  •  lying (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Romney is getting away with lying because no one calls him on it, nobody confronts him on it. next debate Obama should just say: "what does your Mormon faith tell you about lying?" If it's similar to the ten commandments in the Bible then it's says it's a's wrong! If Romney has to admit that lying is wrong according to his faith then every lie can be made a faith issue.  

  •  We all understand Mitt is a liar. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    In May and June, Romney wanted to fire teachers he claimed we had and mocked President Obama for wanting to hire more. But at the debate ....
    .......... Obama did nothing.  The problem isn't that Mitt is a liar.  The problem is Obama, in front of 60 million people, did nothing and let him get away with the lies.  

    So now we have an election that is in jeopardy of going to the GOP and countless diaries explaining "Mitt is a liar".  

    Gee, you don't say.  

  •  I remember so clearly his mocking tone... (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JeffW, ferg, Mr MadAsHell, Knockbally

    .....when he addressed a crowd after the failed recall of walker, and openly mocked the President for wanting more teachers.  "Didn't he learn the message that the American people don't want more teachers??" he asked in mocking disdain.  This was another clear example of Romney misreading and shapeshifting with disgusting pathetic results.

    Romney is garbage.  Dangerous garbage.

    Aldus Shrugged : The Antidote to Ayn Rand. ***Buy ALDUS SHRUGGED on amazon, and ALL royalties will be donated directly to Democrats in contentious Downballot races. @floydbluealdus1

    by Floyd Blue on Thu Oct 11, 2012 at 09:10:10 AM PDT

  •  simple economics (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JeffW, conniptionfit, Mr MadAsHell

    anyone that is working and drawing a paycheck is helping the economy and helping business (small) in america, thats why rebuilding the nations infrastructure would help the economy and keep america safe and business's more profitable, trickle down is complete bs as the affect it has on everyone but the 1% has shown.

    the only way the economy can be sustained is to distribute more money within the 99% and take some away from the 1%, there aren't enough people in the 1% to keep the economy vibrant, only getting more money to the large volume of people (99%) can sustain an economy as large as ours.

    ps - all tax policy is the redistribution of wealth to one class or another, the dems distribute the wealth among a greater number of citizens, the gop to a small number therefore creating rich people at the expense of our economic security and democracy.

  •  Right. We need more financial engineers and (0+ / 0-)

    time share companies, health insurance executives and financial traders to drive our economy higher.

  •  Well of course hiring teachers won't help the (0+ / 0-)

    economy Romney and his mobster crew envision for themselves.  They want a American workforce of uneducated slaves who have no choice but to toil for peanuts while corporations rake in the profits.  Uneducated people are kept fearful and aren't inclined to fight back.  We need to do some major ass-kicking and do it now.

  •  This election will be decided by swing voters (0+ / 0-)

    Who, by their nature (read: dumb, detached, low-info and manipulatable), tend to respond much more to impressions than substance, to what "seems" strong and right than to what IS strong and right. We all know this.

    So it's not enough to merely call out Romney's lies and bad policies. Obama & Co. have to do so forcefully, aggressively and commandingly.

    We can't do that for them.

    "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

    by kovie on Thu Oct 11, 2012 at 09:18:52 AM PDT

  •  Rise to next level with Romney (0+ / 0-)

    Never argue back and forth.
    It only helps him.

    Instead, know that what he and GOP are trying to do is to spread fear, uncertainty, and doubt in our minds about the value of public workers, of public programs.

    Divide and Conquer.

    Make people on tight budgets see enemies and leeches in the public sector. Teachers included.

    Our mission should be to focus less on picking out little tidbits of Romney-Ryan lies. Instead, hit 'em hard with our values.. . . . Our commitment to 100 percent of Americans.

    Are there any wordsmiths here?

    Reminder about recent brain science research and politics:

    "What Orwell Didn't Know: Propaganda and the New Face of American Politics"
    Edited by ANDRÁS SZÁNTÓ

    "As Lakoff tells us,

    'A few words in political language can activate large portions of the brain: War on Terror, tax relief, illegal immigration, entitlements (turned to conservative use by Ronald Reagan), death tax, property rights, abortion on demand, cut and run, flip-flop, school choice, intelligent design, spending programs, partial birth abortion, surge, spreading freedom, private accounts, individual responsibility, energy independence.

    When they are repeated every day, extensive areas of the brain are activated over and over, and this leads to brain change. Unerasable brain change…. And every time the words are repeated, all the frames and metaphors and worldview structures are activated again and strengthened -- because recurring activation strengthens neural connections. Negation doesn't help. "I'm against the War on Terror" just activates the War on Terror metaphor and strengthens what you're against. Accepting the language of issue and arguing the other side just hurts your own cause.'

    Drew Westen, a psychology professor and political consultant, supports Lakoff's statements as well as his contention that in America these techniques have been exploited far more intelligently by the political right than by the center and left, which are hampered by what Soros calls "the Enlightenment fallacy" -- that is, the fallacious assumption (dating from the 18th century) that freedom of thought and speech will ensure that reason will prevail. The media and the Democratic leadership, Westen says, are unwittingly "smuggling Trojan horses into popular discourse" by parroting terminology created by those in power, "essentially advertising the 'product line' of the Republican party and selling its 'brand.' "

    From Barnes & Noble book review by Brooke Allen:

    George Lakoff, an author and professor of linguistics at the University of California at Berkeley who calls himself a "cognitive activist," says this: "One of the fundamental findings of cognitive science is that people think in terms of frames and metaphors – conceptual structures. The frames are in the synapses of our brains – physically present in the form of neural circuitry. When the facts don't fit the frames, the frames are kept and the facts ignored."
    In other words, forget winning on the facts or the science. It's all about the story. And once stories take hold, they're hard to dislodge. "

    "It goes against our nature; but the left has to start asserting its own values"

    . . . . . Common Cause, written by Tom Crompton of the environment group WWF, examines a series of fascinating recent advances in the field of psychology. It offers, I believe, a remedy to the blight that now afflicts every good cause from welfare to climate change.

    Progressives, he shows, have been suckers for a myth of human cognition he labels the enlightenment model. This holds that people make rational decisions by assessing facts. All that has to be done to persuade people is to lay out the data: they will then use it to decide which options best support their interests and desires.

    A host of psychological experiments demonstrate that it doesn't work like this. Instead of performing a rational cost-benefit analysis, we accept information that confirms our identity and values, and reject information that conflicts with them. We mould our thinking around our social identity, protecting it from serious challenge. Confronting people with inconvenient facts is likely only to harden their resistance to change.


    Our social identity is formed by a mixture of values. But psychological tests in nearly 70 countries show that values cluster in remarkably consistent patterns. Those who strongly value financial success, for example, have less empathy, stronger manipulative tendencies, a stronger attraction to hierarchy and inequality, stronger prejudices towards strangers and less concern about human rights and the environment. Those with a strong sense of self-acceptance have more empathy and greater concern for human rights, social justice and the environment. These values suppress each other: the stronger someone's extrinsic aspirations, the weaker his or her intrinsic goals.

    We are not born with our values. They are shaped by the social environment. By changing our perception of what is normal and acceptable, politics alters our minds as much as our circumstances.

  •  Why... (0+ / 0-)
    That depends whether you believe what he said in the debate or what he's said before and since. this an either/or choice?  I'll just assume that he is flat out lying, and that if he becomes President he'll just be a puppet of the right wing GOP.  Safer that way.

    The most violent element in society is ignorance.

    by Mr MadAsHell on Thu Oct 11, 2012 at 09:19:22 AM PDT

  •  Teaching has 3 negatives for Romney (0+ / 0-)

    and the rest of the kill government Republicans:

    1.  Teachers are public employees who cost them money (taxes) rather than making them a profit;

    2.  Teachers are unionized and therefore evil by definition; and

    3.  Teachers earn middle class salaries and are highly educated, therefore cannot be easily manipulated or intimidated into submission to the corporate Borg.

  •  I fail to understand how it is (0+ / 0-)

    that we can continually criticize Romney on this issue, without also criticizing Obama on this issue.  Isn't Obama the President who encouraged the lay-off of hundreds of thousands of public sector jobs, froze the pay and benefits of the remaining workers, all in the name of supporting the Republican demand for Austerity?  This happens all the time, and we fall for it all the time.
    Obama keeps telling the American people that we need to train more students for 21st century jobs, but what is he doing to make that training and education possible? Outside of making it possible for college students to take on massive quantities of student loan debt that will weigh down their lives for decades. Fuck all.
    We get what we pay for.

  •  and now you know why MA fell in education (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    while he was governor

    Bumper sticker seen on I-95; "Stop Socialism" my response: "Don't like socialism? GET OFF the Interstate highway!"

    by Clytemnestra on Thu Oct 11, 2012 at 09:37:10 AM PDT

  •  Teachers? Why hire teachers? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Hiring teachers does NOTHING to help society, to improve our future or improve the economy. Why throw money at teachers when they won't spend any money in stores, restaurants, or gas stations, and they certainly won't it use to pay mortgages or rent...or taxes.

    You want the government to spend money to help the economy? Defense spending. Unlimited, unchecked, wild-eyed defense spending. That's the only thing the government should spend money on EVER.

    Do I HAVE to say this is snark?

    The Bush Family: 0 for 4 in Wisconsin

    by Korkenzieher on Thu Oct 11, 2012 at 09:45:20 AM PDT

  •  I don't think Romney would invest in teachers. (0+ / 0-)

    But, that's just an educated guess.

    When you don't vote, Mitt happens.

    by shoeless on Thu Oct 11, 2012 at 09:54:34 AM PDT

  •  Does Romney get anything right? (0+ / 0-)

    Doesn't he know that adding to the purchasing power of working class people has a huge effect on the functioning of a market economy, even one as broken and dysfunctional as ours.

    Shared with the Chicago Teachers Solidarity Campaign

    "Don't believe everything you think."

    by BobboSphere on Thu Oct 11, 2012 at 10:39:44 AM PDT

  •  The economy knows when pub. sector employees spend (0+ / 0-)

    So hiring teachers won't help the economy because...why, exactly?  Person gets an education, gets certified, seeks employment, gets job, gets paid, spends money.  In the case of a private sector employee this helps the economy and in the case of a specific type of public sector employee it doesn't?  How does the economy know the difference between dollars earned/spent by public vs. private sector employees?

    This is just one more piece of bullshit to add to to conservatives' notion of how (they wish) the economy works.  This is a group that imagines that increasing household or corporate spending boosts the economy but boosting government spending (which you might want to do if households and businesses are de-leveraging) will have no effect.

    Someone should ask Mitt the following questions: "Is it just teaching jobs that won't help the economy, or are there others?  What if all 79,000 teachers were hired by private employers running charter schools?  Would those teacher jobs benefit the economy?  Please explain the difference."

  •  Psst - Hey Mitt, Mr. Big Business Mogul, Let Me (0+ / 0-)

    tell you a secret. When public sector workers (like teachers) are hired and have money in their pockets, they SPEND IT IN THE PRIVATE SECTOR. Get it??

  •  A job creator who doesn't want to create jobs! (0+ / 0-)

    Who would 'ave thunk it?

    That's one more thing to add to my long list of small problems. --my son, age 10

    by concernedamerican on Thu Oct 11, 2012 at 11:49:05 AM PDT

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