Republicans and the U.S. Dept. of Education
Once upon a time, in the 1980's, a popular Republican President proposed to abolish the U.S. Department of Education. But, Democrats controlled the Congress, and it didn't happen.
Then, in the '90's, Republicans gained control of Congress for the first time in 50 years, and the idea again became a topic of public debate. The talk centered around eliminating the Department by simply "defunding" it. But, faced with opposition from a Democratic President, it didn't happen.
Today, both the legislative and executive branches are controlled by Republicans. You'd think that now would be an opportune time to finally eliminate a department that should never have been created.
But, today's Republican Party, under the "compassionate conservative" leadership of President Bush, seems to have had a change in heart, as the Department of Education's budget has grown by an astonishing 82.5 percent - after inflation - since 2001.
This TechCentralStation piece by AEI's Veronique de Rugy and Kathryn Newmark suggests that it's time for Republicans to return to the principles of limited government and fiscal responsibility, and to start by substantially reducing the federal role in education.
I agree wholeheartedly.
In the 1990s, the Republican party sought to abolish the Department of Education as an inappropriate intrusion into state, local, and family affairs. The GOP platform was clear: "The Federal government has no constitutional authority to be involved in school curricula or to control jobs in the market place. This is why we will abolish the Department of Education."
Ever since President Carter created the Department of Education, the GOP had wanted to get rid of it. But today, with President Bush leading the way, the GOP is embracing the idea that the federal government should play a larger role in education. Sounding like the evil twins of 1990s Republicans, President Bush and his administration speak with great pride about increasing federal funding for education...
The Bush administration has taken the GOP from advocating no federal spending on education to spending like drunken sailors. It's high time for the party to sober up and remember its core principles.