Obama to GOP: Don’t cut education spending


Offering a recitation of challenges, however, the president stressed the cost of carrying out an effective education agenda that corrects trends that show U.S. pupils falling behind their counterparts in other countries. In doing so, he set the parameters of the debate under way in Washington on how to continue to pay for government operations through the end of the fiscal year and avert a government shutdown.

“Fixing our schools will cost some money,” Obama said. “Recruiting and rewarding the best teachers costs money. Making it possible for families to send their kids to college costs money. Making sure that some of the state of the art equipment all of you are working on … that costs money.

The quick day-trip also had a political subtext, like most things on the president’s agenda now that the 2012 election is approaching. Boston is a Democratic stronghold with a strong donor base and Obama coupled his education speech with a dinner to raise money for House Democrats, who lost their congressional majority in the November midterm elections.

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The event raised $1 million and cost a minimum $5,000 per seat. Dinner, a VIP reception and participation in a photo line with the president cost $30,800 per person or $50,000 per couple, according to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.

Obama was greeted upon his arrival in the city with opinion pieces in the rival Boston Globe and Boston Herald newspapers by Republican Sen. Scott Brown and Republican former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney.

“Washington has lost the faith of the American people,” Brown wrote. “If we are going to tackle the huge challenges of creating jobs and addressing the debt, the American people need to be able to trust Washington again. Shining a light on our spending habits is the first step.”

Romney was far tougher on Obama in his Herald piece, comparing Obama to President Herbert Hoover.

“Obamanomics, which at extraordinary cost has accomplished extraordinarily little, is earning our president his own dubious place in our history books,” Romney wrote.

Obama did have time for a friendlier welcome. An avid basketball fan and player, the president took time before the Democratic dinner to meet with members of the Boston Celtics basketball team.

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