Obama: We Won’t Sacrifice Schools for Wars

obama wavingIn a galvanizing April Fools’ Day speech in Madison, Wisconsin, President Barack Obama announced that his Administration would “no longer prioritize military spending over educating our children.” Energizing the large crowd, Obama said that he was disgusted by articles describing the biggest level of teacher layoffs in decades, and said that “he refused to deny educational opportunity in exchange for waging a war in Afghanistan that has become too costly and gone on for too long.” The President noted that he was under extreme pressure to cut the budget deficit, but insisted “the biggest mistake our nation could make was to lay off teachers, increase class sizes, and reduce funding for schools.” The Madison crowd roared with approval, with many saying that they had not heard Obama talk like that since his 2008 campaign.

Madison appeared an odd choice for Obama to give a speech announcing new budget priorities, since the President faced criticism for failing to come to Wisconsin during public employees’ high-profile fight to retain collective bargaining. But Obama addressed this issue early in his speech, saying that “Anyone who knows me knows my support for the labor movement, and I know unions will be working closely by my side during my re-election campaign.”

“Too Occupied With War”

Obama told the crowd that he never intended to have war spending crowd out his domestic priorities, and that he had issued immediate instructions to Defense Secretary Gates and Secretary of State Clinton to redirect billions of dollars going to war in Afghanistan to the nation’s schools. He also vowed to battle Republicans over this issue, stating “I think the American people will back me on this.”

randy shawObama defended the U.S. support for bombing Libya, repeating his pledge that no U.S. ground troops would be used.

The President’s speech came the day after the New York Times revealed that “America’s public schools may see the most extensive layoffs of their teaching staffs in decades.” Critics questioned his timing, noting that he gave the speech on April Fool’s Day and knows he needs teacher support for his 2012 re-election campaign.

Randy Shaw
Beyond Chron


  1. Ryder says

    So since the continuing wars in Afghanistan and Iraq are just not enough, President Obama is now at war with Libya, promising regime change in a country that does not pose a threat to the US…

    Yes, that’s right… he is advertising… loudly, that he is engaged in regime change… against a nation that was no threat to the United States. Ring a bell?

    And this is different from Bush how? Why don’t reporters care about this anymore, now that the Texan is gone? Where are the “Not in my name” protests on US streets? Where are the “No war on Libya” bumper stickers?! Where are the cries of “No blood for oil!”? Progressives AND media are now silent.

    Obama says he’s at war in Libya because of how Muammar Gaddafi represses his own people… Wow. That justifies acts of war. How nice.

    But that’s what Bush said about Saddam! But in stark contrast to Obama, Bush actually had many more reasons (mostly true):

    -Iraq’s noncompliance with the 1991 cease fire agreement
    -Interference with weapons inspectors, including their wholesale eviction
    -Iraq’s alleged WMD programs (which after occupation, proved largely untrue)
    -Iraq’s demonstrated willingness to use WMD’s against other nations and its own people
    -Iraq’s hostility towards the US (citing the 1993 assassination attempt of former President George H. W. Bush, and shooting at coalition aircraft in the no-fly zones after the Gulf War)
    – Aiding and harboring international terrorists, including paying for suicide bombing in Israel.

    So can someone explain to me how Obama, having only one out of five of the reasons Bush had (and I’m not counting WMD’s either), is still worthy of support and his Nobel Peace Prize in Libya?

    Its been just a few months and, Obama has spent a Billion dollars on the war on Libya… and we still haven’t taken down Gaddafi (in contrast to Bush that toppled SH in only 20 days).

    I wonder if schools could have used that Billion dollars… do ya think? And raise your hand if you don’t think we will be there for many years, nation building at great expense… any takers?

  2. michaelc says

    Every dollar spent on war is a dollar that is not spent on jobs, education, infrastructure and social services.

    Plus, I think that every minute we spend occupying the countries of the middle east and every civilian we accidentally kill contributes to resentment of the US, not just by the Islamic world, but even by our former allies who used to support our military actions.

    The sad truth is that our adventures in the middle east are huge money pits without any point. As soon as the US leaves Iraq or Afghanistan, the folks we chased away will come back over the border and resume where they left off.

    The only way to effectively change a country is to have the people change their perspective and beliefs, and the only way to do that is education. What we are teaching those folks now is that the US does not value any human life except Americans, and that we feel we can walk into any country in the world without invitation and do whatever we want without consequences.

    • Ryder says

      I noticed that you are against the wars in the middle east, but didn’t mention Obama once… I just find it refreshingly different than was normally the case during the Bush years.

  3. Benjamin says

    So one could say that Mr. Obama would like to keep teachers in their high paid jobs with good benefits at the expense of untold deaths of our troops. I assume the democratic party despises and hates our military.

  4. in_awe says

    Yeah, drop $122MM on the first day of the uncalled for attack on Libya by lobbing cruise missiles at Tripoli, then spent another $10MM-$50MM per day since.

    Then switch into campaign mode (again or still) and tout your stuff about not sacrificing dollars on wars that should go to schools.

    BTW Did he tell those teachers that his love of fast trains will cost them $55 Billion? Boy, that’d pay for a lot of supplies and salaries…guess he forgot to mention that.

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