Yesterday, the president told us he might have to cut off Social Security checks for seniors unless a debt deal is reached by August 2. And today Sen. Harry Reid turned the fear-mongering up a notch, declaring that failing to come to an agreement by the deadline will mean “no schools for our children.”
“If we don’t reach agreement, it could mean no Soc Sec checks, no paychks 4 troops, no schools for our children,” Reid wrote on Twitter.
At the Washington Examiner, Phil Klein writes Reid’s claim is nothing but pure fantasy and hyperbole:
Continuing to ratchet up his rhetoric, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid falsely claimed on Thursday that a failure to raise the debt limit could mean “no schools for our children.”
But in reality, federal funding only pays for 8.5 percent of the cost of the nation’s elementary and secondary schools, according to the most recent data available from the U.S. Department of Education (for 2006 to 2007).
And in case that’s not convincing enough for Reid’s supporters, Phil also points out public schools won’t be open on August 2 anyway, because of something called summer vacation. Indisputable logic.
Obama’s and Reid’s attempts to mislead and gratuitously frighten the public not only make them seem desperate, but also undermines any trust they may have built with the other party. If they’re actually interested in reaching an agreement, it might help if they at least start making good faith arguments.