ConnectED — a Congressional Disconnect

ConnectED is the “cutesie” name of another of President Obama’s recent schemes for improving the educational level of American and illegal alien school children by installing broad-band access into each classroom in America, and creating a whole new “educational ecosystem,” whatever that means. And of course it will expedite the implementation of the Common Core State Initiative, now under much discussion here and elsewhere.

If you access the White House Blog, you will find the President’s “Connect ED” plan described as being potentially one of the biggest achievements of Obama’s second term. Now that is entirely possible since there don’t seem to be many other achievements to compete with it, unless you want to consider Benghazi, the Libyan uprising, Solyndra, the democratic stabilization of Egypt, and the economic success of the city of Detroit.

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There’s just one catch: The effort would cost $4 to 6 billion, and Obama will pay for it by imposing an additional fee on all cell phone subscribers, except, of course, the 16 million or so Obamaphone users. And as quoted in the Washington Post, President Obama says, “We can do this without Congress.”

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Under the terms of the United States Constitution, only the House of Representatives can originate tax funded programs, and they must then be approved by Congress as a whole. However, this will not be financed with increased taxes. These will be “fees,” covered by just raising the Universal Service fee, already a part of your phone bill, and designed originally to help the “poor” afford telephone service. But of course, each time the fee is raised; it’s doing just the opposite.

Remember when the Supreme Court determined it was unconstitutional to mandate the funding of Obamacare with increased insurance premiums or fees? Then, Chief Justice Roberts issued his now infamous opinion that since Congress had already passed Obamacare, the increased cost was actually a tax, not a fee, and thus legal. Well, now since the chance of Congressional approval of the $multi-billion cost of ConnectEd is rather slight, it will be considered a fee, not a tax, and thus subject only to Federal Communications Commission (FCC) approval. There are five seats on the Commission — two filled by Democrats, one by a Republican. Obama has nominated candidates for the two open spots, and you just have to know they have already been vetted as to how they will vote.

So it happens again: The President proposes, the President approves, and the President implements. Mr. Obama promised to deliver a more transparent government. He did. We can see right through it every time!

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