Live from Music Row Friday morning on The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. – host Leahy welcomed the original all-star panelist Crom Carmichael to the studio.
At the top of the third hour, Carmichael weighed in on a recent Wall Street Journal article that argued that schools should re-open and that teachers over 50 with pre-existing conditions should still teach citing a solution to give more money to facilitate that. He added that spending is already over the top and that each educator has three unnecessary support staff members.
Leahy: Crom, we were talking a little bit about school’s getting back into session. K-12 and universities. There is an article you want to talk about. The grand bargain. That always makes me nervous when somebody talks about a grand bargain.
Carmichael: What we were talking about previously was good socialism versus bad socialism. In order to argue that there is good socialism, you have to pervert the definition of socialism. So now we are getting into education. This guy William Galston who writes a column for The Wall Street Journal probably once a week.
He’s a lefty but he’s not crazy he’s just not right. But he’s not crazy. It wasn’t more than a few months ago that he was writing an article that federal spending was way out of control. He probably was writing that because he’s big on higher taxes. Anything that promotes higher taxes, he’s for. And if the federal deficit is too large his solution is higher taxes. He will give lip service to reducing spending but he always wants higher taxes.
Leahy: Isn’t one of those rules that you want higher taxes and then you’ll cut spending but you never cut spending?
Carmichael: Right. Right. So here’s the guy who for a long time has wanted to balance the budget and who is now calling for more federal spending to reopen schools in the midst of the biggest budget deficits in the history of the country. What he’s doing is the grand bargain to reopen schools.
This is kind of interesting wherein the beginning of his article he gives information that our audience needs to hear and the implications of it and what it really means. He says public education in Pre-K through 12th grade is $680 billion a year.
That’s how much is spent in total involving 51 million students. That’s almost $14,000 a student. But here’s the interesting one. With more than six million teachers and support staff. So that’s an eight to one ratio. But we hear that the student-teacher ratio is over 20 to one.
Leahy: What’s going on there?
Carmichael: You have a tremendous number. For every teacher, according to this, there is more than one support staff. So there’s an opportunity here. And if that’s true here at the local level than that’s an opportunity.
Leahy: We’ve looked at that here in Nashville and we’ve found that to be true.
Carmichael: I know, but I was trying to make an argument but you cut me off. But that’s Ok. (Laughter) At any rate, moving right along. But Galston then points out all these things about how pediatrics and all these associations and what not claim that online learning is detrimental to students. And that’s true.
Leahy: It’s totally true.
Carmichael: And then they say face to face is what we must have. Then he goes on to say that what we must put at the front of the line is teachers over 50 with pre-existing conditions. That’s not hard. They just shouldn’t come to work.
Leahy: Hello? That’s obvious. That’s common sense.
Carmichael: That’s not his answer. His answer is that they should come to work and we need to spend gobs and gobs of money to make sure they are protected.
Leahy: But it’s so idiotic Crom.
Carmichael: That’s the point I’m trying to make. Then he goes on and makes this statement. The interest of students aren’t perfectly aligned with the interests of teachers and staff when it comes to COVID-19 as a life-threatening condition. Well, it would be true if the students have a pre-existing condition. They should also stay at home. So here’s the principle here. What Galston is arguing is that the exception is more important than the rule.
Carmichael: And that is what the Left does over and over and over again. The rule should be for the great majority of students and for the great majority of teachers in-person education must be done. And we can solve for the exceptions by treating them as different and protecting them differently.
Leahy: The simple answer. Keeping teachers over the age of 50 at home. That’s it. Everything else goes. Let’s open up. I’m totally with you. Very good elucidation for that issue. New word. Elucidation.
Listen to the full third hour here:
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