Ex. Secretary of State James Baker said in effect in a recent interview that politicians should under promise by setting low expectations and then do anything in their power to jump that low bar. It is the opposite of the President’s No Child Left Behind program which aims to “set high standards”.
President Bush apparently utilized Mr. Baker’s philosophy by estimating this current year’s budget deficit at $423 billion. Experts are calling for the deficit to run around $250 billion. To achieve even the lesser figure Congress and The White House pushed off nine days of Medicare expenses into the next fiscal year. This is not mentioned in any of the year end prognostications.
Back to education, let’s say little George predicts he will get a 40 on the test, knowing with a little effort he can make it. Come test day, George decides to flirt with the cute girl next to him rather than do the last minute review he promised his parents. While taking the test, George realizes he doesn’t know squat.
After making his first pass through the paper he’s sure he can beat the 40 he promised but not confident he will reach a passing grade. So he looks over at the cute girl’s paper. She has breezed through the test and is on the last few questions. It is only from these he can copy. It raises his grade a little, but still not enough to pass.
The Bush budget set low standards then cheated to reach its current level of performance. Why do I continue to be surprised?