June 30, 2004

We need Al Gore...

We need big government, and men like Al Gore, to protect those who are left behind by the greedy private sector.

LA Times, Millions Lost in Cyberspace: Tucked into the Telecommunications Act of 1996 was a little-known program called the "e-rate," setting up a tax that has cost consumers and phone companies upward of $2 billion a year. What has that money bought? A rudderless program riddled with fraud and waste.

The e-rate tax is aimed at providing schools and libraries with Internet access. The program, championed by Al Gore when he was vice president, was supposed to help schools allow low-income students to close the "digital divide" and gain new social and economic opportunities. Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) began raising questions about it during a hearing on the program six years ago. Since then, its problems have become more apparent. The e-rate fund has distributed $12 billion over six years, and estimates place the amount wasted in the billions. Because of lack of oversight, it's impossible to know the extent of the losses...

There's so much waste and stupidity in this thing, it's likely that the billions spent have actually decreased school Internet access, compared to what would have happened it they were just left alone. And Internet access is becoming so common and cheap that there really isn't much of a "digital divide" anyway.

And what low income students actually need is to be taught the basics, Reading, Writing, and Arithmetic. The fuss about Internet access is just dust to cover up the failures of our public schools. Failures institutionalized in the Democrat Party, which gets its biggest contributions from the corrupt and evil teacher's unions, in return for blocking reform and crushing the hopes of the poor.

(Thanks, Bill Quick)

Posted by John Weidner at June 30, 2004 8:05 PM
Weblog by John Weidner