Some would argue that there is something profoundly inappropriate about a vice president of the United States politicking to fourth-grade students about a jobs bill — and, perhaps subtly trying to scare those children into believing that, if the bill is not passed, they will be deprived of the necessary care and attention of their over-taxed school teachers.
Speaking in a hushed tone of voice to a class of 30 students at Goode Elementary in York City, Pennsylvania on Tuesday, Vice President Joe Biden shared the administration’s plan to rehire teachers — and for him, that plan has everything to do with Obama’s American Jobs Act.
According to a report in YorkDispatch, York City schools underwent budget cuts last year resulting in a 20 percent reduction in teaching jobs.
Classroom sizes are growing, and that means the remaining teachers, “don’t get to spend as much time with you,” Biden warned the children solemnly.
But it gets worse.
Biden actually told the schoolchildren that, in order to rehire some 400,000 teachers nationwide, along with thousands of police officers and firefighters, all that needs to be done is tax wealthy individuals at a higher rate than they are currently taxed.
Then, in a move perhaps intended to woo, Biden told Lenid Keebaugh’s class of fourth-graders, “We’re going to give you some money to hire them back.”
Take about $500 in additional taxes from someone who makes a million dollars – “a million dollars,” Biden stressed – and those jobs will come right back.
“They can pay for all the teachers and all the police and all the firemen to come back,” Biden enticed the young, captive audience.
Before handing out stuffed animals resembling Biden’s dog “Champ,” to the entire class, there was even a point where Biden hinted that, without rehiring additional teachers, students might not be able to realize their dreams of becoming either congressmen or senators one day.
YorkDispatch provides the unbelievable footage. Watch for yourself below:
Later that day, Biden spoke to a crowd of teachers, parents, lawmakers and local officials at the library:
Biden was pushing hard on Tuesday for Republicans to see the logic in taxing millionaires what he figures is a nominal amount for them in order to hire back thousands of teachers across the country.
“How can we afford not to do this?” Biden said to cheers inside the library.
York City has had its own tribulations on the budget cut front. A $25 million budget cut this school year cost more than 140 jobs. A few teachers have been hired back, but class sizes are still above preferred levels, Biden pointed out.
“You had no choice. But the impact in the future of our kids can’t be calculated,” Biden said.
According to the Dispatch, School board President Samuel Beard said afterward he wholeheartedly agreed with Biden’s words, and that it’s foolish for the state to expect York City to keep making progress while taking away financial resources.
The American Jobs Act can help when nobody else can, he said.
Superintendent Deborah Wortham said the dozens of jobs the act could fund means York City again could offer performing arts at the high school, music, art and library at the elementary level, classroom aides and other things the district had previously offered.
Biden said the funding isn’t a long-term solution, but that shouldn’t mean Congress ignores the idea.
“We need some temporary help now,” Biden said.
To watch the video from Biden’s speech to faculty and parents, please click here.