President Obama’s State of the Union speech tomorrow night will call for large tax increases and–as always–lots more spending. Somehow, liberals consider it a tautology that if there is a problem, spending money on it is a good thing. And if the money we have spent so far hasn’t done the trick, the solution is to spend even more. The possibility that there is little or no correlation between federal spending and progress is one they can’t comprehend.
This graphic illustration, courtesy of the Cato Institute, illustrates the point with respect to education. It plots per-pupil K-12 spending in constant 2012 dollars against student achievement in reading, math and science. I’m going to go out on a limb here: I don’t think that demands for ever more spending on public education have anything to do with benefiting students:
The principle that spending money on a problem often has little to do with solving it has general application, and should be kept in mind by anyone foolish enough to listen to Obama tomorrow.