A new government program that the Obama Administration is pushing for is ConnectED. The program would serve to help connect schools all over the country to high-speed internet via telecommunication providers’ networks. Because Congress is completely broken and dysfunctional, and our kids’ educations need 21st Century tools, the White House has asked the Federal Communications Commission to hike a fee they charge telecom companies to cover the price tag of the program which is estimated between four and six billion dollars. The cost of the fee hike would of course be passed on to customers, but experts estimate the cost would be around $4.00 a year for three years, and that is just too much for Rep. Michael Grimm (R-NY) to stomach — and he thinks the Founders would agree.
So why is Grimm and presumably Ben Franklin upset aver this $12 assault on American consumers’ wallets? Because according to Grimm, President Obama, “has an agenda and he’s going to do whatever he has to do to pass that agenda, regardless of the Constitution. I mean, I think our founding fathers are turning over in the graves right now because he’s just so blatant in his— the administrators, the people he puts in charge of these agencies are bold and brazen about saying, ‘yes, we’re going to make an end run around Congress.'” So there you have it. The “Usurper in Chief” charge…again.
Firstly, let’s make one thing clear; the Founders are dead. Long dead. I have written extensively in the past about why I think it’s incredibly dangerous to treat our Constitution and the men who helped write it as a religious script and holy leaders. They were men. White, rich, elite men who created a government that while certainly benevolent in spirit to the working class and poor, was not exactly open to including them in the process to begin with. They created and formed many great things about our government that we still enjoy today, but they also punted on the issue of slavery, didn’t let women vote, and by and large created a system of government that would still be mostly selected and run by the ruling elite class. So perhaps now is a great time to stop behaving as if what the Founders would think about any issue is relevant to our lives today?
Secondly, the Founders were men of science. They were men who sought to find natural explanations for the supernatural. Schooling and education were vital paradigms to the Founders. Their own particular feelings on state-funded schools aside, the truth is that as a general principle, education was highly-valued by the people who were some of the first to tell their King, “Eff your ‘royal’ blood, bub, that’s poppycock.” But again, who cares? Even if I were to get a time machine, go back in time, record a video of George Washington giving the “thumbs-up” to the FCC hiking this rate — it doesn’t make their feelings on anything more or less relevant.
Lastly, and this is the part that’s most important, Congress is broken. If the FCC has legal jurisdiction to improve the fee hike without Congressional approval, then that’s the route the White House needs to take. People like to think our checks and balances are only meant to keep the power that’s acting in check, but they’re also there to give the three branches of government some kind of authority of their own so that if any of the other two branches refuse to do their job, at least some work can get done. The truth is that right now any possible avenue the White House can pursue that doesn’t involve needing Congressional oversight and approval should be taken.
What other choice does Obama have? If he sits back and doesn’t act on something that would cost taxpayers less than $15, he goes down in history as a man unwilling to act even when he had options in front of him to do so. The truth is that several presidents have siphoned off or just outright created new executive powers, and Obama is among them. It’s the nature of the job, and perhaps if Congress wasn’t busy trying to faux-peal Obamacare or define human life as starting at ejaculation, they’d be able to practice their Constitutionally protected right of advice, consent and oversight. They won’t though; they’d rather just gum up the works with “scandal” after “scandal” and then run to the press every time the Obama White House does something on their own because waiting for Congress to act is a never-ending proposition.
I don’t know about any of you out there, but to me four dollars a year for three years is an incredibly small price to pay to make sure our kids can use the Internet’s power in their classrooms. The World-Wide Web is probably the most important technological advancement ever. It provides instantaneous access to information. What kind of idiots would we be as a society if we balked at any plan that helped our schools harness that power, especially if it costs us so little. So no, Michel Grimm, I don’t think the Founders would care about the fee hike, the primary reason being their primary form of communication was hand-written letters delivered by horseback. Even if they did have an opinion, President Obama is only directing the FCC to act in whatever capacity they have to work around your party’s intransigence and refusal to do a damn bit of work.
Just another Republican Taker, trying to pull a fast one on the American People.