What Would Scontras Cut? Education And Children's Health Care

October 21, 2010 1:13 pm ET — Jamison Foser

Let's take another look at what services Maine congressional candidate Dean Scontras would cut so he can reduce deficits while cutting corporate taxes. As we explained yesterday, Scontras has responded to Maine voters who are concerned about what he would "end up cutting" by pointing to a Cato Institute plan called Downsizing the Federal Government. Previously, we saw how that Cato/Scontras plan would end Medicare as we know it. But what about children?

Turns out, kids wouldn't fare well under the Cato/Scontras plan, either. That plan would eliminate — not cut, not reduce, not trim or streamline...eliminate — Head Start and the Children's Health Insurance Program.

Head Start helps families get their young children ready for school through grants to local agencies for "comprehensive child development services to economically disadvantaged children and families, with a special focus on helping preschoolers develop the early reading and math skills they need to be successful in school." More than half of the nation's four-year-olds, and more than a third of three-year-olds, are enrolled in Head Start programs. More than 3,700 children in Maine alone benefit from Head Start programs. The Scontras/Cato plan would eliminate Head Start.

The Children's Health Insurance Program does what it sounds like: It helps ensure that children get the health care they need. The Scontras/Cato plan would terminate the program.

While they're at it, they'd eliminate the Department of Education and everything it does: "The Department of Education should be closed and its programs terminated." 

That means no more loans and grants to help students pay for college: "Federal loans and grants to college students should also be ended. Personal savings, financial institutions, and charitable organizations are more efficient funding sources for college costs." Nearly half of all college students receive federal financial aid. And since they receive it precisely because they don't have enough "personal savings" to pay for college, that's a lot of slack for "charitable organizations" to pick up. About $27 billion in slack. You know of many charities with an extra $27 billion lying around?