Diary

A proposal for a stimulus catchphrase: "schools for nobody"

I’ve seen mention various places, among others RedState, of a portion of the so-called stimulus bill that allocates money to build unneeded schools in Milwaukee. To briefly recap, here’s a summary of it by the WSJ in the best paragraph of that story:

The Milwaukee Public School system, for example, would receive $88.6 million over two years for new construction projects under the House version of the stimulus — even though the district currently has 15 vacant school buildings and declining enrollment. Between 1990 and 2008, inflation-adjusted MPS spending rose by 35%, per-pupil spending increased by 36% and state aid grew by 58%. Over the same period, enrollment fell by a percentage point and is projected to continue falling, leaving the system with enough excess capacity for some 22,000 students.

I propose we hearken back to an earlier era of pork-barrel criticism and refer to this as “schools for nobody”. It’s evocative of exactly the things conservatives have always criticized, its progenitor gives it the potential to be catchy just as “bridge to nowhere” was (although, admittedly, I don’t think it rolls off the tongue quite as well, but I can be hopeful), and its target is as indefensible as any part of the stimulus, so it’s hard to rebut.

Anybody else up for using this more broadly?