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Opinion | We should be thankful for Mo Brooks and Bradley Byrne

Congressman Mo Brooks speaking on the House floor.

Thank God for Mo Brooks and Bradley Byrne. 

In this day and age of information delivery making people increasingly smarter and more understanding of complex societal issues, it is nice to hear two old-school guys say what the politically correct crowd simply refuses to say: We’re wasting way too much money on feeding poor people and educating children. 

That money could be better spent on other things. Like presidential trips to Mar-a-Lago or ensuring that Amazon — the richest company in the world — doesn’t pay a dime in taxes. 

You know, important things. 

Not silly, bleeding-heart, liberal nonsense like food and education. 

I mean, really, just thank God for these two guys. 

Byrne, who is apparently recovering from a partial lobotomy in which the portion of his brain responsible for rational thought was replaced with Play-Doh, recently criticized the “waste” of billions of dollars for the purposes of teaching immigrant children how to read and speak English. 

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During a Labor and Education Committee meeting in Congress this week, Byrne told his colleagues that U.S. children are being harmed by the continued practice of educating the “illegal immigrant” kids. 

This, of course, is not true. Not even a little bit. 

Brookings, a non-partisan think tank, explored this very question and supplied members of Congress with its findings. It looked at thousands of test scores, comparing schools based on limited English proficient (LEP) children and high rates of immigrant students and comparing the test scores of students at the various schools. (I note this study specifically, because Byrne, in his comments to the committee, appears to quote many of the figures from the Brookings study. Except for, of course, the study’s key findings.)

Not only did a high number of LEP students not negatively affect outcomes or resources, they actually increased overall academic performances of third-generation students. Resources remained the same per student regardless of the number of LEPs. 

Would you care to guess the only time that high numbers of immigrant children affected outcomes? 

If you guessed that they occurred when white families fled to the suburbs, increasing segregation among the students, you win. In those instances, both sets of students performed worse when compared to their peers at less segregated schools. 

But, you know, facts and whatnot. 

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The majority of the children Byrne is complaining about are American citizens, born in this country and just as entitled to a quality education as his kids. 

And even if they’re not, what could possibly be gained by not educating them? 

Honestly, Byrne’s comments are so incredibly dumb and misleading that it’s hard to believe that an adult said them out loud, much less at a congressional committee meeting. 

And yet, somehow, that still wasn’t the stupidest thing an Alabama congressman said this week. 

Because … Mo Brooks. 

Never one to miss an opportunity to be racist or just plain awful, Brooks made a point to let everyone know just how much he loves, loves, loves the Trump administration’s idea for cutting food stamps. 

Under the new proposal, nearly 700,000 Americans would lose food assistance if they are able-bodied and not working 20 hours per week. This was already a requirement, but the new proposal closes an exception for states that allowed waivers for people in areas of particularly high unemployment. 

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Basically, if you were in a town where the plant shut down or the mine closed and now three-quarters of the town is out of work, you got a break on the work requirement and could still get a couple hundred bucks per month to eat. 

But now, the same administration that forked over billions in tax breaks to billionaires and gave billionaire industrial farmers handouts wants to save a few million by starving people to death. 

Mo, of course, thinks this is wonderful. Because if there’s anything Mo loves more than railing against a non-white person, it’s kicking a poor person. 

In a statement, he called those who receive food assistance “slackers” and blamed them for America’s $23 trillion national debt. 

Again, it’s hard to believe any adult with even a semi-functioning brain would utter such ridiculous nonsense. And it’s even harder to believe that someone who voted for the Trump tax cuts, which have more than doubled the national deficit under this president, would dare mention the national debt. 

But that’s sort of been Brooks’ role in Congress — saying things that are so dumb no one can believe that Huntsville is in his district. 

But at the end of the day, we should be thankful for him. And for Byrne’s recent metamorphosis into a clown. 

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Without them and their idiotic statements, how would the rest of America know how its most awful people feel?


Written By

Josh Moon is an investigative reporter and featured columnist at the Alabama Political Reporter with years of political reporting experience in Alabama. You can email him at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter.



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