Despite claims of drying funds, 'trickle-down ideology' trickles

President Barack Obama says public investment in schools was "allowed to wither" as a result of the "trickle-down ideology" of recent decades.

Public investment has increased from 4.7 percent in 1985 to 5.1 percent in 2010. The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), produces reports on public spending on education as a percentage of the gross domestic product for the United States. The percentage of the GDP spent on education from public sources may reflect the value a country places on education, as well as differences in income within a country. An argument can be made that the U.S. does not provide enough public funding for education. Public expenditure on education as a percentage of the U.S. economy in 2010 was below the OECD average, and ranked the U.S. just 18th out of 29 OECD countries. The data don't show a clear trend for public investment in education since the mid-1980s or evidence that it has been allowed to wither.

More on Obamacare

House Speaker John Boehner says his premiums will double, and his deductible will triple, under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Boehner's experience with the ACA is extremely atypical compared with most Americans. His rates - which include the cost of insuring his wife - are doubling because of the couple's age and high income, and a special provision in the law that forced members of Congress out of their employer-sponsored plans. Boehner is paying $433 a month now. His new plan will cost $449 a month plus up to $400 a month for his wife's Medicare plan, for a total of $849 - nearly twice his current premium of $433.

Boehner's office declined to tell Factcheck the married couple's combined salary, only that their income would result in Medicare premiums of around $400 per month. In order to have to pay that much for Medicare Part B and D next year, a couple would have to earn more than $428,000 a year. Only 2.4 percent of households in 2012 had an income above $250,000.

Factcheck contacted Rep. Joaquin Castro, a Democrat from Texas, for his experience shopping on the Washington, D.C., exchange. Like Boehner, Castro selected the Blue Cross PPO plan with a $1,000 deductible. It carries a monthly premium of $376.46 - nearly $500 a month less than Boehner. The federal government picks up 75 percent of the cost, so Castro will pay $94.12 a month. His previous monthly payment was $186.14. That's a savings of $92.02 per month, or roughly half of what he was paying before. A zero-deductible plan would cost Castro $110 per month. In other words, Castro could have selected a plan that saved him about $76 a month, and carried no deductible at all. Castro earns$174,000 a year, so he's not eligible for any subsidies. The bottom line: the switch has been a good deal for Castro.

Rick Santorum wrongly claimed health plans on the health care exchanges are offering more limited networks of doctors and hospitals "because the Obama bill set prices at such levels" that some doctors and hospitals "do not participate in these programs." The ACA does not set prices for medical care. The bottom line: It appears to be true that some plans sold on the exchanges will restrict access to hospitals and doctors, but contrary to Santorum's claim, it's not because the ACA sets prices in a way that discourages doctors and hospitals from participating. The plans are being limited by insurance companies seeking to offer more competitively priced plans.

Chip Tuthill lives in Mancos. Websites used: and