NOTE TO ROMNEY: The Federal Government Does Fund Teachers, Firefighters, And Police

Mitt Romney dismissed criticisms that he does not want to hire more teachers, firefighters, and police officers as “absurd” on Tuesday morning, telling Fox News Channel that if elected president, he would not have the ability to control the hiring decisions of local governments:

ROMNEY: Of course, teachers and firemen and policemen are hired at the local level and also by states. The federal government doesn’t pay for teachers, firefighters or policemen. So obviously that’s completely absurd.

But Romney’s comment demonstrates a disturbing lack of understanding of both federal funding and his own published plans. While it is true that teachers, firefighters, and police are hired at the local level, a significant portion of their funding, recruiting, and training comes from the federal government.

Here are just some of the ways the federal government funds: