Aug 08, 2011 1:17 PM GMT
Once again reinforcing the point that those who extol the virtues of condescendingly "helping the poor" do precisely the opposite with policies like raising minimum wage, increasing regulations, temporary and unsustainable spending that reward cronies that kill jobs and put countries further in debt.
Black lawmakers are embarking on a monthlong campaign Monday to address the staggering unemployment rate among African Americans, an issue that has become a growing source of tension between members of the Congressional Black Caucus and the Obama administration.
Lawmakers have met with the administration three times this year seeking support for programs that specifically address the black community, but President Obama has not backed their proposals. The caucus chairman last week slammed the deal negotiated by the administration to raise the national debt ceiling and cut government spending as a “Satan sandwich” that unfairly harms African Americans.
Now, as the CBC launches its most public and coordinated jobs campaign so far, the president is notably absent from the lineup. Instead, the White House has dispatched Housing Secretary Shaun Donovan, who is white, to the event and announced that Obama will embark on his own jobs tour that will take place in the middle of the CBC’s campaign.
“We want him to know that from this day forward . . . we’ve had it,” Michigan Rep. John Conyers recently said of the president. “We want him to come out on our side and advocate, not to watch and wait.”
The White House did not respond to a request for comment.
To be sure, the brunt of black lawmakers’ frustrations are aimed at Republicans, whom they blame for blocking more than 40 bills intended to create jobs for African Americans since the party swept the House of Representatives a year ago. But they have also grown frustrated with Obama’s belief that the best way to help black communities is to improve the overall economy.
The CBC has repeatedly argued that the high unemployment rate should be addressed through targeted programs, such as directing government grants to the poorest neighborhoods. The unemployment rate for African Americans is more than double that for whites and higher than the rate of any other racial group, according to government data. It inched up in July to 16.8 percent from 16.6 percent a year ago, while the jobless rate for whites fell half a percentage point to 8.2 percent.