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Cedar Rapids, Iowa, United States
A former homeless man in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, I am now back to my first love since being homeless no more, politics & racial oppression. Come join me on this adventure.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Black America Suffers From Amnesia.

I truly believe that some of Black America is suffering from Functional Amnesia because they have put up a defense mechanism to shut out the truth.  When Ronald Reagan took office in January 1981, the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate among African Americans was 14.6 percent.  In December 1982, it was 20.9 -- 43 percent higher. When Barack Obama took office in January 2009, seasonally adjusted unemployment was at 12.7 percent.  In December 2010, it was 15.8 -- 24 percent higher.  I arrived at those figures from an article by Media Matters that was trying to dispel l some information in an article that wanted to say that Ronald Reagan was actually our first Black President before they called Clinton our first Black President.  I quickly adjusted my lens to see if I had gone into the Twilight Zone.  I knew I was wide awake but something just had to be wrong with me.  For the life of me, I could not call President Clinton or President Reagan our First Black President.
In the 80’s jobs were scarce and we even had a CTA Bus Strike.  I had taken a job as a Computer Operator.  I lost my job because I was the last to get hired.  Banks and other businesses were closing left and right and it was very difficult to find a position.  I have always been a workaholic and so I ended up taking a job in a Distribution Company in a Warehouse.  I had three children and worked hard and went back to school and took more computer classes.  It took at least 3 years before the market opened back up.  We struggled and we suffered but we persevered like we always have.  There was nothing that made me feel all warm and fuzzy about President Reagan because the poor suffered.  I remember the government cheese, butter, peanut butter and potted meat that some were receiving.
Tavis Smiley and others are acting as if we have never been here before.  This is a statement that was made by Tavis Smiley during President Reagan’s presidency.  Ronald Reagan “tortured” blacks. Tavis Smiley, the PBS television host, once said this about the former president.  NBC’s Bryant Gumbel and New York Times columnist Paul Krugman, among many others, consider Reagan a racist. 
In 1992, 10 million Americans were unemployed, the country faced record deficits, and poverty and welfare rolls were growing. Family incomes were losing ground to inflation and jobs were being created at the slowest rate since the Great Depression.
When President Clinton and Vice President Gore took office, economic growth averaged 4.0 percent per year, compared to average growth of 2.8 percent during the Reagan-Bush years. The economy grew for 116 consecutive months, the most in history.
President Clinton also got rid of Welfare as we know it and he also got rid of General Assistance and thus the reason why he had a surplus.  When General Assistance was abolished, I saw more homeless people than I have ever seen in my life.  Most of our Service Men and Women were on General Assistance and it was a program that assisted them in transitioning from being at war or taking care of our country.  No one wants to admit that this also helped to increase poverty.  Where did they think these people were going to go?  After the demise of General Assistance, I was on my way to work and saw hundreds of people lying in front of Carson Pirie Scott and other stores.  They had been turned out of their homes and the shelters were too full.  The South saw a large influx of homeless people because it did not get cold there as it did in the North. 
Under President Bush II, the national debt has grown by more than $4 trillion. It's the biggest increase under any president in U.S history.

On the day President Bush took office, the national debt stood at $5.727 trillion. The latest number from the Treasury Department shows the national debt stood at more than $9.849 trillion. That's a 71.9 percent increase on Mr. Bush's watch.

The bailout plan in Congress could add hundreds of billions of dollars to the national debt – though President Bush said he expected that over time, "much if not all" of the bailout money "will be paid back."  The government is taking no chances. Buried deep in the hundred pages of bailout legislation is a provision that would raise the statutory ceiling on the national debt to $11.315 trillion. It'll be the 7th time the debt limit has been raised during this administration. In fact it was just two months ago, on July 30, that President Bush signed the Housing and Economic Recovery Act, which contained a provision raising the debt ceiling to $10.615 trillion.

Deputy Press Secretary Tony Fratto declined an invitation to comment on the enormous jump in the national debt during Mr. Bush's presidency. He referred to OMB – the Office of Management and Budget, which tried to make the case that as a percentage of the economy, the national debt is not that big.

In its budget documents in February, OMB estimated that next year's national debt would hit $10.4 trillion – which it said would amount to 69.3 percent of the gross domestic product – the standard measure of the size of the economy.

That's high – but far from an all-time high. After World War II, the national debt soared to over $270 billion – a quaint figure by today's standards. Numerically, it's less than the amount of federal deficit we now run up in a single year.  But back in 1946, the Debt amounted to 121.7 percent of the size of the total economy.

OMB press secretary Corinne Hirsch, renewed the oft-made government argument that reporters should focus on just that part of the national debt that is held by the public – now about $5.6 trillion and not include that portion billed as "intra-governmental holdings" – money the government owes itself – especially the Social Security and Medicare trust funds.
President Obama has won passage of a number of sweeping pieces of legislation, notably a health care bill that will eventually provide near-universal coverage, a goal that had eluded Democratic presidents for 75 years. Other big victories included the $787 billion stimulus bill, passed in February 2009, meant to shore up a failing economy, and a financial regulatory reform measure, passed in July 2010, meant to reduce the odds of another Wall Street meltdown.
President Obama has been stymied on measures like immigration reform and a cap and trade system to reduce carbon emissions by the steadfast opposition of Congressional Republicans, who were joined on some key votes by conservative Democrats. His popularity fell steadily — from 70 percent to under 50 percent — as unemployment stayed stubbornly high. By official accounts, the recession ended, but the recovery was too tepid to knock more than a few fractions off the jobless rate. The White House admitted that it had underestimated the extent of the recession, the worst since the Great Depression of the 1930s. 
With voters angry about the economy and frustrated with Washington, the Tea Party Movement rose to prominence pushing a radically anti-government agenda, while on the left, pride in accomplishments like the health care bill was diluted by a belief that President  Obama was too quick to compromise, too concerned with the well-being of the banks and too reluctant to fight.  This President did fight but because of the same divide and conquer that we are witnessing now, the Republicans had their greatest gains in 80 plus years.  They recaptured the House and cut into the Democratic majority in the Senate.
Later that month, Congress returned to Washington for a lame-duck session that Republicans said would be shaped by their new ascendancy. In fact, after striking a compromise with Republican leaders on the Bush-era tax cuts, Mr. Obama and the Democrats reeled off a string of victories, winning passage of the New Start treaty, the repeal of the military's "don't ask don't tell policy'' and a fund for workers at the World Trade Center site after the Sept. 11th attacks.
President Obama was held hostage and chose the poor and the Middle Class thus extending the Bush tax cuts for all income, not just that below $250,000 but in return the Republicans signed on to agreeing to keep benefits flowing to the long-term unemployed, cut payroll taxes for all workers for a year and take other steps to bolster the economy.  The agreement provoked anger within the Democratic ranks.  You complacency tied his hand.  Your staying home or voting Republican has made people have to fight harder.
President Obama would never had to be held hostage if we could have gotten our Black Leaders and others that voted for President Obama to give him the same respect and time that had been allotted  our other Presidents.  We now have some of our Black Leaders and our Scholars calling on President Obama to address the poor.  The poor did not begin on President Obama’s watch and while I can understand where some of them are trying to come from, he is the President of the United States.  The more programs we allow the Republicans to disband, the more poor we will have.
Please contact our Government officials and ask that this President be respected.  Please give him the same time that you gave your other Presidents.  We have been here before and it is time that Black America gets back behind this President.  We have a long fight ahead of us and we cannot allow complacency to put us back to pre-Civil Rights.  This is still a Civil Rights Moment and it is time that we act like it.  He is our First and we have no idea what he is up against in that White House.
We want jobs but we also want training for all Americans.  We don’t want any less for all of America.  When we come together, we are a force to be reckoned with.  If they see us behind this President, they have no other choice than to join us.  If we fight him and call him names, you open up the floodgates and he deserves so much more.  He is not weak.  He is very strong and he has shown you time and time again.  Wake up from that deep sleep and work with President Obama.

"Disagree Intelligently, Use Facts & Truth."

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