photo: GenBug via Flickr

Oh boy:

Obama reaches out to black leaders, says tax-cut deal good for African Americans

As President Obama prepared to sign his $858 billion tax deal Friday, White House aides moved quickly to soothe the anger among liberal constituency groups that bitterly opposed the measure.

An e-mail distributed to black leaders declared the package a “major victory for African-Americans,” arguing that a series of middle-class tax cuts will give “targeted” aid to minorities.

The outreach to African Americans came after broad opposition to the tax deal from members of the Congressional Black Caucus. Black lawmakers argued the bill would ultimately hurt the poor because the costs threatened to cut into social safety-net programs.

This makes total sense, as we all know Obama’s economic team knows far more about us black folk than the CBC.  . . .

So let’s look at this e-mail that was sent about the controversial “Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010.” It largely rests on the extension & expansion of the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and the Child Tax Credit (CTC); specifically the maximum credit of $2,100 to a working mother with 3 children & a $20,000 income.

But Mr. President, if you’ve been paying attention to the black community (which we know you have) then you would know the problem for the mother above is not her taxes, but the fact that she is trying to care for a family of four on a job that pays only $20,000. Not only that, those few scarce jobs are being eliminated at will for the sake of profit.

I think everyone appreciates the crumbs given to keep these people subsisting just above the statistically arbitrary definition of the now meaningless “poverty line;” but I have to say that for a large swath of African Americans, this doesn’t mean a whole lot. Especially after bending over backwards to give Warren Buffet an even bigger tax cut he doesn’t even want. Especially after the CBC has gone on record as saying the safety nets the poor depend on will be eroded by this plan, and this one. Especially by the fact that some analysts have found that this will actually increase taxes on the poor.

Mr. President, if you want to give your people an economic victory, give us jobs, not tax cuts. You need an income in order to have a tax to cut. Unemployment in the black community during the good times was always ~10%, which would be considered a crisis in most of America. Today it is double that for black men.

Further, no one wants unemployment insurance extensions; people want jobs. If you enact a work program, chances are the 99ers will be too busy working to worry about UI benefits.

And also, do something about this foreclosure crisis, or at the very least end or reform HAMP. You can take people’s jobs, starve them, but when you allow their homes to be taken from them, that’s when people lose it.

The simplest easiest way to help African Americans economically would be to declare War on Poverty. Not on black poverty, but poverty. Period. And the beauty of it is, many Caucasians, Latinos, and other groups would benefit as well; race is the previous century’s battle, while class is the battle of the present day.

But alas, this is all for naught, as Obama is clearly more interested in doublethink and “messaging” than he is in doing that which is required of him.

After all: