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The Politics Of Race, Poverty, And Class Warfare

In an article written by Ker Than at SPACE.com it was reported that "astronomers have detected a massive black hole but can find no traces of the surrounding galaxy that should be feeding it."

It is apropos that the announcement was made a day before President Bush’s speech to the nation from New Orleans on Thursday. President Bush declared war on poverty, but his war will be against poverty which has roots based on racial inequality. A war on poverty in New Orleans and the deep south that continues with larger and larger entitlement programs could very well become a massive black hole similar to the one just discovered in deep space that sucks up everything around it. America is already feeding the black hole of poverty at an alarming rate. Eventually, all that will be left are the impoverished.

President Bush's remarks, while attempting to comfort and encourage those who had to flee their homes because of Katrina, were more reminiscent of a speech LBJ might have given while promoting his Great Society than those of someone who proclaims to be a compassionate conservative. Seemingly oblivious to the massive entitlement programs of the past 40 years, the President, in a blatant attempt to pander to the African-American community, promised not only a chicken in every pot, but two, three or maybe even four for those that get lucky and win the lottery for free land that he is proposing. The entire transcript of the speech can be found here.

“Within the Gulf region are some of the most beautiful and historic places in America. As all of us saw on television, there’s also some deep, persistent poverty in this region, as well. That poverty has roots in a history of racial discrimination, which cut off generations from the opportunity of America. We have a duty to confront this poverty with bold action. So let us restore all that we have cherished from yesterday, and let us rise above the legacy of inequality. When the streets are rebuilt, there should be many new businesses, including minority-owned businesses, along those streets. When the houses are rebuilt, more families should own, not rent, those houses. When the regional economy revives, local people should be prepared for the jobs being created.”

By an arbitrary line written in sand somewhere in Washington, D.C., approximately 12.5% of Americans are living in poverty in the United States. Caucasians comprise approximately 75% of that group, while African-Americans comprise most of the remaining 25% of the population living in poverty.

Bill O’Reilly has written a column in which he points out some startling economic facts about the efforts we are already making on the war on poverty in these great United States.

"We'll begin by comparing the halfway point of President Clinton's tenure to the fifty yard line of the Bush administration. In 1996, the poverty level in the USA stood at 13.7%. In 2004, the poverty level was 12.7%, so Bush beats Clinton here by a full percentage point. To be fair, Clinton did bring the poverty rate down during his administration, while it has been rising slightly since 9/11. But at the halfway point, Bush wins.

As far as entitlement spending on poverty programs is concerned, it isn't even close. In 1996, President Clinton signed a budget that directed 12.2% of spending be directed toward the poor. In 2004, Bush's budget kicked 2% more than Clinton to poverty programs, an astronomical $329 billion dollars. In fact, President Bush is spending more on poverty entitlement programs and education than any President in history. What say you, Jesse and Howard?

For a country that is often accused by left wing loons of not caring about the poor, we are certainly putting up a good front. In 2006, almost $368 billion dollars will go for Medicaid, food stamps, family support assistance, supplemental security income, child nutrition programs, earned income tax credits, welfare payments, child care payments, foster care and adoption assistance, and child health insurance payments to the states. The truth is that the working men and women of this country are providing the tightest safety net in history for the poor. And our private charitable donations rank first in the world as well.

So the next time the poverty propagandists start with the "America ignores the poor" bull, simply walk away. These people are blatantly dishonest and could not care less that America does, indeed, help the less fortunate. The race and class baiters will always ignore the fact that some people simply cannot support themselves no matter what society does. The New Testament states it clearly: "the poor, they will always be with us." But America provides more opportunity for more people than anywhere else on the planet."

Yet on Friday night, September 16, 2005, Alan Colmes said on his show, Hannity and Colmes, Friday night:

"Not a lot of attention has been paid to the poor, paid to those that can't vote, that who are not empowered."

Apparently, Mr. Colmes would have us believe that $368 billion dollars is tantamount to ignoring the poor.

Talk show host Bill Maher, oblivious to the fact that perhaps more money has been spent on essential public works programs in Louisiana than in any other state in the nation, would have us believe that it's a class warfare issue. On his show Friday evening, Mr. Maher said:

"The levees didn't get built because the money for it went to rich people's tax cuts, and pork projects and corporate welfare."

The voices become even more shrill among African-American advocates who continue to try to divide the nation along racial lines.

As a guest on that same Bill Maher show Friday night, San Francisco mayor Willie Brown said:

"When you take a look at New Orleans for an example you see what occurred. You announce 'hey, let's get out of town, Katrina's coming.' Well you know the people who got that message who had cars, and who had airline tickets, and who had relatives in other places split. The only people left behind are the ones who couldn't split and they were there because America has never addressed the issue of that class of persons."

"If poor people were given the same resources or had the same resources made available that's been made available to Haliburton and to all of corporate America there wouldn't be any poor people. So be clear, when you give them only a piddlin', you're going to end up with people who are near..."

and he was then cut off.

And finally this from the honorable mayor:

"The policies of this nation that has allowed the issue of poverty, you understand, voting rights is one thing, but to just vote is not getting rid of the real problem in America. The Republican operation under George Bush has been consistently perpetuating the existence of an incredible number of very poor people all whom happen to be black in America."

From the MSNBC show, Hardball with Chris Matthews, radio talk show host Joe Madison came up with these pearls of wisdom:

"And this mess about is it economics or is it race? It's a double whammy when you're black. It's economics because poor people in this country are always marginalized. It's race because if you are poor and black you are marginalized doubly."

After that remark, I went out and put my hip-boots on. You would think that the lessons of the past 40 years of the Great Society would begin to sink in eventually. Throwing money at the impoverished without any level of personal responsibility on the recipient’s part is not the answer.

80% of success in life is merely a matter of showing up.

Poverty is rooted in laziness, not inability. While there are some in our society who are unable to cope for themselves because of illness or disability, most people below the poverty level are capable of providing a good life for themselves. However, it is much easier to let someone else provide life’s essentials and our society is willing to do it. Poverty in general, and poverty among African-Americans in particular, will be reduced substantially when individuals are forced to become self-reliant.

Every year thousands of dollars are spent per child in this country providing books, computers, schools and teachers, and it’s all free. Students who show up and put forth a modicum of effort can learn to read, write, and even add and subtract. If you can read, write and speak well in this country, the sky is the limit. Throw in the ability to do a little math, even if you have to use your fingers and toes, and you could end up as successful as Donald Trump.

American society is set up so that if you just show up, and keep your nose clean you can make a pretty nice life for yourself without breaking a sweat. Keeping your nose clean does not include having children out of wedlock or having more children than one can afford.

If merely showing up is not your style, and you want something better for yourself and your family, higher education abounds. Low interest school loans are available for students attending universities and trade schools. Scholarships for good students, students from poor families, and students who merely take the time to fill out the applications are there for the asking. Enter the military and the government will pay for most, if not all, of your higher education.

There is virtually no excuse to be uneducated in America. There is virtually no excuse to be on poor in America. The excuses must stop.

Everyone needs to show up, especially those living in poverty....

Posted by Rick | September 16, 2005 11:50 PM

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