President Obama is hoping that his $10,000 bets with electric cars against the DC Voucher Program and minority business development are enough to make America miss the political statements he is making in a proposal that has no chance of becoming law.
Some may call this proposed 2013 budget from President Obama a plan for the future. In the wake of their rueful oversight or blind loyalty, they will advocate the status quo for bigger projects including Planned Parenthood funding (nearly$300 million proposed) and subsidizing buyers of Chevy Volts and other new-technology vehicles.
Considering that Senate Democrats have not passed a budget in over 1000 days, it is unlikely that this “plan” will see the light of day. That is particularly true in this hotly-contested election year.
This proposed budget, however, is more than just shifting $10,000 bets from one budget item to others. It is one heck of a political statement made to woo big-money unions and supporters in order to claim a second term in the White House.
Yet, that statement also has to make one wonder: what exactly is the first urban-based or “Black” president in American history saying to voters stuck in urban blight when releasing a budget containing such glaring contradictions about his love for populism versus political expediency in this election year?
Basically: if you are in need of abortion services or a new electric car, then he’s the president for you. If you’re looking to escape the educational trap that is Washington, D.C.’s public schools – which Mr. Obama will not place his own children in (for obvious security and achievement reasons) – then you are out of luck until November 2012 – perhaps.
This is not the first time that the Obama Administration has devalued life-enabling programs that aid the poor in vital need while prioritizing funding abortion service providers both internationally as well as domestically over the course of his presidency. From cutting roughly $20 million to the DC Voucher Program and roughly $85 million to Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) in 2009 to the administration’s stand-off with the state of Indiana by threatening to withhold Medicaid funding in order to protect Planned Parenthood in 2011, the Obama White House has repeatedly shown his most faithful voting blocs exactly how they are valued by this administration.
President Obama continues to make moves that prompt Black Americans to pine for the days of the other “first Black President of the United States.” Just this week, the Obama Administration has compromised Blacks that are in catch-up mode struggling to rejoin the national and global economies. In order to get his payroll tax extension passed in Congress, President Obama and the Democrats compromised the long-term unemployed – a group that notably includes African-Americans whose unemployment rate has not been under 13% in easily over a year and when over 40% of unemployed have been so for over 6 months. To make matters worse, the administration’s decision to close all of the regional offices of the Minority Business Development Agency to save $30 million – a scant 10% of the current federal funding given to Planned Parenthood and even less of the $535 million given to controversy-riddled Solyndra - makes it clear that this president has no problem betraying the folks that are in most need of advocacy from this White House.
In 2012, it’s all about the politics, not about the people, even from “change you can believe in.”
From the “rising tide lifts all boats” bit of Republicana from President Obama to the “stop complaining” comments months ago, the president has shown more of a politically-directed approach to legislating than the people-centric approach that he promised as the surprise “change candidate” in 2008. At almost every turn, from the loud silence coming from the Obama White House each February to this latest revise of snipping a Republican favorite for the sake of getting teachers’ unions on his campaign’s side, President Obama has shown a gross willingness to cast aside his historical significance. In this instance, he casts it aside even when the cost of keeping the obligation is nothing more than allowing the status quo to stand at a cost of 0.00000376% of a proposed budget that would already run a $900 billion deficit – even if were to ever be passed. Of course, a flowery speech and support from “non-partisan” organizations should be plenty to glaze over this obvious paradox concerning the president’s rhetoric and his presidency with respect to faithful voting blocs. At the same time, an awakened grassroots America should be very aware of where he is placing $10,000 bets this fall, a testimonial that reeks more of elitism and cronyism than it does populism and balanced leadership.
President Obama’s willingness to once again show his impertinence regarding a city that is 50% African-American – during Black History Month, no less- is yet another chapter in the Black-on-Black political crime. It goes on in America under the misinformed guise of identity politics and unaccountable “representative” leadership. It is a national conversation where some perpetrators are protected through emotion and without facts. Big statements often come in the smallest of details – or, in this case, the small sliced-off portions of a budget. The sad reality behind it will be washed away by a cascade of excuses and explanations before examining the reasons behind this repeated step by the Obama Administration and the yield from these past 4 years overall.
Don’t believe me? I’m sure that there are a few gentlemen vying for the 2012 White House that would be willing to bet you $10,000 otherwise.
LENNY MCALLISTER is a senior contributor to Politic 365 that can be found every Saturday with Democratic pundit Maria Cardona on “CNN Saturday Morning” at 10:30 AM Eastern (9:30 Central / 7:30 Pacific.) He is regularly featured on CNN’s “Early Start” weekdays between 5:00 AM – 7:00 AM Eastern as well. Catch the radio show “Get Right with Lenny McAllister” live on LMGILIVE.com at 11 AM Eastern weekdays and re-broadcast on Politic 365.