The Budget and Black America

[Below is a quick response to the question of what does the talk in Washington D.C. about the budget mean for black America.]

At a time when we have a jobs deficit of 11 million jobs (a conservative estimate if one thinks people of color should have full employment, and not just whites), we should not be talking about slashing budgets, laying off government workers, and reducing aid to the needy--unless one wanted to kill the weak economic recovery.

These plans may be good for winning votes from conservatives and conservative-leaning independents, but it is not good for the American economy or for black people specifically. Frankly, it's a pretty awful discussion if one is concerned about blacks. The black middle class will lose government jobs, and the black needy will lose government aid.

The long-term fiscal problem is America's high and rising health care costs. If we had the health care system of any other rich nation we would be in a better fiscal situation since those systems are from about a third to a half less expensive than ours. Also, those systems are universal and ours isn't. We can also significantly reduce defense spending, and improve our tax system so that Warren Buffet doesn't have a lower tax rate than his secretary.

[Original posting from H-Afro-Am]