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Labor Researchers: Bush Policies Perpetuate Black Poverty

Source: AFL-CIO

Bush administration policies that cut education and basic anti-poverty programs in favor of tax cuts for the wealthy have exacerbated sharp differences in job opportunities for white and black workers, according to a new report by the Labor Research Association (LRA), a New York-based research and advocacy group.

The report,
The Perpetuation of Poverty and Race Discrimination, released Nov. 15, calls for a greater investment in such programs as education and fair housing that help low-income workers find better jobs.

The federal
Bureau of Labor Statistics reported the unemployment rate last month for white men was 3.8 percent, compared with 8.5 percent for black men. White women were unemployed at a rate of 4.1 percent, while 7.6 percent of black women were jobless. The hardest hit workers are black youths, with an unemployment rate of 32.9 percent, compared with a rate of 14.2 percent for white youths.

The key to better job opportunities for people of color and the poor is a college education, LRA reports, with only 2.3 percent of college graduates unemployed. But rather than increasing funding to educate the nation’s poor, the Bush administration and Republican congressional leaders plan to slash some $14 billion from student aid programs, a move that likely would raise the cost of education for students and their families with increased student loan interest rates and fees. Federal assistance is what makes it possible for many students of color and low-income students to attend college.

The Bush administration also is proposing deep cuts in federal housing assistance that helps poor families find better housing and relocate to areas with better job and education opportunities, LRA says.

“The administration can help black youths enter college and end a long-standing cycle of poverty or leave them to fall into the ranks of the chronically unemployed and underemployed,” the report says. “Republican support for the budget cuts indicates that the Bush administration and its allies prefer to leave young black people stuck in a desperate situation while tax cuts for the rich continue.”

Republican leaders in the U.S. House on Nov. 10
postponed action on a budget bill that would cut more than $50 billion from vital working family programs because they failed to find the votes to win. But House leaders and the Bush administration are expected to continue pressuring lawmakers to pass the budget cuts before the Thanksgiving recess.

The House bill includes $10 billion in cuts for Medicaid health services for poor children and long-term care patients and would raise the costs of prescription drugs for beneficiaries. It also would take some $5 billion from child support enforcement, $1.3 billion from foster care and Social Security disability payments and $844 million from food stamps.

Earlier that day, the Senate Finance Committee refused to move a
$70 billion package of tax cuts for the wealthy promoted by congressional leaders and the Bush administration. Republican leaders, unable to secure enough votes on the 11-Republican, nine-Democrat panel to move the bill to the full Senate, postponed the vote on the tax cuts.

AFL-CIO President John Sweeney’s statement on the House budget bill.
Read why tax cuts for the wealthy are the
wrong priority.
See how Bush’s tax cuts for the wealthy have
undermined the economy.
Read how the budget bill
hurts vital programs for low-income families


Blogger rygnn2@voteswagon.com said...

Here is a discussion of Bush policy, Tax Breaks, or so called breaks. Is this real relief or just another so called benefit for the rich? Are tax cuts really helping America or are they just paying lip service to the people who request the breaks the most? Many feel the relief is not real, only temporary, and when its time to pay the piper another administration will take the fall. Here is one argument offered for this reasoning.
Why do people rebel so strongly against tax breaks? What is the problem with tax breaks? Who wants to pay more taxes? Well if you fall into either a middle income tax or lower income tax bracket, which would most likely make you the average man woman or child in America, you may want to. How can paying more taxes actually make you more money you are asking, I will explain it to you. Let’s begin by dissecting what tax cuts mean to the average American and where the problem with the current Bush tax policy lies for most individuals.
Bush’s tax cut policy targets those taxes, including the estate tax and the federal income tax, where the wealthy pay the largest share. This selectivity insures that the tax cut routinely favors the richest tax payers. Seventy Eight percent of all Americans pay more in federal payroll taxes, which fund Social Security and Medicare, than they pay in federal income taxes. But there has been no proposal from Bush for any cut in this tax, which many consider by far to be the most regressive tax imposed by the federal government.
Raymond B

5:47 PM  

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