By Rodney Lee Conover
What is Rand Paul thinking? If you haven’t heard of the President’s “Promise Zones,” initiative – you will soon. Some Republicans are saying nice things about it – but don’t be fooled. It’s another boondoggle of Federal spending which sends your tax dollars to those who have proven beyond a shadow of a doubt they cannot be trusted with money – and don’t have a clue how to help people out of poverty. No doubt they did a lot to put them there in the first place.
President Obama has launched what is sure to be the first of many programs aimed directly at taking back the House of Representatives in the 2014 elections under his new second-term strategy of conquering; “income inequality” in America. Let’s forget for a moment how much income inequality the President’s policies over the past five years has caused and focus on this bogus “Promise Zone” plan, because it’s pretty darn easy to see it for what it is: A giant Federal giveaway to States and cities to grow more government, hire more government employees, grow public unions, increase welfare and most importantly, grow Democrat voter rolls nationwide.
Obama announced he was designating the “first” promise zones (he’s proven me correct already) in poverty-stricken neighborhoods in Los Angeles, Philadelphia and San Antonio as well as swaths of southeastern Kentucky’s coal country and the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma. Kentucky, you say? Yes, this is where Rand Paul and the Republicans come in, for you see this is a gigantic Federal money-grab, as is most of Barack Obama’s initiatives (the Stimulus, ObamaCare, etc.) and you know even Republicans can’t wait to get their hands on that.
In fact, the big announcement to establish these new “promise zones”… wait. I have to stop.
C’mon. “Promise” Zones? Don’t you just love that coming from Barack Obama? More like; “If you like your poverty-stricken, crime-filled, hopeless, dirty, pathetic neighborhood – you can keep it. Period.” A “promise” from Barack Obama is like getting a wedding vow from President Clinton.
It’s like “Hope” … we “hope” when we spend more it will cause us to get out of debt, even though that’s never worked ever in the history of the world.. but we “hope” that this time the same behavior will cause different results. We “promise” this time it will.. I’d shoot myself, but ammo is so hard to come by these days. But I digress..
President Obama’s big proclamation – “to bolster private investment in economically distressed communities throughout the country” as was met with enthusiasm from some Republicans including Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and Sen. Rand Paul, both of Kentucky, who attended his White House announcement. But back to Rand later – listen to this:
“This should be a challenge that unites us all,” Obama added. “I don’t care if the ideas are Democrats or Republican. I do care that they work.”
Wow – whoever thinks Barack Obama at this point knows what works when it comes to creating jobs, getting the economy going, increasing growth or reducing poverty – raise your hand. Then slap yourself in the face with it, because that statement is classic Obama, and pure horse hockey.
When is this country going to realize that these programs have nothing to do with the economy, growth, poverty or anything else positive? Need more proof than just the past five years? Okay, let’s look at just one area to see exactly how this is going to pan out. Let’s look at Los Angeles:
According to the LA Times, federal money from the “Promise Zone” promise would be used to help improve education, housing and public safety. The designation gives preferential status for federal grants to go toward increasing affordable housing, public transit lines, bike lanes, and technical training through the LA Community College District. (Mayor Gil) Garcetti said he expected L.A. to get tens of millions of dollars and could receive $500 million over 10 years.
Will somebody read that again and tell me where the “bolstering private investment in economically distressed communities” part is? Because all I see is federal grants from all kinds of federal agencies going to all kinds of existing city and state government.
There’s nothing wrong with bike lanes and technical training, but none of it will lift these neighborhoods out of poverty and it only serves to grow city and state government. End of story, when the money runs out – the poverty will still be there and so will the new government employees, their desks, their pensions and any lives that did get touched got touched by Obama’s great goodness and so don’t you just have to vote for Democrats now? It’s maddening.
Mayor Garcetti said in what I can only describe as “what the hell does that mean?” – that he believes this all-encompassing “wraparound” approach of federal aid could help alleviate poverty. Garcetti: “For decades, we’ve put programs in silos, which might move the dial a little bit here on education, a little bit here on health, but never all together, and I think this is our best shot.” What? The place is bankrupt. The city, the state. Corrupt, bankrupt, to hell in a handbasket.
President Obama says the federal government will invest direct technical support as the communities try to revitalize languishing neighborhoods. Folks, they don’t know how. They don’t have technical support. These are the folks that ruined these cities in the first place! The problem is not money, it’s liberals. It’s Democrat policies.
But, here we are – Republicans jumping on the bandwagon, because Obama outsmarted them again by including Kentucky – where Rand Paul (who has been a thorn in his side, let’s be honest) and the Republican Minority Leader sure could use $500 million, don’t ‘ya think? But wait! Before you start screaming “There’s more – this time Barack has changed” – don’t count on it pal.
Obama is also asking Congress to pass tax breaks for companies that establish businesses or hire workers in the promise zone areas, part of the program that his peeps say is “critical to the initiative working.” Oooh… sounds very Jack Kemp-ish. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan (who I bet knew who Kemp was) said; “These promise zones will work without the tax credits, but no, they won’t work to full capacity.”
This is pure Obama genius. Not only does he suck the Republicans in with free Federal money for their most impoverished areas, but he uses a Reagan-era Kemp idea (“enterprise zones” for you youngsters – Google it) to pretend he actually want tax credits for business and hiring! Does anyone remember who is the leader of the Senate? Does anyone think tax credits of any sort will be brought up for even a debate, much less a vote? Does anyone have problems making new short-term memories, because here’s what USA TODAY reported that has me wondering:
McConnell suggested Thursday that Congress consider tax incentives for promise zones in a potential deal to extend the lapse unemployment insurance. McConnell and Paul are also sponsoring broader legislation to establish “Economic Freedom Zones,” which would allow struggling areas to cut taxes to spur development. “Promise zones are something we could build on with far more comprehensive approaches,” McConnell said.
Paul said Obama’s motives are good, but the program should put more emphasis on tax cuts than on government grants. He said “dramatic” reductions of taxes across the board would enable communities to keep more of their own money and invest in themselves. Way to go guys.
There will be the federal giveaways (spending + growing government), but the tax credits will not be forthcoming. Count on it, Obama will get his Promise Zones and Harry Reid will stop the tax credits. Way to go guys.
The only people left in the ghetto are the ones being paid to stay there.
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Contributed by Joe Wurzelbacher of Joe For America.
Joe “The Plumber” Wurzelbacher crashed on the scene in 2008 when a chance run-in with then candidate Barack Obama allowed Joe to confront the soon-to-be president on his tax-and-spend Socialist philosophy. It was then, in a moment of clarity, Barack Obama let slip his real agenda; “I just want to spread some of that wealth around…” In an effort to inform the public Joe created the Joe for America web site, where you can find commentary, videos and ideas covering a wide array of topics from leading thinkers. You can also follow him on Facebook, Twitter or Youtube.