Why Obama's 2nd Term Should Be All About Taking on MLK's Anti-Poverty Crusade | Alternet
President Obama's first year of his second term will be focused on what at least were the first few months of. His first term which is the economy because we are still not growing at a rate that can bring down our unemployment and poverty rates to an acceptable level. The fact is without a strong economy we'll never accomplish four things, bringing down unemployment, poverty and the debt and deficit. You need a healthy economy to accomplish any of those things and when you have an economy thats growing at. Around 2% with an unemployment rate of around 8% and we are creating somewhere around 125-150K jobs a month. With a national workforce of around 160M people with the public sector still laying people off, with the debt and deficit growing faster then the economy. With people still moving into poverty, the former middle class, your number one focus still has to be the national economy. Before you can address any of those issues and we are not there yet but we'll in the next few months be there. With a long term debt and deficit reduction package and a two year extension of the debt ceiling. And then we can talk about issues like infrastructure investment and a national energy policy that would benefit everyone.
Now once our debt and deficit picture is fixed to the point where they are both sustained and contained. Meaning no longer growing faster then the economy and with a path to bring those things down. Then we can move to areas like infrastructure investment and a national energy policy, real education reform and. Not more unfunded mandates which is basically what the Bi Partisan No Child Left Behind Law became about. But real education reform thats about what's the best schools for students, rather then where they live and let the parents. With advice from educators make those decisions which would benefit everyone especially kids living on poverty. And a way to fund schools in this country thats based on need and not where schools are located. Another words move past the property tax formula thats used to fund schools in America where middle class and wealthy school districts. Get most of the resources and low income communities get what's left.
As far as poverty in America as I blogged last night and maybe something could be reached in the next deficit reduction agreement. When they talk about entitlement reform, is that we know what we need to do when it comes to reducing poverty. The evidence and facts are already there, its just a matter of actually doing those things. Temporary financial assistance, education, job training and job placement, someone in poverty gets those things. They'll move out of poverty and move out of public housing because now they have a good job. That allows for them to pay their bills and raise their family and I would go even further then that. And require anyone on public assistance whether they are currently working or not to be involved in education and job training. As condition of receiving their public assistance with the financial assistance, as well as childcare if needed. So they can move up and move out of poverty and that doesn't take a new New Deal or Great Society to accomplish that.
President Obama has so many other things on his place starting with the debt ceiling, deficit reduction and then the economy. To go along with a Republican House that believes that compromise is a sin and he has to deal with those issues first. And successfully resolve them before he can take on new issues that he hasn't push strongly for yet. So I don't see some new 2013 anti poverty campaign coming out of this administration.