Black Activists Comment on Obama Jobs Speech
Washington, D.C. - Black activists with the Project 21 leadership network are speaking out about President Barack Obama's long-awaited proposal to create more American jobs.
"After all the pomp and ceremony, Mr. Obama's plan comes down to the same old tired scheme of more spending and more taxes," noted Project 21 spokesman Horace Cooper.
After last month's zero-growth jobs report and today's Labor Department announcement that jobless claims rose last week, Obama addressed a joint session of Congress on Thursday night to promote his new jobs proposal, called the "American Jobs Act," that will finally be formally introduced next week.
"As a business owner, I heard no new proposals tonight from President Obama. It sounds like nothing more than a rehash of his past speeches," said Project 21 spokesman Kevin Martin. "It is long past the time for this President to abandon the failed recommendations of Big Labor bosses, Ivory Tower academics and bobbleheaded CEOs who have no honest record of positive job creation and are simply dragging down our nation."
Obama's plan, which some early estimates suggest will cost over $400 billion, would extend unemployment benefits past the current 99-week maximum, extend the payroll tax cut, pay out hiring incentives and fund infrastructure spending reminiscent of the "shovel-ready" projects contained in Obama's 2009 stimulus spending bill.
"Obama's speech was an undeniable affirmation that his presidency thus far -- and the trillion dollars he has spent -- was a complete waste of taxes and time," said Project 21 spokesman Jerome Hudson. "Meanwhile, one in five men isn't working, 48 million Americans rely on food stamps and unemployment has been over eight percent for more than 30 months. Ultimately, the American Jobs Act will be a more than $400 billion dollar blunder that won't fix the economy and will add to our growing debt."
"The problem with President Obama and this administration is the failure to understand what is necessary to create jobs in this country," said Project 21 spokeswoman Cherylyn Harley LeBon. "This proposal amounts to yet another stimulus plan that creates more union jobs but contains no initiative to create the sustainable, permanent jobs in the private sector that will truly grow this economy."
While there was no formal Republican response to the President's jobs address, individual conservative lawmakers have already suggested job-creation measures that include things that were not emphasized by Obama such as regulatory, tax and tort reform and the development of domestic fossil-fuel resources currently being hindered by the White House.
"Give credit where it's due -- President Obama is consistent. He truly believes that increased government spending will bring more jobs to Americans. The facts, however, suggest otherwise," said Project 21 spokesman Coby W. Dillard. "American taxpayers spent nearly a trillion dollars on a 'stimulus' program that had the same goals as his new American Jobs Act -- spending money under the guise of 'recovery' and 'reinvestment.' We didn't recover then, and employers still aren't reinvesting. In fact, since the passage of the stimulus, unemployment skyrocketed. In the black community, unemployment is at its highest level since 1984. If past performance is any predictor of future behavior, what proof is there that spending another $400 billion -- that we still don't have -- will produce any different results? Does it make any sense -- business or common -- to go down this road again?"
Project 21, a leading voice of black conservatives since 1992, is sponsored by the National Center for Public Policy Research (http://www.nationalcenter.org).