by WorldTribune Staff, July 19, 2020
Senate Democrats are calling on taxpayers to foot the bill for $350 billion in reparations to address “systemic racism.”
Democrats called the the Economic Justice Act which they announced on Thursday an “important down-payment to answer the calls to address systemic racism and historic underinvestment in communities of color.”
The proposal targets “minority communities” and does not include direct payments to individuals.
Democrats are proposing to “immediately” help minority communities with a $135 billion investment in “child care, mental health and primary care, and jobs.” The remaining $215 billion would be used to address inequality in the long term, devoting the investment to “infrastructure, a homeowner down payment tax credit, Medicaid expansion, and more.” The act lists ten initiatives to “reverse decades of underinvestment” in the communities.
Proposals include reducing rent and utilities “to 30 percent of income for low-income individuals and families and build new low-income rental properties,” and providing “$15,000 per family to expand access to homeownership” for minority families, specifically.
It also calls for requiring “a greater share of federal community and economic development funding” to go to communities with “‘persistent’ and high poverty rates and create opportunities in federally funded infrastructure projects for local hiring in communities of color and contracts for disadvantaged businesses,” although Democrats consider those”no-cost” policy changes.
“For far too long, Congress has underfunded critical priorities like public health, child care, infrastructure, and job creation in these communities,” the proposal’s summary reads. “Our new plan would make a historic federal commitment to communities of color through ten major investments over the next five years.”
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer pointed to “structural inequalities” whcih “have persisted in health care and housing, the economy, and education.”
“Covid-19 has only magnified these injustices and we must confront them with lasting, meaningful solutions that tear down economic and social barriers, and reinvest in historically underserved communities,” Schumer said.
The so-called “Biden-Sanders Unity Task Force” proposal advocates for the passage of Democrat Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee’s Commission to Study and Develop Reparation Proposals for African-Americans Act, or H.R. 40.
Providence mayor takes first step in ‘reparations process’
Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza on Wednesday signed an executive order to pursue a “reparations process” for blacks and indigenous people.
The Providence Journal cited Elorza as saying that the process will start with members of his administration and a group of black advisers meeting with historical societies and researchers to come up with a plan for sharing the state’s role throughout history in the institution of slavery, genocide of indigenous people, forced assimilation and seizure of land. The history could be shared through methods such as exhibitions, community conversations and guest speakers.
City leaders will also review local and state laws as part of the process, particularly those that allegedly result in discrimination against black and indigenous people in the public and private sectors, according to the city.
Mike Stenhouse, founder of the Rhode Island Center for Freedom and Prosperity, issued a statement saying that school choice, not reparations, should be the focus of helping people of color.
“While acknowledging that the liberal-left agenda has failed black and minority communities in contemporary times… by forcing their children to attend failed schools and by enacting policies that make it easy to become dependent on the government… it would be an unprecedented and immoral act of government to seek reparations – even for the horrible wrongs that were committed generations ago,” said Stenhouse.