Just in case you haven't heard, the Republicans are in control of the United States Congress. And while the President and the Senate are still Democratic, our world is about to change...again! The question for all of us is what the changes are and how will they affect each of us? The most important question is, are you ready?
The proposed changes showed up when a so-called bi-partisan committee put out a plan to cut U.S spending. The commission has proposed the following: on DOMESTIC SPENDING: freeze Federal salaries for three years; eliminate all earmarks (special projects); slow down giving foreign aid; and cut spending on commercial space flight (as if I was going on a trip to mars soon).
MILITARY SPENDING: reduce military procurement by 15% such as reducing jobs at places like Hughes Aircraft, Xerox, or anyplace that sells items to the government for space programs; freeze military pay for those who are not in combat for 3 years. (This does not seem to include military contractors or employees of places like Haliburton); reduce overseas military bases overseas by one third which would mean more government job losses.
On the subject of TAXES they propose to: limit or eliminate the mortgage interest deduction; tax employee health benefits; and raise gas tax by 15 cents a gallon. All of these are bad for poor and middle class folks. The rich will keep theirs because they don't get health benefits from their employer. They work for themselves.
On the subject of SOCIAL SECURITY they would: raise retirement age to 69 by 2075. (That eliminates most Black folks because many don't even live long enough to get their social security now at 67. This may be fine if you work as a teacher, doctor or lawyer, but what if you do physical labor? (Can you really keep on doing physical labor till you are 69?); cut the benefits for most future retirees. (This probably includes Medicare and Medicaid which keeps us poor with little or no Social Security retirement benefits.); subject higher income levels to payroll taxes. (Today those earning over $109,000 only pay Social Security on that amount. If they make a million, they don't pay Social Security on the amount of income over the $109,000. Why not?); reduce cost of living increases. (Hello cat food); and create higher minimum benefit for low wage workers.
It also looks like the President will cave in on the tax cuts for the rich that should expire in December of this year. If he extends those cuts and the Republicans get back into the presidency they will work to make the tax cuts for the rich permanent. The result will be to increase the deficit. The truth is they don't care about the deficit when they are in charge.
While these things are not yet law they are probably a good predictor for the future. They also should give us a clue as to what the Republicans will do to us if they recapture the Presidency and the Senate. The Republicans spent like the proverbial drunken sailor while they were in office under George Bush. Now that there is a Black President they are working on cutting everything and, of course, they will be blaming it on him.
What do Black folks need to do as a people? The same prescription that got us to where we are today will get us through this storm and over to the next level. More education in the professions and more entrepreneurship which equals more wealth, more independence and, ultimately, more influence over the politicians who have now proven, with the insurance debacle, that they are for sale to the highest bidder. All of this leads to a truth that President Obama must live with, and that is he has to raise money to get re-elected. As Black folks we give to our church, and not much else. We must contribute to help him get re-elected.
This is the new reality for a new day. As well as donating to political campaigns, donate to educational organizations and schools to have better schools, including more private schools, and convince some of the historical Black Colleges and Universities that they need to establish extension universities in the west. As an example, Morris Brown College is floundering in Atlanta, GA. Tell the AME Church to get it going as an extension on the West Coast and support its revival. Also give your financial support to help make this happen.
Spend your money where you will get results. Sadly, we don't even support our local city council and school board officials and so we get less because we give less. Don't allow that to happen under the new Republican regime.