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Wednesday
Feb132013

Project 21’s Swimp on Obama Address: Nothing Surprising

Stacy Swimp, a member of the National Center’s Project 21 black leadership network, wasn’t impressed with President Obama’s State of the Union Address last night.  In fact, he didn’t like it at all.

Here is Stacy’s review of the speech:

I have been asked repeatedly if there is anything about President Barack Obama’s State of the Union Address that I agree with or like.

I will keep my answer simple:  No.  Not really.

It was exactly what I expected.

I’m not surprised.  President Obama failed to tell the truth.  It began in the first few minutes.  The state of our union, despite his claim, is not strong.

Obama says he is concerned about Americans being able to find and retain full-time employment.  If that is the case, then why did he push for — and succeed in enacting — what can only be called socialized medicine.  So far, this big government takeover has led to employers feeling forced to hire fewer full-time workers in order to keep their businesses operating as well as being able to comply with the new federal mandates.

Along those same lines, Obama called for an increase in the federal minimum wage to $9 an hour.  Every sound economist knows that entry-level jobs are at risk every time the minimum wage is increased.  Again, this is a problem that hurts small business owners disproportionately because they simply cannot afford to keep up with federal payroll demands.

Even though Obama and his supporters like to demonize large corporations, most Americans might not realize that large corporations actually favor a higher minimum wage. Why?  Higher costs help to eliminate their smaller competitors.

Who suffers most when minimum wages increase?  Teenagers.  Businesses simply cannot afford those after-school, weekend or summer jobs anymore.  So kids find it harder to get the opportunity to develop skills that can one day lead to more gainful employment.  With black teenagers already facing an unemployment rate that is near 40 percent, the President is dramatically hurting one of his key constituencies.

There was one segment I found myself agreeing with, but with a caveat: “And we’ll work to strengthen families by removing the financial deterrents to marriage for low-income couples and do more to encourage fatherhood, because what makes you a man isn’t the ability to conceive a child, it’s having the courage to raise one.”

This is best soundbite of President Obama’s speech.  But there is major problem with it.

None of his policies back up his words.  It remains just a hollow platitude.

Expansion of entitlement programs — something he vigorously supported — favors more families headed by single mothers over the long-term.  Fewer strong and complete families mean there will likely be more children growing up with a disadvantage and a decreased chance at fully experiencing American exceptionalism.

Obama’s policies also make it easier to imagine that — over time — there will continue to be chronic unemployed, desperation, addiction to drugs and alcohol and a downward spiral among many in the black community.  Too many black men may yet end up in jail or dead.

So much for Obama’s concern about strong families.

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