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UPDATE 3/23/10: As of today, the Democrats have successfully pushed through, and President Obama will sign, a massive “health care reform” bill which will provide universal coverage for most of the people in the United States. Included in this was the government takeover of the student loan system. Another couple of items to check off the list for President Obama. Look for some kind of push regarding the Retirement U.S.A. plan (described below) to be introduced.
10/14/09 – Original Posting:
Last year, right before the Presidential election, Paul Sperry wrote an article for FrontPageMag.com about Candidate Barack Obama. In the article, he writes of then Candidate Obama’s want to address the shortcomings of the Constitution in regards to the forced redistribution of wealth to benefit fellow people of color.
In case you’re like me and didn’t see this this article when it came out, you can read it here.
I was taken aback when I read it the first time. Some of the things he was calling for would just be too big to go by unnoticed and unexplained to the American people. Plans like these, which would involve massive spending and new taxes, would be hard to hide. Surely, if implemented, he would be called on it.
From the article by Mr. Sperry, here’s an introduction and breakdown of what President Obama was then proposing:
He says government should offer “universal” programs — such as universal health care, universal mortgage credits, college tuition, job training and even universal 401(k)s — that “disproportionately affect people of color.”
Obama’s 2006 book and Web site outline a plan calling for essentially a government bailout of the inner cities, which he describes as “repositories for all the scars of slavery and violence of Jim Crow.” Among other things, he proposes:
- Doling out federal grants “targeting ex-offenders or substance abusers”;
- Subsidizing supermarket chains that relocate to the inner city;
- Creating a “universal 401(k)” in which the government would tax private contributions and match public contributions made into new retirement accounts by low-income families;
- Imposing “goals and timetables for minority hiring” on large corporations whose work forces are deemed too white;
- Ramping up funding for the Community Development Block Grant program, Head Start and HUD public housing subsidies.
- Funding Small Business Administration loans for minority; businesses who train ex-felons, including gangbangers, for the “green jobs” of the future, such as installing extra insulation in homes;
- Doubling the funding for federal after-school programs such as midnight basketball;
- Subsidizing job training, day care, transportation for inner-city poor, as well as doubling the funding of the federal Jobs Access and Reverse Commute program;
- Expanding the eligibility of the earned income tax credit to include more poor, and indexing it to inflation;
- Adopting entire inner-city neighborhoods as wards of the federal government; and
- Spending billions on new inner-city employment programs, including prison-to-work programs.
Alot, isn’t it? But, I’ve since discovered a few links which, to me, seem to point in the direction of Mr. Obama actually implementing some of these programs right before our very eyes.
Let me tell you what I’ve found.
First of all, yesterday, the First Lady, Michelle Obama, visited the headquarters of the Department of Health and Human Services in Washington. While there, she spoke about how money from the stimulus law passed earlier this year would be going to combat obesity:
“This includes $373 million announced last month that would be available for communities that put together comprehensive plans to reduce obesity –- $373 million — and that would include everything from incentivizing grocery stores to locate in underserved areas; it could include improving meals at school; to getting more healthy, affordable foods into vending machines; to creating more safe, accessible places for people to exercise and play; and a whole lot more.”
This quote from Mrs. Obama seems to meet or come close to the second (incentivizing grocery stores) and seventh (after school programs for midnight basketball etc..) items listed in the proposals by Mr. Obama above.
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Some of the stated goals for these organizations are to help deliver training and green jobs to “low-income workers and workers of color“. See here for their “Cities Initiative.” They achieve their goals by funding from the Apollo Allliance and your taxpayer dollars.
This distribution of federal taxpayer dollars for training “low-income workers and workers of color” is just what Mr. Obama proposed above (sixth in the list of proposals above).
Third, as you can see in the introduction before the list of proposals Mr. Obama thought government should offer:
“universal” programs — such as universal health care, universal mortgage credits, college tuition, job training and even universal 401(k)s — that “disproportionately affect people of color.”
If you live in a cave, and haven’t had access to the news lately, we are currently embroiled in health care reform in the Congress. And a large portion of the Democrat party are pushing for the “public option” or “universal health care.”
Finally, also included in the list of proposals by Mr. Obama above is:
Creating a “universal 401(k)” in which the government would tax private contributions and match public contributions made into new retirement accounts by low-income families
Although you probably haven’t heard anything about it yet, the Service Employees International Union, the AFL-CIO, the Economic Policy Institute (EPI), and the Pensions Right Center are currently working on an initiative called Retirement U.S.A. . From their website, this initiative is:
“working for a universal, secure, and adequate retirement system to supplement Social Security for those workers who are not in plans that provide equally secure and adequate benefits”
Also from their website, their principles are:
Principles for a New Retirement System
Universal Coverage. Every worker should be covered by a retirement plan. A new retirement system that supplements Social Security should include all workers unless they are in plans that provide equally secure and adequate benefits.
Secure Retirement. Retirement shouldn’t be a gamble. Workers should be able to count on a steady lifetime stream of retirement income to supplement Social Security.
Adequate Income. Everyone should be able to have an adequate retirement income after a lifetime of work. The average worker should have sufficient income, together with Social Security, to maintain a reasonable standard of living in retirement.
Shared Responsibility. Retirement should be the shared responsibility of employers, employees and the government.
Required Contributions. Employers and employees should be required to contribute a specified percentage of pay, and the government should subsidize the contributions of lower-income workers.
Pooled Assets. Contributions to the system should be pooled and professionally managed to minimize costs and financial risks.
Payouts Only at Retirement. No withdrawals or loans should be permitted before retirement, except for permanent disability.
Lifetime Payouts. Benefits should be paid out over the lifetime of retirees and any surviving spouses, domestic partners, and former spouses.
Portable Benefits. Benefits should be portable when workers change jobs.
Voluntary Savings. Additional voluntary contributions should be permitted, with reasonable limits for tax-favored contributions.
Efficient and Transparent Administration. The system should be administered by a governmental agency or by private, non-profit institutions that are efficient, transparent, and governed by boards of trustees that include employer, employee, and retiree representatives.
Effective Oversight. Oversight of the new system should be by a single government regulator dedicated solely to promoting retirement security.
In short, this in-progress initiative is calling for another social security type system, mandatory for all workers to contribute and one which will provide government subsidies to those who have not saved enough to insure a “secure retirement”. This is a “universal 401(k) and is what Candidate Obama proposed as well.
Reparations? I don’t know. They certainly aren’t being called that. But it does seem like an awful lot of money is, and possibly will be, going to those proposals President Obama thought were necessary to provide “economic justice.”