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Sunday, April 15, 2012

Stimulus Package Failed Black & Latino-Owned Small Businesses: Cocaine For Monkeys

"Power Corrupts & Absolute Power Corrupts Absolutely."
Winston Churchill

Due to some of my recent statements about the Obama Administration, several of my Facebook Friends think that I'm beating up on Pres. Obama & the Democrats in Congress.

I'm not. However I am disappointed.

I still plan to give Pres. Obama another chance by voting for his re-election this Fall but Congress will NOT receive that same level of my support.

Hopefully this Blog post provides an explanation for my disappointment.

While it is true GOP Congressional Members Chose NOT to Work with Pres. Obama during his first 2 years in Office, the GOP's inaction is NO Excuse for Inaction on behalf of Democrats.

Here's Why.

For almost 2 Years after Pres. Obama's Election, Democrats had Full Control of the U.S. House, U.S. Senate & the White House.


They could have used this ABSOLUTE Power for Good & to enact Real CHANGE.

For Example:

The First legislation Democrats Should have passed are Comprehensive Jobs Bill, Comprehensive Small Business Bills & Included More Funding in the Stimulus Bill for Minority-Owned Small Businesses (BLACK & Latino-Owned Small Businesses).

Than they should have passed an Affordable Health Care bill with a Public Option, Single Payer Option or a REAL Health Care Insurance Exchange.

Instead they wasted it on a Stimulus Bill which turned out to be Nothing more than a Campaign Favor Payback bill.

The Stimulus Bill included less than 1% of Funding for BLACK & Latino-Owned Small Businesses.
Less than 1%!

And most of that Stimulus Money was Wasted versus Invested Wisely to Save the Jobs of Teachers & First Responders.

In North Carolina some of the Stimulus Money was even used by Gov. Bev Perdue to fund Stupid Projects like Studying the Effects of Cocaine on Monkeys.

That's Right!

Researching the effects of Cocaine on Monkeys!

That money could have been used to Save Teacher Jobs & Fund Minority-Owned Small Businesses.

Did the Obama Administration say anything about such Wasteful Spending?
NO because Bev Perdue is a Democrat!

I'm Sorry but that's Wrong!

During the 2008 General Election Democrats received 97% of the BLACK Vote, 67% of the Latino Vote.

How did they repay us?

By including less than 1% of Stimulus Funding & Gov't Contracts for Minority-Owned Small Businesses in the Stimulus Bill.

Thanks a Lot!

Congress seemed to have NO problem including Money for Food Stamps & Welfare Programs but less than 1% of Stimulus Funding for BLACK & Latino-Owned Small Businesses.

So its okay for BLACKS & Latinos to receive Food Stamps & Welfare but NOT okay for Us to Open Small Businesses?

Can any of the Democrats in Congress explain why?


They passed an Affordable Health Care Bill minus a Public Option in Exchange for 2 GOP Senator Votes who demanded that an Individual Mandate be included in the bill. i.e., Another Tax!

Now the Affordable Health Care Law is up for Review by the U.S. Supreme Court which may Strike it down due to the Individual Mandate possibly being Unconstitutional.

So please don't blame the GOP for EVERYTHING that the Democrats did NOT do for American BLACK & Latino Communities since Pres. Obama's Election.

Democrats Must Bear Some Of The Blame for Demonstrating Complacency & Ingratitude to BLACK & Latino Voters.

I'm NOT siding with the GOP, however the Democrats are NOT Blameless either.

Its time the Democrats, especially BLACK Congressional Caucus Members, Accept Responsibility for Wasting an Historic Moment doing NOTHING!

So while I DO plan to cast My Vote for Pres. Obama again, I will NOT cast My Vote again for Democrats to Control both Chambers of Congress.

Just my opinion. You don't have to agree.

Minority Business Receiving Fewer Stimulus Contracts

Hispanic and black businesses are receiving a disproportionately small number of federal stimulus contracts, creating a rising chorus of demands for the Obama administration to be more inclusive and more closely track who receives government-financed work.

Latinos and blacks have faced obstacles to winning government contracts long before the stimulus. They own 6.8 and 5.2 percent of all businesses, respectively, according to census figures. Yet Latino-owned business have received only 1.7 percent of $46 billion in federal stimulus contracts recorded in U.S. government data, and black-owned businesses have received just 1.1 percent.

That pot of money is just a small fraction of the $862 billion economic stimulus law. Billions more have been given to states, which have used the money to award contracts of their own.

Although states record minority status when they award contracts to businesses, there is no central, consistent or public compilation of that data, according to Laura Barrett, director of the Transportation Equity Network. She and other minority advocates are calling for complete and publicly accessible demographic information on all contracts and jobs financed by the stimulus.

Minority businesses are often too small to compete for projects; do not have access to the necessary capital, equipment or bonding requirements; or lose bids to companies with well-established relationships. There also has been an emphasis on spending stimulus money quickly, which favors businesses that have won past contracts.

But minority advocates say that blacks and Latinos have been harder hit by the recession, and getting a fair share of stimulus contracts is key to the recovery of these communities.

Unemployment among blacks and Hispanics is much higher than among whites. And although unemployment among whites increased at a faster rate during the worst of the recession than among minorities, rates of those considered underemployed — including people who have given up looking for full-time work or people working part-time because there is no full-time work available — increased faster among minorities than whites.

Figures from the Transportation Department on highway stimulus spending — at the heart of the government’s effort to lift the economy — have further concerned advocacy groups.

Six percent of the $16.9 billion in Federal Highway Administration contract money spent by states has gone to disadvantaged business enterprises, which includes companies owned by minorities as well as women, veterans and the disabled, according to department press secretary Olivia Alair.

Out of $1.1 billion in state-spent Federal Aviation Administration contract money, 7.8 percent has gone to disadvantaged businesses, Alair said, and 8.6 percent of direct Transportation Department contract dollars have gone to those companies.

Alair said some minority companies might not be included in those figures because they are not small businesses or choose not to classify themselves as disadvantaged. Minority businesses also are eligible for stimulus grants, but those are not tracked by race.

Still, “these numbers are far too low,” especially when compared with state and federal goals,” Barrett said. “The businesses and communities that need federal dollars most are seeing the least.”

The Obama administration has taken steps to address minority concerns. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood wrote governors in December urging them to work with disadvantaged businesses. LaHood suggested unbundling large contracts to make them more accessible to small businesses, and emulating a Missouri contracting project that made community groups and openness part of the process.

LaHood’s department has pledged $20 million in subsidies to help disadvantaged businesses pay bonding premiums and fees, and has established a short-term loan program that lent $4.9 million in 2009. Last month, LaHood announced $9.9 million in grants to help businesses owned by minorities and women compete for federal contracts.

Federal agencies held more than 300 events nationwide to educate minority businesses about stimulus opportunities, said White House spokesman Corey Ealons. He also said there is a backlog of awarded contracts that have not yet been entered into the tracking database.

The White House also pointed out that about $21 billion of the $46 billion is guaranteed, and the rest are options. Latino-owned businesses have received 3.7 percent of the guaranteed total, and black-owned businesses 2.4 percent.

The founder and chief executive of one of the nation’s largest black-owned construction companies, Richard Copeland of THOR Construction Inc., said minority-owned companies usually employ 60 percent minorities.

“If we can’t get on these jobs,” he said, “we can’t hire our people from our community, so poverty and drugs and crime and unemployment and welfare become habitual.” His company has done a small amount of weatherization work through Minnesota stimulus contracts.

He said many minority businesses can’t develop the capability to do government work because a “good old boy” network shuts them out of contracts.

Copeland’s company has its headquarters in Minneapolis, and has 200 full-time employees and offices in Los Angeles, Las Vegas, New Orleans and Atlanta. He said he abandoned highway work years ago to focus on erecting buildings.

“These big highway contractors try to keep you off the project, and when you get on, they try to make sure you don’t come back,” he said. “We hear about this all across the country.”

That’s what Samuel Foley Jr., a lawyer for the black-owned construction company Holley Enterprises, says happened to his client.

Holley was subcontracted by James J. Anderson Construction to perform demolition and salvage operations on a subway station repair project in Philadelphia. This enabled Anderson to meet contract guidelines for minority participation, but about two months later Holley’s contract was unfairly terminated, Foley said.

Anderson Construction said in a statement that Holley violated the terms of the contract. Anderson said it did not perform any of the work itself and gave the contract to another disadvantaged business.

Foley, chairman of the National Black Chamber of Commerce Construction Committee, said many companies “play games to get rid of the minority contractor.”
“This is not a unique situation,” he said. “For the past 30 years in Philadelphia it’s been this way.”

Stimulus funds pay for monkey research in N.C.

Monkeys are getting high for science in North Carolina.

An analyst at the Civitas Institute seized on that image when selecting a cocaine addiction study at Wake Forest University Medical School as No. 1 on a list of the "10 worst federal stimulus projects in North Carolina." Civitas' Brian Balfour takes swipes at projects, writing that they "seem completely unrelated to avoiding an economic 'catastrophe,' but rather an ad hoc satisfaction of countless dubious wish lists."

So, what is the $71,623 federal stimulus grant paying for?

Well, a job, said Mark Wright, a spokesman for the Wake Forest University School of Medicine.

"It's actually the continuation of a job that might not still be there if it hadn't been for the stimulus funding. And it's a good job," Wright said. "It's also very worthwhile research."

The study is examining the effects of cocaine on a particular neurotransmitter among monkeys who have had a long-term addiction to cocaine.

The medical school boasts a significant body of work studying addiction. Ultimately, the study could lead to better treatment for recovering cocaine addicts.

Balfour also cited another Wake Forest study. This one is studying whether yoga and other non-pharmaceutical therapies such as wellness classes can help alleviate hot flashes and other symptoms of menopause.

"How does this study help revive the economy?" Balfour asked.

Well, again, jobs, said Nancy Avis, a professor in the Department of Social Sciences and Health policy at the medical school. The funding, more than $147,000 over two years, will contribute to the salaries of six people.

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Sources: CBS News, Fox News, McClatchy Newspapers,, Newsone, The Grio, Youtube, Google Maps

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